Hampstead School in the London Borough of Camden has been awarded the Secondary School / College of the Year award at a glittering awards ceremony in London, hosted by comedian David Baddiel, for its continuous commitment to developing student communication skills.
The 2015 Shine a Light Awards are a national awards scheme organised by Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust, to celebrate innovative work, inspirational individuals and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development.
Hampstead School focuses explicitly on developing communication, speaking and listening skills through consistently promoting active listening and effective speaking among staff and students.
Since 2009, the school has worked with the borough’s speech and language therapy (SLT) team, participating in their Listen-EAR (Enjoy, Achieve, Respect) approach, and appointing a teacher to ensure the approach is carried out across the whole school.
All year seven pupils receive an active listening lesson where teachers observe the children and feed back to the special educational needs (SEN) team, identifying any students who may need further support developing their communication skills. Outside of year seven, teachers are constantly observing their students, whatever year group students are in, referring to the SEN team when needed.
The schools leader for speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) works closely with the SENCO and the Camden SLT team to identify communication strengths and needs of students and which of their subject teachers require extra support and/or resources.
Hampstead School also works closely with an educational psychologist and a clinical SLT to ensure students who require extra communication intervention are recognised to allow the school to run appropriate activities such as Lego therapy (where the building blocks are used for increasing motivation to participate in social skills intervention, allowing children with social and communication disadvantages to effectively interact) and social communication groups.
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