Communication, language and interaction skills underpin all work at The Loddon School® and are developed in every activity and at every opportunity as part of the students’ daily life.

Students need to develop the ability to:

  • respond
  • listen
  • understand
  • interact and communicate with others
  • make choices
  • turn-take and co-operate
  • initiate

Most students use gesture and whole body action to make requests and are supported to use photographs to consolidate this.  The Loddon School®  uses the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). Students that use formal language skills are functioning at a single word level. Students’ speech is often echolaic and whilst used in appropriate situations might not always convey true meaning. The Loddon School®aims to acknowledge all attempts at communication, although some requests may have to be deferred. Communication aids are specific to each pupil’s requirements based upon an assessment of their needs by the speech and language therapist. All students have a photographic timetable to help them understand what is happening now and next. Students are encouraged to use pictures (photos) to make requests and initiate conversations with others. Language and communication skills are developed throughout the waking day to give opportunities to use expressive skills and improve comprehension.

There are also structured language opportunities:

  • at mealtimes
  • during café
  • assemblies
  • anticipation games
  • circle time
  • community outings supported by our communication department
  • cooking
  • drama
  • letter writing
  • structured games
  • tuck shop

Students’ progress in communication skills is measured through the Developing Skills curriculum, Special Schools Target Tracker, P scale assessment, annual communication assessment and Speech and Language Therapy reports. Progress is reported in the 5 monthly review.

Links to 


Access to Learning and Understanding


Leisure and Wellbeing

Relating and Interacting


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