Peacehaven Community School was highly commended for the Secondary School of the Year Award at a glittering ceremony in London.
The school has been highlighted for its commitment to supporting young people’s speech, language and communication development, having last year been crowned as the winner of the same category.
The 2015 Shine a Light Awards are a national awards scheme organised by Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust, to celebrate innovative work, inspirational individuals and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development.
Peacehaven Community School has been praised for prioritising communication and employing specialist staff including a speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) teacher.
The school has processes in place to quickly identify if children have SLCN and to monitor their subsequent progress. The school invests in staff training in areas such as using talk to develop writing skills and using Lego-based therapy for children with autism and related conditions.
Parents are given the opportunity to observe teaching sessions and use similar strategies in the home.
Formal assessments show that pupils with SLCN at the school are making significant progress, while parents have said their children have achieved much more as a result of the specialist support.
The young people have gained confidence, taking part in activities they would previously have found difficult. For example, they worked together to organise a teacher vs pupil talent contest, which saw a pupil who had a history of selective mutism co-presenting and a pupil who had joined the school with no English reciting a Shakespearean sonnet.
Mandy Lewis, assistant head from Peacehaven Community School, said: “We are delighted our work has been recognised at the Shine a Light Awards once again.
“We feel proud to have been a part of an event which celebrates good practice in developing students’ speech and language skills. We are lucky to work with a team who are committed to developing their knowledge and skills to work with all students, including those with special educational needs and to have Clare O’Rourke, our specialist teacher to work directly with students and to support staff.”
Visit www.phcs.org.uk for more information.
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