School’s pride and joy over national award

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Staff and children at Wallands School in Lewes are celebrating after being named Primary School of the Year at the Shine a Light Awards 2012.

Run by The Communication Trust and Pearson Assessment, the achievement is for the school’s work in supporting children’s speech, language and communication development.

Wallands carries out continuous assessment of children’s progress, relating to their speech, language and communication development, to make sure those who need extra support are identified quickly.

Judges of this category were particularly impressed with the whole-school approach, which makes use of the attached Speech and Language Unit, to share expertise and understanding around speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Children with SLCN are prioritised for early intervention and a specific programme of support, such as Speechlink and Language Link is used with dedicated specialist teaching assistants to help boost their language skills.

Fiona Escott, Special Needs Co-ordinator at the school, said: “Wallands is delighted to be a winner in the Shine a Light Awards this year, as it celebrates the hard work of the whole school community to develop and support children’s communication needs within a primary setting.  We are proud of the achievements of the school in ensuring that children’s communication needs are a priority, and it is fantastic to have this recognised with a national award.”

The Shine a Light Awards 2012 were hosted by TV and radio presenter Paul Ross and held at Pearson’s London headquarters in The Strand.

Cllr Ruth O’Keeffe said: “I am so pleased that Wallands School have won this well deserved award. Having been connected with the school for more than 20 years, through teaching, administration and now as a Local Authority Governor, I know that the excellence in communication provision needed to win the award has been evident for a sustained period.”