How Speech Link, Infant and Junior Language Link made a difference to a primary school with a high level of speech, language and communication needs.
Case Study – Infant Language Link
School: Aldermoor Farm Staff member: Rebecca Stapleton HLTA Speech and Language
Aldermoor Farm School is an inner-city primary school in Coventry which has an Autism Resource base. There are 500 children on roll at present, but this is expected to increase as the school increases to three form entry across all years. There is a high level of need as the school is in a low SES area. The school has a high number of children with SLCN, particularly in Reception and a large number of children with EAL- up to 50% in some classes with varying levels of need.
Speech Link Multimedia had carried out training in Coventry and following this the SENCo bought Infant Language Link in 2012. In 2017, following a free trial, the school purchased Speech Link and Junior Language Link. At this time the school benefits from NHS input along with commissioned services paid for by the school. The Senior leadership Team have placed an emphasis on SLCN.
The main user in the school is Rebecca Stapleton who acquired extra training in SLCN through City & Guilds. Rebecca took the lead in ensuring that the programme was used fully. Infant Language Linj and Speech Link is used with KS1 and Junior Language Link is used with KS2.
Rebecca and other teaching assistants administer the initial assessments and then interventions are carried out has 3 days across the week to carry out Speech and Language interventions from Year R to Tear 6.
The initial challenge was to ensure that the programme was implemented fully and that everyone was on board. Things run very smoothly now.
‘I like everything about it. It tells you what they need’ (i.e. which language group). ‘All the plans are there- it saves so much time! I don’t have to spend hours searching for stuff.’ It helps with decision-making- like when to refer to SaLT. ‘It gives us loads of evidence- it’s all recorded.’ ‘I love the reports- they flag up severity and need with the colour-coding.’
‘I absolutely love this programme. I can take it from the beginning all the way to the end.’ ‘I can monitor when someone else carries out an assessment or intervention- I can make sure I’m on top of targets and interventions.’
The best part of the package is having every step of the intervention planned for you. Everything you need is there. Timed session plans, tracking sheets with session outcomes and fabulous resources. So much time is saved by not having to hunt on the internet for appropriate resources.is having the sessions planned- no hunting for resources, no going online to find stuff. Being able to track all aspects of the package cohesively through online reporting and provision mapping, this means we are always Ofsted ready.
‘The assessment helps me back up my concerns. We are in a funding cuts era- you must be able to prove you’re having an effect. Intervention has to be measurable. I can show progress each week- I can see the change.’
It has made a difference in our school as we are now much more aware of SLCN and know that some difficulties may well be caused by language problems that may not be easily identified without the assessment.
We would highly recommend the packages to other schools as it is easily accessible, the assessment produces instant results and so much pressure is removed ‘because it is all there, it’s fantastic. It’s a full and effective intervention which makes life easier. You can just pick it up, get all the resources ready, and get on with it.’
A child for whom Language Link has made a difference
A Year 5 girl went all the way through the school without making expected progress. No-one was sure why. We carried out a JLL assessment and the results identified her as having a significant SLCN impairment – everyone was really surprised as this wasn’t something that had been considered previously. She had been struggling with the complexity of the language and retaining instructions. She took part in a Listening group and a Concepts and Instructions group and was assessed by the speech and language therapist as making good progress. Just as importantly, the interventions and the progress she had made had really boosted her self-esteem. Previously she didn’t know why she was finding everything so hard compared to the others in the class, but now she understands why it is harder for her and has strategies in place to help her.