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Pontville celebrates winning national award

23 March 2018

Pontville School has been announced as the winner of the SEN School of the Year Award for the Pearson Shine a Light Awards 2018 at an awards ceremony in London.

The school was awarded for its continued commitment to developing its pupils’ communication skills. The 2018 Shine a Light Awards, run by learning company Pearson in partnership with The Communication Trust, took place on 22nd March 2018 and were hosted by stand-up comedian, actor and TV writer, Adam Hess.

Communication underpins everything at Pontville, from the first 12 weeks of a pupil’s journey, when detailed assessments are made, to the pupil’s very last day at the school. Bespoke approaches to Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) include a siblings group, home communication programmes, and parent/pupil target reviews.

Pontville benefits from sharing clinical services and Speech and Language Therapists (SaLT).  New staff members undertake a six-week training course delivered by clinical services teams, and all staff receive regular top-up training from SaLTs. The SaLTs themselves are also supported to undertake higher-level professional qualifications.

Tackling each half term individually, Pontville’s own SaLT team and PSHE coordinator collaborate to create a school-wide plan for communications. The plan is then incorporated across all subject areas. Alongside this, pupils attend weekly SaLT sessions with the therapist, and practice a range of communication skills in a special timetabled lesson with their teachers. The results are fantastic, with pupils achieving a range of qualifications to prepare them for further education, charity work, and/or employment.

Head Teacher, Justine Sims and Head of Applied Therapies, Naoimh Todd attended the glittering  ceremony in London.

Justine commented:

“I am delighted that Pontville School has won the SEND School/Group of the Year Award. This award recognises the fantastic teamwork and expertise of our education, clinical and care staff who demonstrate great dedication and their expertise ensures that students thrive and flourish. Speech and language is embedded throughout every element of the school and we ensure that the needs of our children and young people are at the heart of our work.”

“Our pupils, staff and families have been rooting for us to win so we are thrilled!”

Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President, Schools, Pearson, said:

“Our warmest congratulations to to Pontville School. Through our innovative clinical assessments, Pearson is committed to supporting those working to help people overcome challenges in speech and language. For six years we have run these awards as we believe it is so important to recognise and celebrate the incredible, but often unsung, work being done across the country to change the lives of children and young people by helping them to develop their communications skills.

The trophy and certificates will be proudly displayed at the school.


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