Weeke Primary school in Winchester have worked in collaboration with Talking Outcomes, a local independent Speech & Language Consultancy, for over a year to become the first school in Hampshire to achieve this prestigious award, which is valid for 3 years.
Elkan have recognised that the school are able to offer more support for language and communication development of all children, including those learning English as an additional language. The school can use a range of tools during class-based teaching to develop children's listening, vocabulary, narrative and social communication.
Kathryn Knapp, Inclusion Manager of Weeke Primary School said: "Being accredited as a Community Friendly Setting is a brilliant achievement for the staff at Weeke Primary School. It has enabled us to build on existing good practice and confidently support all children with speech, language and communication needs".
The school commissioned the training in October 2016, as they were aware of the impact that better communication has on children's literacy, learning and quality of life. Four staff members received 10 weeks of training entitled 'Elkan Speech and Language Support for 5-11s' involving project work with individual children. The training was then cascaded down to all staff including office staff and midday supervisors.
Jan Baerselman, Speech & Language Therapist, Talking Outcomes commented: "The staff have been a joy to train. They now use a range of new techniques to support children's speaking and listening. I have seen innovative teaching strategies, excellent small group work and watched staff helping very young children struggling to get their message across. There is a greater focus on helping children with special needs to learn by 'showing' rather than 'telling' them what to do."
Steve Brine said: "This is a fantastic achievement by Weeke, and I was so pleased to be able to meet the team and learn more about the excellent work they do on speech and language support."