Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

What are Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)?

SLCN is an umbrella term which describes difficulties that children may have in one or more areas, including:

  • Receptive language (understanding what others say)
  • Expressive language (selecting and joining words together in the correct order to convey meaning)
  • Social communication and pragmatics (interacting with others, including turn-taking and interpreting facial expressions and body language)
  • Speech (using speech sounds accurately and in the right places)
  • Fluency (the flow and rhythm of speech)
  • Voice (quality of voice)

It is estimated that 2 or 3 children in every class have some form of SLCN.

Here at Ocean Academy, we have our own SLCN lead who has received specialist, accredited training to support children with speech and language needs.

Our SLCN lead works collaboratively with external speech and language therapists, school teaching staff and parents to ensure that effective interventions are put in place to support children with speech and language difficulties. We offer direct therapy via 1:1, paired and group sessions.

Our aim at Ocean Academy is to meet our children’s communication needs to ensure that they are able to access the curriculum, build social relationships and maintain a healthy level of general wellbeing. Our staff are trained to identify SLCN and once identified, the class teacher or school’s Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) will get in touch with the parent/carer to discuss the next steps.

Some children may need a referral to receive specialist speech and language therapy from an external therapist whilst others may benefit from school staff supporting them within the classroom with a more targeted approach. Some children will also receive 1:1 weekly sessions with our SLCN lead who will also work closely with the child’s teacher and learning support assistant.

If you think your child is struggling with a particular need in this area, please don’t hesitate to contact the school and talk with your child’s teacher, or make an appointment with the school’s SENCo.

Listed below, you will find a selection of websites which provide lots of useful information and free resources to support children with SLCN.




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