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Speaking and Listening 


Speaking  (Communication) and Listening is not only core to English it is key to ALL areas of school life and the curriculum. 


The school has key skills and knowledge development mapped from early development upwards. This has been collated linked to research and work with other professionals. The teacher may break this down into smaller steps or extend due to each pupils needs and access to the curriculum. 


The teachers will work on next steps of understanding and communication based on their assessed skills and knowledge and the next steps.  Communication and understanding outcomes are set with parents/carers as part of the annual review/outcomes process. This means there is determined shared work for pupils to achieve and make progress and school and at home. 


Understanding and communication links to the pupils starting point and may link  for example to:

  • Interpreting reflex responses
  • Understanding linked to routines and objects 
  • Anticipation within very familiar routines and situations
  • Understanding of objects, photo's or symbols that represent things
  • Understanding words within a context and then without the support of the context
  • Expanding the numbers of words understood
  • Understanding words and concepts within increasingly complex structures e.g. more information carrying words. 
  • Understanding more complex questions and language structures. 


Communication within the Bridge links to a personalised approach. The school supports pupils with a range of systems of communication, for example:

  • Interpreting body movements and reactions
  • Use of signing 
  • Use of gestures
  • Use of objects, photos and symbols to make choices and communicate as different levels of complexity. 
  • Use of communication aids e.g. Big Macks, Partner Two aids, Eye Gaze technology, use of communication books, Proloquo2Go software, PECS etc. Please see tab on website tiled Communication- examples of aids. 
  • Use of vocalisations and speech. For some pupils work will take place on the development of oral motor skills e.g. blowing, licking etc. 


All of above are linked to the level of understanding. All communication aids are used alongside modelled speech.


Communication can be for range of purposes  e.g. for communicating needs, feelings, commentary and to access wider learning. This is personalised for individual pupil. 


The curriculum is personalised for individual pupils within groups of pupils. The teacher may access a range of activities/strategies/targetted interventions that may include:

  • Drama games and songs
  • Sensory stories
  • Sensology
  • Story Massage 
  • Use of environments e.g. sensory rooms
  • Physical activities
  • Listen with Lucy 
  • Attention Autism 
  • The wider curriculum  
  • Timetabled English sessions
  • Timetabled functionals skills to enable repetition over time. 


Engagement and motivation remains a key element to communication. The wider curriculum that pupils access provides an opportunity to find things that motivate a pupil that can then be used to promote use of communication systems and progression. The wider curriculum in other subjects also provides context for pupils at early development level to work on agreed cross curricular targets and for others to expand their vocabulary, concepts and skills linked to the curriculum. 




The school has a progression of skills and knowledge linked to writing. Work takes place based on each pupils assessed skills and knowledge and their next steps and the development may include as examples:


  • fine motor skills that can support the physical development of writing.
  • the understanding of cause and effect with the awareness of making marks
  • further control within mark making
  • using a range of materials understanding that print conveys meaning
  • representational drawings
  • letter and word formation
  • working on spelling and punctuation
  • Use of wide range of stimulus for writing that may link to wider curriculum or to a specific motivator for a pupil.
  • using alternative forms of writing and recording. The school has a whole school symbol system and also a wide range of adapted key boards and computer access.
  • Involvement in planning and drafting work including selecting photos, symbols and words to appropriate to a curriculum activity
  • Accessing print in the environment
  • Functional life skills work


Writing is implemented in a range of ways and may include the following as examples:Use of multi-sensory activities


  • use of different media
  • access to writing areas when appropriate to the group of pupils
  • access to wide range of access to computer based on assessed understanding and skills
  • access to range of equipment and environments to motivate and engage e.g. sensory rooms with UV writing screens, Omni Vista, Smart Tables, IPads with writing programmes
  • whole school Board Maker and Clicker programmes
  • Write Dance


Outcomes are reported on individually within the each pupils reports




Please see tab on Curriculum page titled Reading and Phonics