At Oak Grove College, we recognise the importance of being able to communicate our thoughts and feelings. Throughout our day, students are supported and motivated to develop their expressive and receptive communication skills to:

  • Express themselves, their wants and needs and thoughts;  
  • Initiate, maintain and extend their interactions with others;  
  • Develop their attention and listening skills; 
  • Develop their understanding of vocabulary, communication and the world around them.  

Total Communication 

Oak Grove College adopts a Total Communication approach. 

This means we use a range of communication approaches: 

  • to enable students to communicate and give them a voice; 
  • to support students to understand and regulate their behaviour; 
  • to support students to understand their day and their routines. 

We use the following communication approaches at Oak Grove College: 

  • Makaton, SSL and BSL signing;
  • PECS – Picture Exchange Communication System; 
  • AAC – Augmentative and Alternative Communication devices; 
  • Symbols – Pictorial prompts to support understanding of spoken language, routines and instructions; 
  • Visual Timetable – to support understanding routines; 
  • Communication Books – key vocabulary to support communication; 
  • Social Stories – to support understanding of social scenarios; 
  • Objects of Reference – objects to represent anything (people, places, activities or events) we need to communicate e.g. a plate to represent lunchtime; 
  • Zones of Regulation – to support students identify how they are feeling and ways to regulate; 
  • Phonics – to support reading skills and to decode written language; 
  • See and Learn – a visual programme to support students with Downs Syndrome to learn the skills of early speech, language, reading and numeracy.
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