Mayfield communication policy 2009


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Mayfield communication policy 2009

  1. 1. Communication Policy StatementA Total Communication Approach is central to everything we do at MayfieldSchool.DATE ADOPTED: September 2008DATE REVIEWED: September 2009 (amendments will be made to reflect therecommendations of the successful Specialist College bid)Mayfield School is a Special School which caters for pupils aged 3 - 19 yearswho have severe, complex and profound and multiple learning difficulties. Manyof the pupils have moderate to severe speech and language difficulties.INTENTThis Policy updates the previous policy of 2007 which was written in response to theappointment of a specialist speech and language teacher with appropriate qualification(Post Graduate Diploma in Speech and Language Difficulties: Birmingham University)awarded a Communication Teaching and Learning point, and the creation of aCommunication Team made up of Specialist teacher, 2 speech and language therapistsand the input of an occupational therapist.THE COMMUNICATION ENVIRONMENTEach student will be exposed to an active total communication environment at all times.AAC techniques are to be made available, as much as possible, at all times - not just inspeaking and listening sessions.The curriculum is to be presented in such a way that AAC techniques are used toenhance access to all areas of the curriculum, e.g. topic boards, generic communicationmats eg for a cooking session, whole class PECs.The use of Total Communication and its implications are to be included in IEPs.It is recognised that aided speakers require more time to formulate their responsesand therefore additional time will be afforded to these pupils.Parents/carers are offered support and training to ensure continuity between homeand school eg communication passports, objects and sounds of reference,communication aids, PECsCommunication between home and school is offered via the regular written diary, arecorded message on a Talking Pad, or via the Mayfield VLE (Moodle) 1
  2. 2. AAC is understood to mean “any method of communicating that can supplement theordinary method of speech where this is impaired”.At Mayfield School we aim to provide total communication. This means that pupils andstaff are encouraged to use every available form of communication, with a particularemphasis on what is relevant to individuals.Total Communication includes Intensive Interaction strategies, gestures, body languageand facial expression, objects and sounds of reference, Makaton signing supplementedwith Sign Supported English, Single Message Communication Aids and more complexaids eg Boardmaker Activity Pad, PECs, communication passports.The Communication Team recognises that communication is functional and develops bestwithin the context of real life, however they do work with individual pupils to developspecific communication skills as well as supporting pupils and staff within the classroom.All students will be encouraged to learn sign language to facilitate communication withtheir signing peers.Pragmatic skills will be taught through the Social Use of Language ProgrammeAIMSTo pursue the right of every pupil to have an effective means of communicationregardless of their disability.• To strive for excellence in the field of current total communication practice, and toensure equality of provision and opportunity on both departments of the school (Lakesan d Planets).• To empower pupils to make choices and exert control over the environment.• To ensure carefully managed transition throughout the school and at key stages oftransition to other placements.• To ensure continuity of provision throughout all classes and departments within theschool.• To keep informed of developments in the rapidly changing field of AAC.• To actively foster a total communication environment giving equal status to allmethods of communication.• When possible, to enable pupils to be responsible for determining their preferredmethod of communication.• To provide motivating situations in which pupils can develop their language skills usingtotal communication in meaningful, functional and enjoyable ways both to effect socialinteraction and to access the Curriculum. 2