At St. Joseph’s we believe that learning English encompasses all aspects of communication. The definition of communication – receptive or expressive, oral, graphic, gestural or signed – Makaton, is the foundation on which all aspects of the student’s learning are built and the medium whereby other curriculum areas are experienced. In particular, English offers students with learning difficulties the opportunities to:
- Develop the ability to respond, to listen and to understand
Interact and communicate effectively with others in a range of social situations
Make choices, obtain information, question and be actively involved in decision making
- Develop creativity and imagination
Have access to a wide range of literature to enrich and broaden their experiences.
The development of skills within this subject area is fundamental to the all round development of our students. The success with which we use and interpret a range of signs, symbols, gestures, words and phrases has an effect upon how we interact and communicate with others, and the extent to which we are able to form relationships and exert some influence over our environment.
- Underpinning the development of English at St. Joseph’s is the recognition of cognitive development, and the tie between speech and language development and the acquisition of the four strands of English language – speaking, listening, reading and writing. There is also recognition that English skills are essential for increasing access to the National Curriculum, and for wider participation within society.
- English at St. Joseph’s will be tailored to take account of the needs of all students, and will address the difficulties they have with the acquisition of English and communication.
- The focus in teaching will always be that of developing a student’s strengths, and to utilise these to help them tackle areas of weakness. Account will be taken of each student’s learning style and close ties will be kept with the Speech and Language Department to ensure each student has individual and achievable targets.