The Speech & Language Unit at Wallands Community Primary School is an East Sussex Children’s Services Authority (CSA) resource serving the Western half of East Sussex for primary aged children with severe and specific speech and language needs.
The Unit provides full-time places for up to sixteen children.
It is organised as two classes of up to eight children at Foundation/Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 within the mainstream school.
All children on roll have Statements of Special Educational Need or EHCPs for severe and specific language needs.
There is a dedicated staff of specialist teaching and support staff and speech and language therapists attached to the Unit
It includes an Outreach service in the Lewes and Weald area for those children referred but not placed in the Unit and for transition of children coming into and leaving the Unit.
These quotes are from our most recent Ofsted inspection in October 2014.
“Pupils in the Language Unit receive excellent teaching. As a result, they make rapid progress and are very well equipped for life beyond Wallands.”
“The leadership of the Language Unit is outstanding. Leaders ensure that every pupil’s needs are met through a variety of meticulously planned experiences and by staff who have high levels of skills and expertise. The school’s work with families who have been unsuccessful in gaining a place in the unit is another excellent feature of this provision.”
“Throughout the school, including the Language Unit, leaders track pupils’ progress carefully and can explain the individual circumstances that may have affected their learning. They discuss any concerns with teachers and take swift action to address any shortcomings or to suggest alternative ways of working.”
“Teaching in the Language Unit is outstanding because skilled teachers, assistants, learning mentors and therapists, who are all specialists in the field, work closely together to plan, assess and review pupils’ learning.”
“Pupils in the language unit make exceptionally good progress as a result of high quality teaching, personalised support and excellent partnerships with a range of external agencies.”
What our pupils say about the Language Unit:
“It’s a good Language Unit”
“I am getting good at school”
“I enjoy being in the Speech and Language Unit”
“I like this school because you get to work and play”
“I feel happy at school”
“I think I’ve done well”
What our parents say about the Language Unit:
“Fantastic achievements and wonderful teaching”
“My child was so withdrawn at his previous primary school The staff have done a fantastic job at teaching him to read, write, speak and just be himself. I honestly dread to think where we would be without their professionalism.”
“Our son would never be where he is now if it wasn’t for the Speech and Language Unit”
“We are extremely happy with the way the S & L Unit is run. All the staff remain highly dedicated to helping the children. My child has progressed so much in the 2 years he has attended and loves going to school.”
How does a child get considered for a Language Unit place?
The Wallands Outreach Service covers Lewes & Weald (CITS Locality 1). Initially the child’s school or parents raise a concern about the child’s speech and language needs. In the majority of circumstances the child will already be well known to speech and language therapists (SLTs) working in the East Sussex Children’s Integrated Therapy Service (ESCITS) and working closely with the school SENCo. They will have accessed direct therapy with the Speech and Language Therapist/ Assistant. Depending on the child’s speech, language and communication needs, recent progress against communication targets and educational progress the SLT and SENCo may decide to gather further information and evidence around the child and approach Wallands outreach service for further support. Hence a period of partnership working to investigate the child’s needs will take place. This will be for at least two terms.
A CITS referral form will have been completed by the SLT/SENCo working with the child. Speech& Language therapy services will monitor the child’s progress with the school, and if concerns remain, the child’s needs will be discussed at the SLCN Operational Group. This group meets three times per year – October, February and May, and includes local SLTs, members of the Wallands Language Unit and outreach team and the Local Authority Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) team. At this point the child may be included on the live outreach list. The Wallands Outreach team will then discuss with parents, school and SLT what the best package of support would be for the child.
At the end of a period of outreach support, the outreach team will evaluate impact in partnership with the SENCo and SLT and take this information back to the next SLCN Operational Group meeting. This will inform the future intervention plan. This plan will depend on the child’s ongoing needs and may consist of a recommendation for a Unit place. Alternatively, it may involve supporting staff at the school or support in delivering programmes with the child.