Regency High School has a Communication Team. The Team is lead by Amanda Evans who has also been a Teacher at the school, since it opened in 2007.
Amanda’s role is to provide a link and support between the Speech and Language Therapists, Class and Parents so everyone can work together on student’s communication.
At Regency High School we provide all students with universal speech and language support strategies these include:
- signing – Signalong sign support system
- the use of the spoken word with emphasis on key words
- object, photo and symbol use to support receptive and expressive language
- visual timetables
- listening and attention prompts
- processing time
- word aware strategies
Regency communication provision
Regency High School Communication Team consists of Amanda Evans, Stacey Caspell who is the TA for Communication, and Emily Scorer Speech and Language Therapist. Emily is an NHS Speech Therapist, and she works with the school for one additional day, Mondays, so we can have additional specialist advice and direct sessions, staff training and support, to be able to provide a service for our students above the Core Service.
Once the core service sets targets, it is Regency and Home’s responsibility to support students to work on their targets.
The role of the Communication Team includes:
- liaise with Speech and Language Therapists about reports, targets, and resources
- to raise concerns if students are struggling with targets,
- to request reviews when targets are achieved,
- to work with students in class, small groups or 1-1, as appropriate for the targets, for blocks of time, to support class with working on targets
- to make resources to support communication
- to support and train class staff to support students’ communication
- to support Parents to support students with communication
- to train staff in Signalong sign language and offer training to parents
Many students are also referred to the NHS Speech and Language Therapy Service to identify specific needs, support strategies and communication targets. The NHS Speech and Language provision has changed over the years and the core service that is provided by the Speech and Language Therapists to referred students is:
- Assessment of need usually at school
- Report to school, parents and other relevant people
- Targets to school, parents and other relevant people
- Review, it is aimed that this will be annually but can be when targets are achieved or concerns are raised
Currently Emily Scorer is the NHS Therapists providing core service at Regency and we are waiting for a new therapist to join us.
The NHS therapists are not employed by school, they are provided through the NHS.
Additional Speech and Language input
Students who are referred to the Speech and Language Therapy service will have access to the core Speech and Language Therapy service and support at Regency. If students require additional input from a Speech and Language Therapists, this has to be identified by the Speech and Language Therapist and added to their EHCP as it needs additional funding. The core service does not provide sessions with a therapist. These additional packages are currently provided by Hannah McCone.
Post 18 Speech and Language support
Students in school that are referred to the Speech and Language Therapy Service are under their care until
- they are discharged as they no longer need input beyond universal strategies
- they are discharged as the strategies in place are ongoing but no longer need a Speech and Language Therapist support
- they turn 18. The Speech and Language Therapy Service is a paediatric service and they therefore do not see anyone past the age of 18. For students from 18-25 with an EHCP attending full time education, they will receive communication support through their school or college. If they do not have an EHCP and are not attending full time education, School leavers are eligible to receive a service from the Community Learning Disability Team if they meet their criteria.
In regards to dysphagia, any existing mealtime plan should continue to be followed and while they are at school for Year 14, we will raise any concerns about dysphagia with Speech and Language Therapy.
At Regency High School, staff use Signalong sign language to support students’ communication throughout the day, as per Worcestershire County Council policy. This signing system was designed for people with additional learning needs, it supports both expressive and receptive language and supports speech as it is a sign support system, it is not designed to replace speech. Signalong is used throughout the day, as staff speak they sign the key words to aid students understanding of what is being said.
Regency do a signing session each week via zoom, sharing the ‘sign of the week’ and teaching staff and students’ signs through songs. We also share the ‘sign of the week’ on Twitter and our website so that people in the wider world can also learn the signs. Staff are also offered a Foundation Phase 1 training course in Signalong and parents can also access training – see Signalong section of the website.
Students who have difficulties with swallowing certain foods or liquids may be referred to the Speech and Language Therapy service. The Speech and Language Therapist will complete an assessment to see what difficulties they are having and will provide advice on what food and drink is safe and those that should be avoided as well as details of textures and thickness of foods and drinks. While home can choose to follow the guidance that is provided, school have to follow the guidance exactly and cannot give any food or drink that does not meet the guidance, even if this is provided by home.
If you have any questions about students communication, you can either contact their class teacher, or Amanda on email [email protected] – working days Monday and Tuesday.
If your son/daughter is referred to Speech and Language Therapy you can contact them on the email or phone number on the last report you received, in school on Tuesdays or via Amanda.