At Heart of the Forest we promote the use of Total Communication which aims to ensure that all pupils with communication difficulties have a consistent and coherent approach to meeting their communication needs throughout their lives in school and the wider community.
Total Communication is a process that ensures that all forms of verbal and non-verbal communication are recognised, valued and actively promoted within an individual’s environment.
Heart of the Forest School aims to:
•Value and respect every possible method of communication that pupils may need to use.
•Provide opportunities for learners to develop a meaningful and functional system of Total Communication using verbal and/or non-verbal communication.
•Ensure all individual communication strategies are supported by developing a shared knowledge, skills and attitudes base essential for an effective total communication environment.
•Raise awareness and develop confidence in the use of Total Communication throughout school and wider communities.
•Ensure that our learners are equipped to communicate effectively in adult life
•Ensure that all learners feel included with their preferred method of communication which facilitates the opportunity to be understood, responded to and to make decisions and choices.
•Enable access to provision through a total communication approach.
The development of communication skills for all learners in our school is an integral part of our provision.
These are some of the communication tools you may experience at Heart of the Forest School:
•Gestures, body language, vocalisation/speech, eye pointing and facial expression
•Objects Of Reference (OOR)
•On Body Signing
•Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
•Photographs/pictures/symbols/schedules/now and next boards
•Voice Output Communication Aids/equipment (VOCA)
•Access to modern technology
Communication is promoted in school by our communication champion, Carly Worgan, Total Communication Lead, Lizzie Spowart and supported and monitored by Lucyna Mansfield, Assistant Head. All staff receive Total Communication training and we are able to train parents/ carers and provide training to other settings. If you are interested in training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org