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Communication and Interaction

Communication and Interaction


At Whitfield Aspen Primary School we recognise that communication is an integral part of the curriculum for all our pupils.

We support and develop pupil’s speech, language and communication needs using a range of alternative communication methods.  


These communication strategies include:


Communication Aids
  • Big Mac which records a single message for example, saying hello or asking for a drink.
  • Ipad communication APP which enables pupils to make request and comment using their on screen symbols


PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System)

PECS is used to aid pupils with complex communication difficulties. This is where pupils learn to exchange picture symbols/photographs to communicate.

There are 6 phases of PECS that pupils may move through which enables pupils to move from a single symbol exchange to being able to comment on and describe their environment.

Children are also able to access environmental photos/ symbols in key places around the school e.g. soft play, classroom, playground, toilet and hall

Click here for resources and ideas



Makaton as a signing system alongside speech to develop a pupil’s understanding of language and their ability to express themselves.

The use of signing throughout the school day by staff greatly enhances a child’s ability to be an effective communicator.

Click here for ideas and resources


Communication Passports

These give new staff vital information about a pupil’s individual needs including their preferences, likes and dislikes, how well they communicate and communication methods that will best support their individual needs. 


Intensive interaction

The focus is on establishing and encouraging a relationship through sharing personal space, facial expression, eye contact, vocalisation and turn taking etc. Intensive Interaction focuses on teaching the communication skills and concepts that precede speech and language development.

click here for ideas and resources


Objects of reference

Pupils who need a tangible object rather than a 2d symbol benefit from this approach. These are used to indicate to the pupil where they are going next. Object Signifiers are more personal to the child, for example: showing them their own lunch box rather than a picture or plate. Staff will work with parents and SALT to determine which Objects of Reference to use, so there is consistency at school and at home. 

Speech and Langauge Intervention


An SLT works on developing a child's understanding and use of language. We often use a variety of methods to enable them to develop maximum understanding and communicate with those around them. This includes using objects, photographs, symbols and speech


Ruth Merrit our SLT will observe and work with us to come up with methods to support a child.





Using video gives every adult the opportunity to analyse their child’s communication abilities and places the child and parent at the heart of therapy. Having used it as the central philosophy of my role as a speech and language therapist over the last 20 years I believe that it is the most effective and enjoyable way to support all children.


Show the adult what they already do that works.


the skills of the people who know the child best.


the intuitive interactive abilities of the child and adult .


the partnership and encourage experimentation and exploration.


focus on the trigger that is the fulcrum for communication.