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Speech & Language Therapy


Communication is at the heart of human interaction.  It promotes social engagement and through communication, needs are met and desires achieved.  It is a fundamental human right.  Under the Human Rights Act 1998, every person has a right to express themselves.  Every child has the right to express their opinion in all matters affecting them, and to have their views taken seriously in their preferred method of communication.

Royal School for the Deaf Derby (RSDD) promotes a positive sense of identity for each pupil and prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life in both deaf and hearing communities.

We communicate with each other every day in many different ways including speech, signs, gesture, lip-reading and sometimes simply by a facial expression.  Being unable to communicate our ideas, feelings and needs can result in becoming frustrated, angry and isolated.

It is very important that deaf children develop their communication skills as early as possible.  For some children this may be through speech alone, for others it may be through a combination of speech and signs and for some only through British Sign Language (BSL)

The Speech and Language Therapists work as part of the school team.

They devise speech and language therapy programmes to meet individual pupil’s needs

They aim to develop pupil’s confidence in communication and to reach their potential in spoken English

They test all pupils annually to monitor progress

They focus on a range of communication skills including listening and lipreading, speech and voice skills

Spoken language is valued and encouraged across the school.  

All students are encouraged to develop their spoken language skills to their potential.

All students are encouraged to wear their hearing aids/cochlear implants, and use these to their full listening potential.

Students may have additional spoken language/s at home, and these are valued.

Students have access to clear, high quality spoken language models.

Strong links between the English Department, literacy and BSL are crucial.

The environment in school is conducive to the development of spoken language via listening and/or lip reading. 

Staff participate in training at induction and on-going training sessions, e.g. inset days.

Assessment and monitoring

Language and communication skills of pupils are assessed and monitored in key areas:  

  • communication 
  • listening
  • understanding (grammar, sentence structures, vocabulary) 
  • expressive language skills 
  • speech and voice

A report is provided at annual review, providing a summary of skills and progress.

Information is shared with school staff, parents and other professionals.


Strategies and approaches are used according to individual needs e.g. visual phonics, sentence shaping.

General advice and strategies to support spoken language are discussed with school and residential staff.

Specific programs of work to develop spoken language skills are provided as appropriate.

There are structured programs to develop functional communication skills (e.g. SmiLE, Lego-Therapy, auditory training)

Intervention is provided via 1:1, group, class work, or through home and residence. 

Referral and liaison with outside agencies as required (e.g. for communication aids, cochlear implant programs, social care, eating and drinking).