Communication-friendly classrooms are especially important for groups of children who may need to learn together using different systems. This checklist is for schools and early years settings and provides a starting point for discussion and review.

Do your staff:

  • Have a thorough knowledge of child development and the development of interaction, communication and language systems?
  • Have programmes of support for all children to develop their interaction and communication?
  • Recognise and support the different communication methods children use?
  • Provide activities that are accessible to children who may use different types of communication?

Do leaders and managers:

  • Make the development of children’s communication, speech and language skills a priority?
  • Require all staff to access professional development in communication systems, speech and language?
  • Have a communication policy which sets out the strategies staff use to encourage children to interact, communicate and build relationships?

Can you demonstrate that:

  • All staff record and analyse observations of children’s interaction and communication development?
  • All staff plan activities to ensure they meet the needs of all children whatever their preferred system of communication?
  • Visual timetables are used to support each child’s understanding of the sequence of activities?
  • All staff work in partnership with parents, specialist support services and voluntary agencies?
  • All staff know about Early Support and the Common Assessment Framework?

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