At Parayhouse School we understand that language is integral to learning. Therefore, speech and language therapy at Parayhouse is not simply an "add on."
Speech, Language and Communication is the primary need for the students in Parayhouse. All students have EHCPs outlining the need for regular Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) input. Accordingly, communication is at the heart of our curriculum and we employ a team of specialist SaLTs to ensure all our students can access the curriculum and achieve functional outcomes.
In addition to SaLT, the Parayhouse school-wide therapy team includes an Occupational Therapist and OT assistant, as well as Drama Therapist. The therapy provision is intrinsic to the development of academic skills, independent life-skills and social and emotional wellbeing. Our common focus is to 'remove the barriers to learning’, in line with current best practise (SEND: Code of Practice) and to work together to promote the students’ wellbeing and improve the quality of special educational provision (Section 25 of the Children and Families Act 2014).
As highlighted in our last Ofsted report, in reference to therapeutic input “the students benefit from extra support from additional staff who are well-trained and highly effective in their role”.
This document outlines the therapy provision in Parayhouse and explicitly identifies how it impacts on our students’ learning and development.
Therapists work in collaboration with the school staff and students. Everyone shares their knowledge and expertise in order to support the academic achievement and social participation of all students. We ensure a ‘Holistic, collaborative, child centred approach to educational and therapeutic support’ (Hatcher, 2011)*
We deliver regular in-house training to share our knowledge and ensure consistency in our approaches to teaching.
Therapists communicate regularly with parents, through home visits, parent workshops, and ensuring goals are jointly developed and shared. This leads to greater outcomes for our students, as measured by parent reports and overall results.
Speech and Language
The Speech and Language Therapists [SaLTs] at Parayhouse School work as part of an integrated team within the school to address the communication and feeding needs of children and young people. Students who attend Parayhouse School often use a variety of methods to enable them to develop maximum understanding and communicate with those around them. This includes using objects, photographs, symbols, signing and speech. Some children use specialised equipment such as a communication books or voice output communication aids. SaLTs also work with children who have eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties to safe and effective eating and drinking.
All prospective students have an informal speech and language assessment on Observation Days to determine speech, language and communication needs. This is followed by a more in-depth multidisciplinary assessment process over the first module of entry to Parayhouse, which forms the basis for setting up classroom support strategies and individualised intervention programmes.
The SaLTs deliver support at 3 key levels or ‘tiers’ across the school, ensuring strategies and interventions are fully embedded throughout the student’s day and across the whole curriculum, as well as ensuring specific and individual needs are met.
Tier 1 (the roots)
- SaLTs provide training and support to the whole staff team in order to promote awareness of communication needs and ensure a structured and visual environment or ‘Total Communication Approach’ is upheld across the school. This includes developing and maintaining use of whole school communication interventions, including Makaton signing, Shape Coding, Zones of Regulation, symbol use, Cued Articulation, and a range of others.
- SaLTs work collaboratively with the wider MDT across the school including members of teaching staff and support staff, the wider therapy team, as well as the senior leaders and governing body.
- SaLTs are involved in liaison with external professionals to ensure consistent and effective provision for our students with a complex range of needs.
- SaLTs facilitate student placements, sharing best practise and contributing to the development of others.
Tier 2 (the branches)
- SaLTs provide daily modelling and embedding of core communication strategies across the curriculum, which is achieved through joint planning and co-delivery of lessons and interventions as well as involvement in behaviour management, in order to help students achieve functional and meaningful outcomes.
- SaLTs deliver smaller targeted functional communication groups and interventions.
- SaLT is integrated across all aspects of our students’ daily routine, including facilitation of structured play and social interaction at break and lunch times, involvement in wellbeing and enrichment activities, as well as supervising school events and trips.
Tier 3 (the leaves)
- SaLTs provide specialist individualised interventions where a clinical need is indicated.
- SaLTs provide support and advice to parents to enable consistency of communication approaches across home and school environments.
Please contact your child’s speech and language therapist via the school office if you would like more information or support about your child’s communication or feeding.