St John’s RC School employs its own team of experienced Speech and Language Therapists. These therapists work alongside educational staff and other professionals in supporting the student’s communication skills.

On admission students are fully assessed for attention and listening skills, verbal comprehension, vocabulary and narrative skills, higher level language skills and social communication skills. A detailed programme is then written to develop, support and address the student’s individual Speech Language and Communication Needs.

Speech and Language Therapy at St John’s RC School may take the form of

  • direct individual and/or group therapy
  • programmes devised by the Speech and Language Therapist and delivered by educational staff
  • assessment and advice
  • monitoring and review
  • staff training

We aim to provide a valuable source of knowledge about speech, language and communication needs across the school and support all staff in ensuring language is tailored to the student’s receptive communication level.

Where appropriate we advocate the use of additional support such as Makaton Signing, Picture Communication System (PECS) and use of symbol systems and symbol supported text.

There are specialist rooms for speech and Language Therapy as well as a wide variety of resources available for loan to teaching staff and carers.

What is Makaton?

Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills, such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall, organisation of language and expression.

Being able to communicate is one of the most important skills we need in life. Almost everything we do involves communication; everyday tasks, such as learning at school, asking for food and drink, sorting out problems, making friends and having fun. These all rely on our ability to communicate with each other.

With Makaton, signs are used, with speech, in spoken word order. This helps provide extra clues about what someone is saying. Using signs can help people who have no speech or whose speech is unclear. Using symbols can help people who have limited speech and those who cannot, or prefer not to sign.

For those who have experienced the frustration of being unable to communicate meaningfully or effectively, Makaton really can help. Makaton takes away that frustration and enables individuals to connect with other people and the world around them. This opens up all kinds of possibilities.

We are proud to use Makaton around St. John’s RC School and College to support our students’ learning and development. All staff are Makaton trained, making the School and College a Makaton friendly environment.

We also offer training to Parents and Carers. If you are interested in this or have any other enquires about Makaton, please contact Alison Sainsbury our Makaton Tutor.

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