Speech and Language
Speech & Language at Broomhill Bank School
At Broomhill Bank School, the Speech and Language Team provision reflects a holistic approach to meeting all students' individual speech, language, communication, and interaction needs. The team takes a multidisciplinary approach, working closely with occupational therapy, pastoral care, and the teaching team. The team aims to ensure the identification and delivery of speech, language, communication, and interaction provision that supports the individual needs of the students as part of their “preparation for life”.
The team works closely across both sites to ensure a collaborative approach to provision is maintained. Both sites promote an inclusive communication environment where students’ communication styles are valued, respected, and supported by all. The Speech and Language Team also works in partnership with the Senior Leadership Team to identify training needs and provide in-house training to staff.
The Speech and Language Team at Broomhill Bank provides a specialised service delivered as an integral part of students’ education. The Speech and Language Team consists of Speech and Language Therapists and High-Level Teaching Assistants who form the Communication and Interaction Team.
Speech & Language Therapy Provision at Broomhill Bank
Speech, Language, Communication, and Interaction Needs: The Speech and Language Team works with students who have difficulties with the following:
- Understanding spoken language (comprehension / receptive language)
- Use of vocabulary and sentences (expression)
- Connecting language together to tell a story (narrative)
- Using language to talk about feelings (emotional literacy)
- Speech sounds and pronunciation (phonology)
- Selective Mutism
- Fluency/stammering or voice quality Auditory processing and active listening skills
- Social communication and interaction, including difficulties associated with autism, ADHD, and looked after children.
The Speech and Language Therapy Team may also refer to more specialist external services if appropriate, e.g., for Fluency/ stammering; assistive technology; selective mutism. The team would liaise closely with the specialist services to ensure consistency in school.
Assessment and Screening
All new students are screened by the Speech and Language Therapy Team. A fuller assessment will be undertaken if needed. The results are used to determine the appropriate level of provision required from the school SALT team within the specialist setting of Broomhill Bank and to contribute to the student’s school passport, detailing appropriate strategies that will best facilitate their communication. A report will be written summarising these recommendations. Further assessments can be requested at key times for students during their time at Broomhill Bank.
Students in years 7 and 8 have timetabled communication and interaction lessons delivered by the communication and interaction team with support from the therapists. These may include: active listening skills; zones of regulation (jointly delivered with OT and the pastoral team); language choices; understanding me; language for behaviour and emotions; language for thinking; social skills (SULP or talk about); friendship skills; and teamwork.
Students may continue with more targeted blocks of C and I sessions at different points throughout their school journey if needed.
In Class Communication and Interaction Support
To support students in accessing the curriculum, the Speech and Language Team works closely with staff across the school. This support aims to facilitate an inclusive communication environment, with all staff skilled in facilitating the students’ communication and interaction styles and needs.
The Speech and Language Team identifies and delivers targeted small group interventions during pastoral times or during lesson time to support students with specific difficulties relating to a range of needs, including inference skills, verbal reasoning, language organisation, social skills, emotional literacy, self-awareness, and word retrieval.
Members of the team may work with students to produce or develop social stories to support challenging situations and promote understanding of particular social skills and scenarios. The team may also work with individual students to develop their understanding of social scenarios in relation to others using comic strip conversations. Social story and comic strip conversation approaches will generally be targeted interventions that are modelled to staff who support students daily.
1 – 1 Specialist Interventions
If students are having a specific speech, language, or communication difficulty, 1-1 support may be appropriate. Following a multidisciplinary meeting, the Speech and Language Team may offer a period of weekly sessions to support students in developing their understanding and ability to use appropriate strategies.
Contributions to EHCPs and Annual Reviews
The SALT team contributes to the school annual review process, working jointly with teachers to develop and review communication and interaction targets for students. The team may or may not be involved in the provision to support this target.
Channels of Communication
How to Contact the Speech and Language Team
The team welcomes and encourages close liaison with parents/carers. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s speech and language needs, please do not hesitate to contact us in school, leave a message with the school office, or via your child’s form tutor or the FLO.
Meet the Team
Speech and Language Therapists:
All speech and language therapists are members of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and registered with the Health and Care Professionals Council.
Maggie Cook - Therapy Team Lead
Maggie holds a postgraduate diploma in clinical communication studies from City University. Maggie has over 25 years’ experience as a speech and language therapist, working with adults and young people with additional needs. She has spent the past 18 years working in schools, including mainstream units for autistic students and a special school for young people with moderate and severe learning disabilities. Maggie is an Elklan tutor, delivering Elklan training focused on supporting students with ASC who are verbal, and a regional Makaton tutor who sees training as an integral part of supporting young people by facilitating an inclusive and enabling communication environment around them. She has a particular passion for empowering young people to have their voice heard and to develop a fuller understanding of their own needs, supporting them to be proactive in developing communication strategies that work for them.
Maggie has recently taken on the Therapy Team Lead role.
Kate Harvey- Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
Kate graduated from the University of Greenwich in 2016 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Speech and Language Therapy. She has worked with Children and Young People in a range of settings including mainstream primary and secondary schools; a post 16 college; SEMH (Social, Emotional and Mental Health) special schools, and ASC Specialist Resource Provisions. She has clinical interests in Autism, Developmental Language Disorder and SEMH. She has a particular passion for researching the prevalence of Autism amongst girls and women.
Elise Pearce – Speech and Language Therapist
Elise graduated as a speech and language therapist in 2021 with a BSc from the University of Greenwich. Previous jobs have included working as a teaching assistant in a variety of different schools, both mainstream and special schools, in primary and secondary settings. As a speech and language therapist, Elise has an interest in working with young people with an autism diagnosis as well as with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties. She is keen to find different ways of working with young people to suit their needs and help them reach their full potential.
Outside of work, Elise is heavily involved in Scouts and is keen to explore the ways in which Scouting practices and the educational ethos of the movement (learning outside in a practical and functional way) can be incorporated into therapeutic practice.
Marilyn Scott – Highly Specialist Speech & Language Therapist
Marilyn holds an MA in Voice Studies from London University and a Diploma in Speech Therapy from the West End Speech Therapy Training College. Marilyn has over 30 years of experience working in a variety of settings, including the NHS, specialist education, and the independent sector. Marilyn has specialised experience with ASD, SCLN, and dyspraxia and has a special interest in voice. She joined Broomhill Bank five years ago in a locum capacity and is now employed by the school to work at the North site with students requiring a specialist approach for specific speech and language needs.
Helen Gamble – Specialist Speech and Language Therapist
Helen is a qualified speech and language therapist who is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT). Before joining Broomhill Bank School, Helen supported children and students with a wide range of speech, language, and communication needs across preschool, primary, and secondary settings (mainstream and special schools). In this role, she worked with a variety of speech and language diagnoses, including stuttering, selective mutism, and social communication disorders. Helen enjoys working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, establishing good working relationships with parents/carers, school staff, and other professions to guide and support their knowledge and skills.
Tory Horner, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, is employed by the NHS and provides our specialist provision to students with speech and language needs at the West site.
HLTAs forming the Communication and Interaction Team
Julie Long – Senior HLTA
Julie has worked in special education since 1999, gaining a wealth of experience and knowledge supporting young people with speech, language, and communication needs, including ASC, ADHD, and behavioural difficulties. She holds a Level 4 Advanced Certificate in Support for Learners with Autistic Spectrum Disorders within Mainstream and Specialist Settings and qualifications in a number of specialised strategies. Julie is a local Makaton tutor. She developed a pilot for Zones of Regulation and has supported rolling it out across both sites. She has worked at Broomhill Bank for 15 years, joining the Speech & Language Team full time in 2013.
Gail Paul - HLTA
Gail joined Broomhill Bank in 2014 with a background in communication and trained initially with the Speech and Language Team. She subsequently became part of the pastoral team, where she developed a wide range of skills from training at Winston’s Wish and Young Minds. She has a special interest in bereavement support and anger management. Gail has returned to the Speech & Language team and is passionate about removing barriers to learning and supporting young people.
Kerri Marshall – HLTA
Kerri has a BA in Early Childhood Studies and English Literature, with an MA in Victorian Literature. She has worked in special education at Broomhill Bank for over a decade, gaining a breadth of knowledge and experience. She has worked with students with diverse needs, including ASD, ADHD, selective mutism, and behavioural difficulties, and has gained autism training and knowledge of C&I. She has experience in a pastoral role as well as working as a specialist TA within the D&T department and English department. She is Read, Write, Inc.-trained and has completed the Makaton Foundation workshop. She is currently part of the team rolling out Zones of Regulation within the therapy department. She has an interest in speech, language, and communication needs, which led to her joining the S&L department in 2020 with a view to expanding on these skills and gaining more specialist knowledge. One of Kerri’s roles is to support the NHS service, providing carry-over across the school.
Tina Barkway – Senior HLTA
Tina has a BA Hons in Humanities, which led to her completing a Post-Graduate Certificate in Education with additional SEN training at Greenwich University. Tina has had 30 years' experience working with young people and adults with additional needs in many different settings. She has worked for the NHS and education in clinics, special schools, nurseries, colleges, and mental health units, delivering individual and group speech and language therapy and tutoring as a speech and language practitioner. She is passionate about enhancing communication skills for all ages and supporting different learning styles. She has continued her studies in British Sign Language with an MSc (Open) Dip in Disability Studies at Greenwich University and achieved a Level 4 Specialism in English. Speech and language therapy is a passion for Tina, and she has worked and achieved many specialisms and strategies in this field over the last 18 years and enjoys supporting young people to achieve their full potential.
Vicky Eames – HLTA
Vicky has a BSc in Psychology and a Primary PGCE. She worked as a primary school teacher in South-East London for ten years then an additional five years in a primary school in Crowborough. During this time, she was P.E. lead and English Lead; working with children who had a variety of needs. Since starting at Broomhill Bank in September 2022, she has completed a Level 2 Understanding Autism course, a course in selective mutism, and a Level 3 Understanding Trauma. She is looking forward to expanding her skills further and re-training as a speech and language therapist.