Communication is a key part of the curriculum at Yeoman Park Academy. We believe that by making sure our students’ voices are heard, we can represent their interests effectively.

Not only is communication a fundamental human right but it is also a key life skill, which can lead to greater independence in adulthood. Understanding this is at the heart of our approach to teaching communication skills at the academy. It starts by identifying a student’s individual needs then working with them to facilitate communication by any means possible.

“The root of any human behaviour is an attempt to communicate and we use this philosophy at the academy to inform our lesson planning”

We work to improve expressive communication such as:

  • speaking,
  • receptive communication such as listening and comprehension,
  • and the skills of reading and writing.

Staff are trained to use Makaton, with signs and symbols used as part of our daily practice to enhance spoken communication. We also use ALS (aided language stimulation) boards, eye-gazers and other forms of assisted communication dependent on the needs of the child.

Aaron Hughes is the communications lead at Yeoman Park Academy. He has extensive experience of teaching in specialist schools and specialises in ASD (autism spectrum disorder) communication. Aaron is working hard to gain official Makaton accreditation for the academy – you can find out more about this and download the ‘sign of the week’ here.