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To help accurately detect speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) in your school, it’s essential to use structured identification tools that focus on screening and intervention.
One resource certainly worth knowing about comes from GL Assessment’s ready-made WellComm Primary toolkit, created in conjunction with speech and language therapists at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.
This is a truly professional package crammed with high-level support and top tips. It’s richly referenced throughout, linking to best practice, quality evidence and current policies in education and health. It’s a real lifeline.
The toolkit is made up of screening, intervention and measuring-progress resources, and uses a traffic light system to pinpoint any gaps and difficulties.
It comes with a practitioner handbook, which is a proficient source of information, guidance and strategies.
It also provides descriptors of crucial language skills and pointers on what to look out for when assessing skills and using different approaches.
This book, with its finger on the pulse, concisely brings together key policy, research and development issues and how they interact in educational contexts.
The screening tool assesses understanding, grammar, vocabulary, narrative and social skills with questions requiring direct assessment or observations of children’s
interpretation of cartoon images found in a picture book.
Detailed instructions on what to do are outlined in ‘The Little Book of Score Sheets and Rules’ – a brilliant resource for carrying out observations, scoring and interpreting results.
A clever Report Wizard is also available, which allows scores to be calculated speedily and precisely, and instantly generates individual, group and cluster reports that are perfect for monitoring progress over time.
When a profile has been drawn up it’s time to access the ‘Big Book of Ideas’. This certainly lives up to its name, as it provides around 50 fun and practical intervention strategies and outlines ideas for each area covered in the score sheets.
There are specific colour-coded activities, clearly presented with accessible aims, simple-to-follow ideas and built-in differentiation through step-up and step-down guidance.
Activities for improving memory and organisation skills, as well as social skills, are included, along with posters for classroom use.
This highly practical, intelligent and versatile toolkit is ideal for filling the huge gaps in post-Early Years assessment of speaking and listening.
It provides a quick and thorough insight of language and communication skills, and proactively addresses many of the areas of concern highlighted in the report Bercow: Ten Years On.
You’re looking to identify needs at the earliest point and make effective provision to improve long-term outcomes for children with developmental language disorder.
WellComm Primary is priced at £449. Find out more at gl-assessment.co.uk/WellCommPrimary.
Reviewed by John Dabell
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