SLCN Support Strategies

  • Seat pupils with SLCN away from distractions and near to you so that they can see your face clearly when you speak.
  • Use visual back-up as much as possible (facial expression and gesture, visual timetables, symbols, visual timers); show examples of completed work; use video clips to demonstrate processes.
  • Consider introducing a signing system, such as Makaton.
  • Establish class routines and explain carefully when there are changes.
  • Praise and reward good speaking and listening; focus on these skills at particular times, with clear explanations of ‘what I’m looking/listening for’ (WILF).
  • Use good examples of speaking to reinforce good communication: ‘Jacob, you spoke really clearly and we could all hear what you said. Well done.’
  • Establish turn-taking rules, perhaps using a toy or bean bag to pass around the class (only the person holding the object can speak). Allow time for pupils to answer. For example, ‘I’m going to ask a question that I want you all to think about carefully. We’ll take a minute (more or less as appropriate) to think abut this, then I’ll choose someone to answer.’ On choosing someone, say their name first: ‘Eva, can you tell us …?’ This alerts the pupil in good time so that they can be ready to respond.
  • Establish a system for asking for help, such as a special card for the child to display if they don’t understand.
  • Encourage pupils to ask each other for help and explanation when they don’t understand something – and praise this when you see it happening.
  • Most importantly, allow the child with SLCN enough time to sequence and compose their thoughts in an unhurried and unpressured way, with lots of praise for the effort made.