Congratulations to Lark Hall School

October, 2015

Lark Hall Primary School in Clapham, London has been highly commended for the Primary School of the Year Award at a glittering award ceremony in London, hosted by comedian, David Baddiel. The school has been highlighted for its commitment to supporting its pupils’ speech, language and communication development.


The 2015 Shine a Light Awards are a national awards scheme organised by Pearson, in partnership with The Communication Trust, to celebrate innovative work, inspirational individuals and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development.


Lark Hall Primary School has been praised for its comprehensive and hollistic approach to supporting children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and to developing these skills in all its pupils. The school has a communication policy and staff are supported with specialist training. The school funds a full-time speech and language therapist and one of its governors has specific responsibility for SLCN in the school.


Communication is also supported in practical and creative ways, such as the use of photos and symbols to underpin classroom vocabulary, playground rules and signs around the school. The teacher’s day is arranged to increase the numbers of teaching staff present during playtimes so that teachers can support language and social communication in the playground and ensure that children with communication needs can be included in games.


There is a school shop run by the children, which gives them valuable opportunities to develop communication skills by ‘working’ in the shop and purchasing items. The whole-school approach to communication is maximising the learning of all pupils across the curriculum and the children recieving speech and language therapy in the school have made significant progress, with 90% of them achieving their targets each term.


There has also been a positive impact on behaviour in the school, with greater understanding among the staff about the impact of SLCN on behaviour and how this can be best addressed.


Learning Talking’s Cat Andrew, who is based at Lark Hall Primary School said: “we are very proud of this award. It is a testament to the commitment of the school to supporting children with speech, language and communitcation needs and creating an inclusive environment where all children are able to achieve their potential.”


David Baddiel, Host of the 2015 Shine a Light Awards, said: “Because of the important work that the Shine a Light 2015 winners and highly commended finalists have achieved, children and young people’s language and communication development, especially for those with SLCN, has been supported.


“Speech and language problems too often go under the radar, so everyone should not only be congratulated for their work but for bringing this important issue to the attention of others. I would like to say well done to all those shortlisted who have shown true grit and determination to better themselves and others. They are all a true inspiration – keep up the good work.”


Chris Hall, Director of Clinical Assessment at Pearson, says: “Congratulations to Lark Hall Primary School for being highly commended for the Primary School of the Year Award at the 2015 Shine a Light Awards for their remarkable achievements. Each year the applications get stronger and more inspiring. We have seen examples of children and young people being supported by some truly inspiring individuals and schools like Lark Hall Primary School.


“The Shine a Light Awards, now in their fourth year, continue to grow and we have been delighted to welcome an incredible judging panel who represent the very best of the education and special educational needs (SEN) sector. To once again partner with the Communication Trust and celebrate these inspiring people and organisations is a real privilege.”


Anne Fox, Director of The Communication Trust, says: “Congratulations to the winners and highly commended finalists whose work will help inspire and motivate people right across the country. Lark Hall Primary School is a wonderful example of this inspiration in practice and they have shown what can be achieved with commitment and dedication.


“We’re delighted to have this partnership with Pearson, which allows Shine a Light to be a true celebration of the amazing work up and down the country and for helping the Trust to reach more children and young people and the professionals who work with them.


“The  Shine  a  Light  Awards  are  a  key  fixture  for  the  speech  and  language  sector  as  they reflect a range of best practice and innovative work taking place across the country. At a time when early years, health, education and SEN services are going through significant reforms, Shine a Light focuses attention on what can be achieved through expertise, sheer determination and never giving up on children and young people’s potential.”


The Shine a Light awards are designed to honour individuals, teams, campaigns, communication-friendly settings and communities that have excelled in their support of children and young people’s communication, particularly for those with SLCN.