Our School

Speech, Language and Communication Needs

What is Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)?


Speech, Language and Communication Needs is the term given to describing the wide range of needs relating to all aspects of communication – this includes; understanding others spoken language, producing sounds, forming words and sentences, to expressing thoughts and feelings and using language in a social context.


Children with an identified SLCN need may:

  • Have difficulties with expressing their needs and wants, thoughts and ideas

  • Have difficulties with producing sounds, causing their speech to be unintelligible

  • Have a reduced vocabulary

  • Have difficulties understanding spoken language

  • Have speech and language skills that are significantly delayed in comparison to that of their peers

  • Find it hard to understand and/ or use words in context

  • Find it hard to recall words and express ideas

  • Have difficulties with grammatical patterns and use words incorrectly


What is the difference between speech, language and communication?


Speech refers to:

  • Accurately producing sounds to form words

  • Processing speech sounds

  • Being able to speak fluently with few errors, hesitations or repetitions


Language refers to:

  • Speaking, known as expressive language – using words to convey meaning

  • Understanding, processing and making sense of spoken language


Communication refers to:

  • Non-verbal communication - eye contact, gestures, body language etc.

  • Using language to interact with others – speaking and listening

  • Being able to use language purposefully in different contexts e.g. to question, describe, explain etc.

At Repton Manor Primary School, we work closely with the schools’ Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) service to support children across the school at a universal, targeted and specialised level. We meet regularly with our link Speech and Language Therapist to continue to develop and enhance our universal offer, as well as implement targeted interventions to support children, or to provide specialised provision for key individuals.


Further advice and information relating to Speech, Language and Communication Needs can be accessed using the links below:

NHS Kent Community Health - School Age Language - The schools’ speech and language therapy (SLT) service support children and young people (CYP) within mainstream schools and specialist provisions in close liaison with families and key agencies. This includes working with CYP with a range of identified Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN). 


The East Kent Hospitals website offers support for children with Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties. 


Speech Link – Parent Portal - The Speech Link Parent Portal website provides parents and carers with advice, information and activities for developing a child’s understanding, talking and listening. At Repton Manor Primary School we screen all children on entry to the school to assess both the language and speech development.


The Pod – Children’s Therapies has been developed by the Integrated Children’s Therapies teams, provided by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. This website provides a wealth of information and resources to support children and families. 


Speech and Language UK - provides a wealth of information relating to the speech, communication and language development of children, including the typical stages of speech and language development in babies, children and young people. They provide free resources and services that can help with understanding what to look out for, how to get support and even provides some simple ways that you can help your child at home.