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Communication and Interaction (CAIT) at Rabbsfarm Primary School

Meet the CAIT Team!

alice

Alice Bevan
Speech and Language Therapist (SALT)

Alice Bevan leads the communication and interaction team. She is an NHS Speech and Language Therapist (SALT) who is based in school five days a week.

For more information about Alice's role within the school please see the leaflet below:

What is Communication and Interaction?

Communication is fundamental to a child’s development. The ability to communicate and interact with others is essential for children to learn, play and develop friendships. At Rabbsfarm we are committed to supporting children’s development of communication and interaction skills.

Some children experience difficulties with communicating and interacting with others. They may experience difficulties with one or more of the following:  

  • Understanding what others are saying
  • Using words to express themselves
  • Listening and paying attention
  • Interacting with other children (social skills)
  • Pronouncing words
  • Speaking fluently (stammering)

 Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are also supported by the communication and interaction team.

How do we implement this within the school?

At Rabbsfarm Primary School we support children’s communication and interaction (CAIT) needs in a number of ways as they are a key component of children’s development and the need to communicate effectively is paramount.

A Language Link screening assessment is used to check the language skills of all children in Reception. This screening process is carried out to identify children who need support with their communication and interaction skills. 

High Quality Teaching

The high quality teaching at Rabbsfarm Primary School promotes communication and interaction development.  Some children have mild communication difficulties that can be supported through high quality teaching in class.

Many of our staff members have completed training courses in language and communication support (e.g. ELKLAN, Signalong). Our LSA’s have also received regular training from the Speech and Language Therapist in order to help support pupils that they work with in class.

Examples of strategies that are being used as part of high quality teaching include: 

  • multi-sensory teaching approaches
  • questions are pitched at different levels
  • purposeful seating arrangements
  • abstract concepts made concrete (e.g. maths word problems are modelled with resources)
  • pre-teaching vocabulary or concepts to enable access to future lessons
  • new or difficulty vocabulary is clarified, written up, displayed and revisited
  • visual timetables to help children understand the structure of the day


In all classes all staff are equipped with visuals to support children with communication and interaction needs. These help with children receiving positive reinforcement for their behaviour and also act as visual cue to support language and memory difficulties.


Visual Timetables are displayed as appropriate. In year 1-3 they are displayed at the front of the classroom and children who need extra support have their own timetables. These visually support children with the structure of the day, which not only supports childrens CAIT needs but also their cognition and learning (COLT) needs, such as memory.


Also, around all classes we have brilliant visual vocab displays to clarify new or difficult vocabularly. Children can then revisit their learning by looking at the displays and this will further support and embed language skills. 

Targeted Support

If staff members are concerned about a child’s communication and interaction abilities, early support is provided to help teachers develop personalised strategies to support the child. Staff members can speak to the Speech and Language Therapist for advice about any child at any time.

Many of our staff in school are trained in Signalong. This is a sign supported communication system where the staff sign key words as they say them to help the children understand what they are saying.

Staff members who are ELKLAN trained (speech and language support for children aged 5-11 years) will often be advised to draw on specific skills developed on the course to support children.

Targeted support includes the following:

  • Training and support for staff
  • The SALT monitors the learning environments
  • Activities such as Parent Child Interaction Groups (e.g. Stay and Play)
  • Information on language development give to families in accessible ways
  • Home/school links to support language programme
  • Using Colourful Semantics to help children build sentences
  • Personal visual timetables or ‘now and next boards’
  • Aided Language Stimulation boards (ALS board)
  • Specific visual support is provided as required

Individualised Support

Children who require a higher level of support with their communication skills access individualised support from our Speech and Language Therapist.

This involves ongoing monitoring, advice and intervention by the Speech and Language Therapist. These children are seen in groups, pairs, or on a 1:1 basis, depending on their needs.

Targets will be set each term to help them make progress with their communication and interaction skills. The therapist will liaise closely with family and staff members working closely with the child to ensure that everyone around the child is able to support the child’s speech, language and communication development.

Intervention is integrated into the child’s life and schooling so that the development programme is generalised and reinforced beyond the therapy sessions.

Some of the therapy approaches used by the Speech and Language Therapist include:

  • Lego Therapy
  • Colourful Semantics
  • Barrier Games
  • Shape Coding
  • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

If your child is accessing Speech and Language Therapy, the therapist will speak with you about things that you can do at home to support your child’s communication skills. 

If you would like any further information on the CAIT support we offer at Rabbsfarm Primary School please contact Alice Bevan (Speech and Language Therapist) via the school office.

How can I support at home?

If you think your child might need help with their communication and interaction needs at home you can support them in the following ways:

  • Empahsising key words or phrases when speaking to them
  • Ensuring that attention is gained before asking questions or giving instructions
  • Use their name to gain their attention
  • Using non-verbal means of communication e.g. gestures (nodding/ shaking head), picture cards (for daily routines)
  • Engage the child in joint activities that they have an interest in
  • Follow the child lead, rather than directing them this will make them more likely to engage in the activity

Useful Links:

Hillingdon Pediatric Speech & Language Therapy Service is the service that our in school speech and language therapist works for.
http://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/service/hillingdon-paediatric-speech-language-therapy-service/

National Autistic Society (NAS) - provide advice, information and a helpline for those with a child with Autism.
http://www.autism.org.uk/?gclid=CjwKEAjwutXIBRDV7-SDvdiNsUoSJACIlTqlw-UQAGFLK9ODh09eBqXEXFQ0y_Ra6ADgEw5BDRk0VhoC0N7w_wcB

Elklan - writes and delivers accredited courses fo staff or parents working with those with speech, language and communication needs. 
http://www.elklan.co.uk/

The Communication Trust - Charitable organisation that provides suggestions and advice for supporting children and young people with communication and interaction needs
https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/resources/resources/resources-for-parents/

If you would like any further information on the CAIT support we offer at Rabbsfarm Primary School please contact Sara Daly, the schools SENCo, on