The Social Communication Curriculum
Social Communication lessons are unique in the Spa curriculum. They provide students with opportunities to learn how to communicate successfully with others across a variety of situations.
Lessons are based around our student’s very individual and specific communication and social interaction needs. We develop confidence, independence, advocacy and communication with others. Students practise, rehearse and develop social skills to help maintain and develop relationships within the school, to work successfully with other children and adults in the school community, to participate co-operatively and productively in the school community and to become co-operative and productive members of the community beyond school.
How we do it
Every class takes part in a weekly Social Communication lesson. Engaging activities, such as role play and practical life skills activities are based on real life situations. Students are supported in transferring and generalising their skills to a variety of situations. Lessons also included direct teaching which supports each pupil’s individual communication targets.
A wide range of communication methods are used. All students are provided with a rich language environment, so that they can share their needs and be understood by those around them. In addition to verbal communication, students communicate using via specific language programmes on the IPad (such as Proloquo2Go), Picture Exchange Communication (PECS), Makaton Signing, symbols to support understanding of written and spoken language and other visual strategies.
Curriculum content examples
The Social Communication curriculum is planned through schemes of work which address key issues such as
- communicating needs and wants
- taking turns
- working as part of a group
- asking for help and interacting with safe adults in the community.
The school vision is embedded throughout the schemes.
In Key Stage 3 students get to know the adults and pupils at Spa and practice regular school routines. They are given lots of opportunities to practice taking turns, learn how to play appropriately with their peers and to solve problems.
In Key Stage 4, students work as a team to solve problems. They practice following schedules to complete tasks independently and to make choices. Students try new things and transfer what they have learnt in class into situations in the community.
In Key Stage 5, the emphasis is on developing life skills, independence and preparing for life after school. Students learn how to respond in situations they might face in the workplace and at college. They are supported to communicate their choices about the future. Students benefit from transferring skills learnt in the classroom to our School House Café and flat and also in the local community. Activities around personal safety teach students how to keep safe and ask for help in a variety of situations.