Wellbeing and Therapies

A summary of Wellbeing and Therapies provision at Alfriston

Speech & Language Therapy

What is SLT?

The Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) works with children who have speech, language, communication or swallowing difficulties. At Alfriston School, pupils are supported by the SLT department throughout their school years.  The Speech and Language Therapist attends the school for three days per week and the girls have additional input from a number of the school support assistants who have been trained by the therapist as SLT assistants. The SLT is registered with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Health and Care Professions Council.

All pupils who have a need for SLT on their statement are assessed in the first term of starting at the school.  The teachers are provided with a summary of the assessment and recommendations are made as appropriate.  A full report is prepared and distributed at the time of the child’s Annual Review.  The girl’s individual needs will be identified and the therapy input arranged accordingly.  Input could include regular one to one therapy, paired or grouped sessions and individual SLT programmes to be implemented by teaching staff or parents.  The girls’ progress is regularly reviewed and monitored.

What do the different therapy inputs involve?

  • One to One:  The child will be seen by the SLT or SLT assistant for an individual  session lasting up to 50 minutes.  Girls are selected for 1:1 therapy to work on a specific skill or if their needs are very individual and would not fit well into group therapy. Some girls will start with 1:1 and move onto a paired or grouped session as they progress.  Work conducted by the SLT assistant is devised and overseen by the SLT. 
  • Paired Sessions: Girls are paired by their language and communication needs and will be seen together for a session lasting up to 50 minutes by the SLT or SLT assistant. Many girls enjoy the opportunity to work with a classmate but have the additional benefit of getting the focused attention from the SLT as needed.
  • Group Sessions: No more than four girls will be seen in a group.  They are selected by their ability and therapy needs and are usually from the same year group.  Work may focus on specific language targets such as listening and expression of ideas. Girls also attend groups to work on their social communication and their social use of language skills. The groups will be run by the SLT or by an SLT assistant who will follow a programme devised and overseen by the SLT.
  • SLT Programmes: Some girls will be provided with a specific programme of work that will be completed by an assistant or sent home for completion by her family.  This is usually for particular speech sounds that need attention or for work that has been covered in SLT sessions and needs to be consolidated.

What is the difference between Speech, Language and Communication?

  • Speech: Speech refers to the ability to articulate the sounds such as /f/; /st/; /k/ and /d/ that make up the words in our language.  Our aim is to help the girls to achieve clear and intelligible speech. Therapy includes direct work on the production of specific sounds and improving the girl’s self monitoring and sound awareness.
  • Language:  Language is about understanding spoken language and the expression of words and putting them together to make meaningful sentences. We work on areas of language such as listening and following instructions, auditory memory, vocabulary, grammar and syntax. Work on language skills in SLT contributes to the girls’ ability to participate and learn in lessons.
  • Communication: Communication refers to our use of language in order to interact with other people and to develop relationships. Communication involves both verbal and non-verbal communication such as body language, eye contact, gesture and facial expression. Many people with communication difficulties have poor non-verbal communication skills and have difficulty in interpreting other people’s body language.  They may have difficulty in knowing what style of language to use in which situation, appearing rude or over friendly.  They may also have difficulty in understanding humour and take things too literally when people use phrases such as “pull your socks up” etc.  We help the girls to develop their confidence as well as their social competence.