Children at a Forth Valley primary school have substantially increased their language skills, thanks to working closely with speech and language therapists from NHS Forth Valley. Figures show that on average, children made 28 months progress in their spoken language in a 12 month period, with one child making exceptional progress of 43 months.
The new programme at Bankier Primary in Banknock, called ‘Closing the Spoken Language and Attainment Gap’, encourages nursery children and children in P1 to P3 to make up fun spoken and written sentences using coloured cards and symbols.
Speech and language therapists also deliver a short talk to parents to highlight the importance of spoken language and some key approaches to support their children’s language and learning development.
Speech and Language Therapy Team Leader, Communication Support in Education Team, Glenn Carter said, “Most people associate speech and language therapy with conditions such as stammering, lisps and speech sound difficulties. But this programme is designed to give all children greater skills with words and communication which are linked with improved learning, mental health, behaviour, employment and future life chances”.
The initiative is now being extended to some schools in Stirling and Clackmannanshire.