Working as a Speech and Language Therapist in a school setting is varied and exciting. No two days are the same! Here is a typical day in the life of a mainstream school SLT:
8am: My day begins with a discussion with a teacher of a Reception pupil in their class. The teacher has concerns that the child is not joining words together in sentences to the same extent as her peers and has concerns about her understanding of instructions in class. I make notes during our discussion and schedule a classroom observation of the pupil for the afternoon.
8:30am: I begin preparing resources for a language group that I run with three pupils in year two. This term we are using the Colourful Semantics approach to work on building sentences. I also print some information for the class teacher about Colourful Semantics so that they can incorporate this into their lessons.
9 am: Now it is time to run the language group. The pupils are excited as it is the first day back after Christmas and so we begin with circle time to share our news from the Christmas holidays.
9.45am: I have a 1:1 therapy session with a little boy in Reception who is working on his delayed speech sounds. We play turn taking games such as fishing and Pop-up-pirate to keep him motivated to practise the sounds.
10.30 I write up the notes from the language group and 1:1 session. I use a target tracker so that myself and the class teacher can track each pupil’s progress easily. I also spend some time thinking about next targets for the group.
11:00am: I phone the parent of the Reception child I discussed with the teacher this morning. I explain to the parent how Speech and Language Therapy works in school and ask if they have any questions for me. Building a relationship with parents is an important part of our role as school Therapists!
11:30am: I meet a year 4 child for a 1:1 Speech and Language Therapy session working on his speech sound development. We practice activities to help with hearing the differences between different sounds and then play a syllable clapping game.
12:00pm: Time for lunch!
12:30pm: I go to the playground to observe the Reception pupil at lunch time with her peers. It is important for me to observe the child’s communication in different contexts.
1:30pm: I meet the Reception pupil in a quiet side room. We play some games together so that I can assess her play and language skills informally. I conduct some formal assessments with her to assess her expressive and receptive language skills, I use subtests from the Preschool Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals and the Renfrew Action Picture Test.
2:30pm: It’s now time to write up my observations from the assessment. I score the formal assessments and decide to take the pupil on to my caseload. I call parents to feedback about the assessment and explain to them the next steps. I begin writing the report about the observation and assessment and form some SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time) targets for the pupil.
4:00pm: I finish the report and send this home to parents and the class teacher. Time to go home and rest before going to my next school tomorrow!