ALP Schools – Our joined-up approach to the Communication Commitment
We recognise that communication drives learning and attainment and strong language and communication skills are linked to better outcomes for the young people within our schools. Therefore, all three schools in the ALP Schools chain are actively participating in the Communication Commitment.
Of all the skills learners develop within our schools, the ability to communicate effectively is the one that has the most profound and potential impact on the lives of the young people we work with. Communication is at the core of everything they do; in their homes, at work, at school and socially. Strong language skills and good communication are key to whole-school improvement, progression and attainment and beyond school into employment, education and training.
All three schools are currently working towards action plans, that gives us the small steps we need to move forward in making communication a real part of our school’s policy and practice, in a way that works best for our school and our pupils.
Each school now has a dedicated Communication Champion, who takes on the responsibility of making sure that our action plans are implemented and the communication commitment is a shared approach between our staff and our students.
Our Communication Commitment Champions:
Pierview Academy – Tracey Mills
Parkview Academy – Emma Chatzispyridou
ALP Leicester – Joanne Weatherstone
Each of our schools are making good progress in our communication journey. More detail of this can be found on the links to each individual school.
Details about the Communication Commitment can be found at www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/comitment
The Communication Commitment – ALP Leicester
ALP Leicester began by assessing their current provision around Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) using the Communication Commitment’s review checklist in August 2016. This not only highlighted areas for development, but also areas in which ALP Leicester were currently working well in terms of SLCN. In addition, it identified areas already being addressed both in the School Development Plan and as part of the whole school PHSE review.
In terms of workforce development and to launch our focus on communication, all staff were introduced to The Communication Commitment during INSET briefing at the start of the Autumn term 2016. Staff have been invited to complete the online short course provided on The Communication Trust website; been advised on and given information around communication-friendly classrooms and kept abreast of initiatives to assist them in focusing on SLCN when delivering lessons. More recently, the focus for our learning walks and observations this term has been around communication.
The end of this term will see the third edition of our Newsletter being published and we will be holding our second parents/open evening. This gives ALP Leicester to showcase the achievements of our pupils and staff to the wider community and to share initiatives/best practice.
As a soft introduction to The Communication Commitment, on 9th November 2016 ALP Leicester held it’s first ‘No Pens Wednesday’. During the day, pupils and staff enjoyed a ‘wake and shake’ session with a focus on communication, introductory Makaton sessions and a host of other ‘no pens’ activities. This gave tutors the opportunity to address learning from a different angle and to think about the impact of communication within learning.
Moving forward, our focus will remain on staff upskilling and understanding around SLCN. Our Primary Specialist will be undergoing formal training which will be disseminated across the whole school and staff will be asked to use the Speech and Language Communication Framework to highlight further areas for development.