Cowley Hill has two Speech and Language Bases, one for children in Key Stage 1 (including children in Reception) and one for children in Key Stage 2. Places in the bases are allocated by the Provision Panels at County and are for children with profound/ severe speech and language disorders or delay. These difficulties may be with speech sounds and/ or receptive and expressive language and are the main presenting difficulty of the child in accessing the curriculum.
At Cowley Hill we believe strongly in the integration of all children irrespective of their needs and consequently, although the children will spend part of their day in the base classrooms, they also spend a significant part of the day with their mainstream peers, where necessary with appropriate adult support.
The specialist provision of the Speech and Language Base allows the children access to intensive speech therapy from a Speech and Language therapist two – three times each week with follow up work with a specialist teaching assistant on the other days. In addition to the direct therapy the children also have key vocabulary for science and topic work pre-taught to enable them to full access the lessons with their classes and, where appropriate, other essential work on social skills, narrative skills and other areas of language development can be incorporated into the day.
Many of the children do not live in the local area and come to school by taxi each day. To support parents in having the opportunity to mix with the parents of other base children we hold a Base Tea twice a year where the children prepare a performance for their parents/ carers. This allows parents and carers to talk to each other as well as speech therapists and all school staff working with their child over a cup of tea or coffee.
Ultimately the aim of this specialist provision is for the children to return to full time mainstream school. In some cases the children no longer require any input from the Speech and Language therapy services, whilst others still require some input which they receive through the mainstream support services.