The Speech and Language Centre is part of Ark Little Ridge Primary Academy and provides additional speech and language therapy and specialist teaching for primary aged pupils (KS1 and KS2) with an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) naming speech and language as the primary need.
We have up to 11 full-time places which are allocated by the East Sussex County Council’s SEN Panel.
We share the same aims for all pupils at Ark Little Ridge Academy, including those with a place in the Speech and Language Centre. Our lead teacher adapts and oversees the delivery of the school curriculum across all subjects, integrating speech and language therapy targets and additional opportunities to develop spoken language and comprehension skills into the lessons. This is supported by the SENCo and link NHS speech and language therapist and progress is regularly reviewed with parents. Speech and language therapy targets are integrated into the teaching and additional 1:1 / small group programmes are devised by the therapy team and delivered by trained teaching assistants.
Whilst some pupils may receive the majority of their teaching in small groups within the centre, they can access specific lessons with their mainstream classes, with support, based on individual needs. The aim is for this to increase over time so that pupils can generalise their skills and knowledge and, where possible, return to mainstream education.
Please note that the Centre is not able to offer placements, this is organised by East Sussex County Council.
Visits and enquiries are warmly welcomed. Please contact the school to arrange a visit on: lrpinclusion@arkLittleridgeprimary.org or 01424 752 266
Frequently asked questions
1. How do I get a place for my child in Chester Class?
The application for a place in Chester Class is through the local authority. Children require an EHCP that demonstrates that their primary area of need is Speech, Language and Communication. Once a prospective student’s paperwork arrives at the school from the local authority, we carefully read the paperwork and, if necessary, visit the student in their current setting so that we can make an informed decision as to whether our specialist resource base can meet the needs of that individual and often speak to parents about their child.
2. What sort of language difficulties do children have?
All the pupils in Chester Class have speech and language difficulties. Many have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD; previously known as Specific Language Impairment). Some students have difficulties understanding language and others struggle with their expressive language. Children may also present with specific speech sound difficulties or may have needs in all of these areas of language. These difficulties prevent them from easily accessing the mainstream curriculum and therefore achieving their true potential. Each child that learns in Chester Class has an individual set of learning needs that are carefully assessed, monitored and supported by the team to ensure they achieve their potential.
3. How often do children see the Speech and Language Therapist?
The Speech and Language Therapist is based at Ark Little Ridge full time. Children see the therapist during lessons in Chester Class and for small group or 1:1 intervention. The level of time each child spends with the therapist depends on their specific needs and progress. However, the therapist sees each child at least twice a week and is constantly involved in planning their support and monitoring their progress.
4. How are parents/carers involved?
As a school there are two parent-teacher conference days a year that provide the opportunity for parents to meet with their child’s class teacher and the Speech and Language teacher. Parents/carers are invited to statutory Annual Review meetings once a year to discuss this progress in more detail and to set outcomes for the next academic year. A termly curriculum letter details the topics being covered in Chester Class. Children are given weekly homework and a reading book. A school newsletter is sent home every week and our school website and Facebook page is kept up to date with information for all parents about current news and important notices. Should there be any concerns, a member of the team is always available in the school playground at the end of the day, or an extra meeting can be arranged if necessary through the school office.
5. What is the curriculum in Chester Class?
Children access a broad and balanced curriculum with an element life-skills throughout the week, the enjoy core subjects in a communication rich environment taught to their specific needs. The curriculum covers all foundation subject excluding Modern foreign languages. Children join phonics taught through Read, Write Inc in the mainstream and follow maths mastery. Assessment takes place within the school cycle but the EHCP targets are reviewed termly.
6. What lessons do children access in the mainstream?
Children access a range of different subject across the school including subjects such as PE, music, art and DT. Furthermore, any class trips, special theme days (for example, Religious Education Days), school workshops, and assemblies, are spent learning alongside their mainstream peers. It is very important to us that the children learning in Chester Class feel that they are part of the mainstream community. All children have break and lunchtimes alongside their mainstream peers and participate in all whole school events.