Speech and Language Team based at Knockmore Primary School

The Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) are all registered members of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The Speech and Language Therapy Team working in Knockmore Primary School are all employed by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT). The Speech and Language Therapy Team in Knockmore must also adhere to standards and policies laid down by the SEHSCT.

The Team presently consists of 3 Speech and Language Therapists and a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant who work on a full and part time basis.

  • Mrs Avril Hamilton - Lead Speech and Language Therapist (Cert. MRCSLT)
  • Miss Jenny Gibson - Speech and Language Therapist (Cert. MRCSLT)
  • Miss Zoe Brown - Speech and Language Therapist (MRCSLT)
  • Miss Susan Campbell - Speech and Language Therapy Assistant (Temp Maternity Cover)
  • Mrs Alison Bloxham -Speech and Language Therapy Assistant (Currently on Maternity)
     

The staff are supervised by Karen Rattray the Clinical and Service Lead for Mainstream School Projects, MLD and DLD Children in Education.

From left to right: Miss J Gibson, Mrs A Hamilton and Miss Z Brown.

 If your child has been placed in Knockmore Primary by the Education Board for Speech and Language Therapy provision, this can take several different forms.

The type and amount of therapy required by each child will be decided following detailed assessment of a child’s speech and language/communication skills.

The factors which are taken into consideration when making this decision will be:

  • the nature of the communication problem
  • the functional impact of the difficulty on the child’s life
  • the impact of the communication difficulty on a child’s ability to access to the curriculum
  • the child’ s readiness to respond to therapy 
  • the level and effectiveness of parental / home support
  • the child’s motivation to change
  • the child’s previous response to speech and language therapy

The Speech and Language Therapy staff carry out therapy in close collaboration with the education staff and regular liaison sessions between the teacher and the therapist take place to allow for discussion and planning around the needs of the children.

Assessment 

Initial assessment of a child’s speech and language skills takes place on a child’s entry to the school and then subsequently on a regular basis.

During assessment periods therapists and teachers work together to share and exchange information.

This leads to joint planning and the setting up of common goals. This ensures that speech and language therapy aims are included in the child’s Individual Education Plan.

Therapy goals are addressed in tandem with the child’s Individual Education Plan.

Therapy Options

Speech and Language Therapy sessions can take one or more of the following forms. A child can receive one or more types of intervention according to need.

  • Class Based Groups
    These groups are carried out in the classroom. The teacher and therapist plan these sessions together and decide on the priority areas for each class. These are usually focused around curricular topics.
  • Withdrawal Groups
    These groups generally take place in the Speech and Language Therapist’s room.  Children with a similar level and type of difficulty are grouped together and taken for sessions in small groups.
  • Individual Therapy Sessions
    Individual therapy sessions are allocated on the basis of need by the Speech and Language Therapist following a full Speech and Language Assessment. These individual sessions allow for more targeted child specific work to be carried out.

 N.B. A Speech and Language Therapy Assistant may also take group and/or individual sessions under the supervision of a Speech and Language Therapist.

 

Home Support

Parents are asked to support their child in their therapy programme in the following ways ….

  • To attend the meet and greet session.  This is provided by the Speech and Language Team at the start of the year for parents of children new to the school.
  • Parent Interviews. Parents are encouraged to attend all parent/ teacher/ therapist meetings. These are generally held twice a year in the first and second terms.
  • Homework. Completing homework set in the child’s speech and language therapy homework book or folder. Parents are encouraged to reinforce strategies recommended by the therapist in the home and during homework activities.

Northern Ireland Voice Box Award 2017

On Monday 5th June, we arrived at Belfast City Hall to attend the Northern Ireland Voicebox Awards 2017. The day began with registration and an entertainer juggling and making us laugh before the main event! What can we say other than what fantastic children there are here in Northern Ireland speaking confidently and clearly delivering the punchlines of their jokes. We were in fits of laughter! Odhran delivered his joke with charismatic charm, clear speech and formidable confidence not thrown by the panel of judges. After deliberation by the judges the winners were announced! We are proud to announce that Odhran from Knockmore Primary School is the 2017 Champion of the Voicebox Awards NI hosted by the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists.

Congratulations Odhran you are a star!!!