The Knowl Hill School Language Class
The Knowl Hill Language Class is a unique, nurturing, language enriched learning environment where secondary pupils can further develop their speaking, listening, understanding and social communication skills. Students in the Language Class are empowered to reach their potential in classroom learning and independence, and to develop communication skills, friendships and self-esteem.
The language stream started in 2016 as a separate class in which pupils were integrated into the slightly larger classes at Knowl Hill. Since then it has grown so that there are around 2 pupils in each year group who are part of the language stream. They are in tutor groups and most lessons with the rest of the cohort, but have daily intensive Speech and Language Therapy, and SaLTs being involved in supporting teachers and team teaching with them for a proportion of their lessons. Since each child in the language stream presents with slightly different strengths and difficulties, their timetable is individually designed to give them language support in the lessons they need it most. They also have Occupational Therapy which again is provided on an individual basis, depending on the needs.
Pupils have access to a broad, balanced, relevant and personalised curriculum (based on a growth mind-set curriculum) which is differentiated and modified for pupils with complex speech, language and communication needs. Regular and thorough assessment, planning, teaching and reviewing ensure that each pupil makes the maximum progress in learning. This takes place in collaboration with the specialist teachers within Knowl Hill School.
Areas of curriculum covered include:
In year 10 pupils have options to study additional subjects such as Animal Care, Woodwork and Metalwork, and to go to Farnborough Technical College one afternoon each week where they can study for a BTEC in, for example, Health and Social Care, or Motor mechanics.
TEACHING / COMMUNICATION TOOLS USED WITHIN THE LANGUAGE STREAM
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY
Speech and language therapy is an essential part of a student’s day in Knowl Hill Language Stream and is integrated throughout their day. The SLT works with students individually, in pairs, as well as in the small classroom where lessons may be jointly planned and delivered. This means that a ‘language enriched’ curriculum in all lessons can be offered as part of a student’s programme. Language skills are developed in a number of ways:
The SLT regularly assesses the expressive and receptive language skills of students as well as their phonological, pragmatic and social skills. Advice is given to staff of the needs of all students and help is given in devising strategies for supporting them around school in less structured situations.
Occupational Therapy (OT) is provided to students in the Knowl Hill Language Stream. OT can help students with important skills needed in everyday life and maximise a child’s potential for learning and independence. These skills include:
· fine and gross motor skills
· visual perceptual skills
· visual motor skills
· alertness and sensory processing skills
· organisational skills
· independence and life skills.
The Language Class team communicate and liaise with parents regularly through phone calls, correspondence, meetings and attendance at Parents’ evenings and through the SEN Annual Review. They are always available to provide support and advice.