This is a practical resource that can be used with children who need additional help in developing communication skills during the first year of school and is a follow-on from the hugely successful first edition. This second edition focuses primarily on a targeted group intervention, to boost the language and sound awareness skills of children entering reception class, who are delayed in these areas of communication. It also addresses aspects of attention, following instructions and social communication.
School Start, aims to help children catch up so that they may be ready to access the learning environment of Year 1. It is an invaluable resource for teachers and teaching assistants that encourages good collaborative practice between schools, speech & language therapists, the SENCO and parents. The programme consist of:
- an initial six-week period so that educational staff may identify children of concern; a screening checklist to confirm the identification of those children
- a structured programme of 30 Language group sessions that teaching assistants will find quick and easy to follow, delivered once a week
- a structured programme of 30 Sound Awareness group sessions that teaching assistants will find quick and easy to follow, delivered once a week
- activities and learning objectives linked into communication at home and in class
- monitoring of each child's objectives and readministration of the checklist in July.
Teachers and teaching assistants first select children suitable for the programme through the checklists provided; set-up meetings then take place between the inclusion coordinator and school before the child is enrolled on the programme. Devised by two speech & language therapists experienced in working with teaching staff, the book consists of two 30-week programmes aimed at developing Language and Sound Awareness skills. Each six-week block has clearly written objectives that are linked to the National Curriculum Foundation Stage. Baseline and evaluation checklists are also provided to monitor each child's progress.
School Start offers:
- an introduction on how to use the School Start programme
- group sessions for the Language and Sound Awareness programmes
- 70 photocopiable resource templates
- programme delivery templates containing all the checklists, record sheets and handouts needed to carry out the programme
- an accompanying CD-Rom giving the option to print out some of the resource templates in colour.
Successfully trialled over a three-year period, School Start is an invaluable resource for teachers and teaching assistants that encourages good collaborative practice between schools, speech & language therapists, the school's inclusion coordinator and parents.
Catherine de la Bedoyere is a speech & language therapist with over 10 years' experience of managing and delivering services to children in a variety of settings, including mainstream and special needs schools. In addition, she has acted as the professional advisor for speech & language therapy to I CAN and taught postgraduate teachers at Kingston University. She offers consultancy services and practises in a special needs school in East Sussex. Catharine Lowry is a speech & language therapist with over 10 years' experience of working in a variety of settings. This includes language units, community clinics and special needs schools for children with Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD). She is currently working in the mainstream service in the Royal Borough of Kingston.
"It's easy to follow. Evaluation is quick and easy to complete. The children's growth in confidence from beginning to end is really noticeable." — Teaching Assistant
"I consider School Start to be good value for money and a very user-friendly resource for schools." — Dulcie Herrington, Speech and Language Therapist, NAPLIC Newsletter