Eastbrook Speech, Language and Communication Additional Resource Provision was established in 2008 to ensure that secondary aged pupils in Barking and Dagenham, with significant speech, language or communication difficulties can access intensive speech and language therapy and specialist teaching within a mainstream setting. The ARP children in Eastbrook have access to specialist sessions, both individually and in groups, provided by NHS Speech and Language Therapists and Assistants. Our ARP is an integral part of the school providing for up to 30 students.
Our aims are:
- to provide specialist teaching and therapy which addresses each student’s speech and language delay and disorder
- to include ARP students in the full life of the school and prepare them for lifelong learning opportunities.
- to ensure each student develop into a happy, confident and articulate young adult.
- to raise awareness in the whole school community of the specific issues surrounding speech and language delay and disorder.
We have a dedicated team with a wealth of expertise in speech, language and communication who believe that every child is entitled to the best possible education and we provide a supportive environment to enable each student to feel valued and confident so that they can reach their full potential. Our specialist staff work closely with the Speech and Language Therapists, Educational Psychologist, Advisory Teachers, parents and students to design each student’s individual programme which will help the pupil to overcome their barriers to learning.
ARP pupils are supported in their own year groups. Pupils spend time in the ARP which will be tailored to their needs but the most bulk of their timetable is in the mainstream class with support in lessons to ensure they access learning. This approach enables each individual to receive the particular support that they need, at the appropriate age-related level in the most appropriate setting.
Pupils allocated an ARP place would usually have an Education, Health and Care Plan. The borough’s Education, Health and Care Panel is the only agency that can allocate an ARP place. The Panel will decide whether a place in an ARP is the most appropriate way of meeting a young person’s needs. To be allocated a place in our SLCN- ARP, there should be evidence a child has cognitive skills which allow him/ her to integrate into the mainstream classroom and access the school curriculum, including the National Curriculum, with modification for their speech, language and communication needs, as appropriate. Speech and/or language disorder pupils will have a combination of the following needs:
- Expressive language disorder.
- Receptive language disorder.
- Semantic/pragmatic disorders.
- Verbal dyspraxia.
Induction arrangements are planned to ensure that all children settle well into both their new mainstream class and ARP routines.
Initial Parent and Carer Visits
Parents and carers are invited to visit our school and ARP if their child is being considered for or has already been allocated a place by the Education Placement Panel via the Local Authority. This is an opportunity to meet the ARP and mainstream school staff, view the school and ask any questions you may have about our provision. The visit also helps ensure that we are the most suitable setting to meet your child’s individual needs.
All children new to our ARP will have a number of opportunities to visit our school prior to joining our provision full time. Our ARP staff will work in partnership with your child’s current school to arrange suitable visit times. We understand that for some children starting at a new school it can be overwhelming and it is for this reason visits are arranged and adapted on an individual basis ensuring all children are given sufficient time to adjust to their new environment.
ARP Specialist Interventions
As with all children in our school, our ARP children fully access the National Curriculum in their mainstream classrooms. We are fortunate to work in partnership with our NHS Speech and Language Therapy colleagues to provide a range of additional opportunities to ensure the Speech, Language and Communication needs of your child are also fully met within our provision. We also provide on-going individual and/or group learning interventions to meet the specific academic needs of the ARP children. Nurturing children’s ability to cope with stresses and adversity when they arise is also an important part of our provision. We support this by fostering children’s talents and passions, enabling pupils to play an active role in their education and providing a wealth of learning experiences both in school and our community.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech and language therapists work directly with the children in providing individual and small group therapy in a wide range of areas, including phonology (speech sound awareness and production), understanding and use of language, vocabulary, narrative and social communication skills. The nature of input will vary according to the age of the child, with the youngest receiving more individual therapy. During these intensive sessions your child’s individual SALT targets are focused on. As children get older much of the language need will be met through the incorporation of targets, set in discussion with the speech and language therapist, into classroom activities and small group therapy. Although some children with severe speech disorders may continue to receive individual remediation and some will receive direct therapy in small groups for language and social communication work.
Social skills Intervention
We place great emphasis on children’s social and emotional well-being which we believe plays a crucial role in their educational progress as well as their ability to take on adult responsibilities in their future life. A range of small group learning experiences are provided to help foster children’s social skills, focusing on aspects like: a positive sense of themselves and others; adjusting their behaviour to different situations; identifying and talking about their own and others’ feelings and developing a positive attitude towards learning. We encourage all children to develop positive relationships with other children and adults, to share, to negotiate, and to be independent and confident learners. We use a variety of approaches including Talkabout for Teenagers and Character Education.
Interventions may also include a combination of the following evidence-based programs run by any of the ARP staff:
Students are required to understand and use new vocabulary and different meanings in school and social settings. This is in order to understand subjects in the education curriculum, to interact with others and to form bonds and friendships. Vocabulary learning has been identified as being one of the most significant problems experienced by children with speech, language and communication needs. To develop our students’ vocabulary, we use ‘Vocabulary Enrichment Intervention Program by Dr. Victoria Joffe. The programme develops the ability to retrieve words with speed and accuracy, use more complex and low frequency words, construct and use elaborate semantic networks to facilitate literacy and the ability to understand and define complex vocabulary.
The use of storytelling is a hugely popular and effective method of helping young people who have various speech and language difficulties. Storytelling encourages speaking, listening and communication skills, and can also improve self-esteem. If a child can stand up in front of their peers and create and tell a story, then they can confidently stand up for an exam, a performance or even an interview.
The programme is specifically designed for children and young adults and focuses on enhancing the understanding and expression of stories in students aged from 8 to 18 with language and communication difficulties.
Cognition and Learning
At Eastbrook we provide a variety of additional opportunities to support children’s academic learning needs in the ARP. We work with your child’s mainstream class teacher to identify areas of both strength and improvement and design individual and group sessions to meet these needs. We endeavour to ensure children play an active role in their own education by identifying what and how they would like to learn. We find this motivates learners and gives them an enhanced feeling of accomplishment when they achieve their goal. Groups are flexible to enable the changing needs of the children to be met and cover a range of learning areas including phonics, grammar, times tables and problem solving in KS3 and subject’s specific topics in KS4.
Educational Excursions and Experiences
All Eastbrook ARP children participate fully in all whole school, year group and classroom experiences. We believe providing a range of high quality additional learning experiences in the ARP supports our pupils for their future lives ahead. Every half term student will go on a trip where they will need to apply life skills like travelling by public transport, ordering food in restaurant, independent shopping. The trips are organised across all year groups, and offer the opportunity for students to meet with the other ARP students and develop friendships across years. The trips are funded by the ARP.
Students thoroughly enjoy the facilities and help offered by ARP which has a big impact on their personal development and academic progress.
“I like the ARP because it helps lots of students with their speech and language and also you can make new friends.” Year 9 student
“My time at Eastbrook was amazing and the ARP teachers have helped me build my confidence. Without the teachers I won’t be the person I am today. Thank-you ARP teachers. You are amazing.” Year11 Student
Partnership with parents/carers
We work in partnership with parents as it is widely documented that the more involved parents are in their child’s education, the better the chance of their child not only being successful in school but being successful in life as well. We recognize that the family perspective is invaluable in providing insight and information as to what your child needs to be successful and we want to work with you to provide the best possible start to your child’s education. Providing parents with information about their child’s individual developments and achievements as well as our ARP life; giving parents a voice and forming links between the classroom, the home, the school and the family enable us to do this effectively. We provide regular opportunities for parents and carers to learn about their children’s experiences at school and share their success. Feel free to contact us if you require any advice or support or you would like to observe any ARP sessions. We are here to help.
“As a parent, I feel the ARP has changed my daughter’s life for the better. Before joining Eastbrook she had no confidence, no friends and hated even the mention of school. This was very hard to deal with as a parent as primary school should have been one of the happiest time of her life. But since being here and getting the help and support from the staff of the ARP, which even supported her with her health issues, she is a completely different child. She loves school now, she has improved with her learning 100% and has lot of friends, her confidence is about 90% better, but the difference is that she is very independent and can have the happy memories from school that she deserves. I wouldn’t like to say where we would be without the ARP. I am extremely grateful for all their help.” Parent of Y11 student
We work in partnership with your child’s class teachers and are always available to attend parent evenings in order to discuss your child’s learning and development. We have ‘an open door’ approach which means that parents are welcomed to visit us, to express concerns or observe your child therapy sessions. We involve parents in all decisions regarding their child.
Individual Educational Plan
Every term, ARP children have a written Individual Educational Plan (IEP) which prioritises your child’s key learning for the future. These are written by the Speech and Language Therapist in consultation with the ARP staff. Children and parents also contribute to this process identifying aspects they would like to focus on. Your child’s ISP will always have speech and language targets and may have a combination of curriculum, social emotional, mental health or physical development targets. ISPs are reviewed on a termly basis with your child and shared with families.
More formal Annual Review meetings are held with parents and carers. Reviews are an opportunity to share your child’s successes, next steps and discuss any concerns. Once again, these are held in consultation with our Speech and Language Therapists, Class Teachers, ARP staff and parents. Your child will also be asked to attend to share their views. Parents will receive a paper copy of all the documents within a week of the meeting.
In addition to your child’s classroom teacher, ARP staff will set weekly homework for reading, spelling, numeracy. They will also set up subject specific homework to reinforce topics which they think your child struggled with in the lesson. APR students are expected to read daily. We use Bug Club which develop comprehension as well as reading. There are three homework clubs per week, after school when student can get help from ARP staff.
If you require any further advice on how you could support your child’s learning and development at home please do not hesitate to contact us.
Speech, Language and Communication Websites for parents
Click on the images below to visit these helpful websites: