Key Information

Thurnby Lodge Speech and Language Designated Specialist Provision (DSP)


The Learning Space

Headteacher: Mrs C Adediran

SENCO: Mrs N Stait

 Base 2 Teacher: Mrs W Follows

Base 1 Teacher: Mrs C Brooks

Speech and Language Therapists: Mrs Swift and Mrs Barnes


Designation: Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)

Age Range:  5-11 years (Year 1-Year 6)

Available Places: 15


Aims and Purpose of the DSP

The aims and purpose of the Thurnby Lodge Speech and Language DSP are to:

  • Provide children with specialist teaching targeted at those with SLCN
  • Provide children with individualised speech and language therapy
  • Provide a structured, supportive environment where children can feel secure, develop confidence and achieve their full potential
  • Provide a broad and balanced curriculum using a wide range of teaching methods and styles to meet the needs of individual children
  • Provide opportunities for specific interventions, for example to develop independence and social skills
  • Enable children to be included in mainstream lessons and extra curricula activities whenever this is appropriate
  • Work in close partnership with parents/carers, outside agencies and the children



Admission Criteria

The DSP is for children who have a statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan (EHCP), which details their primary need as speech, language and communication. Included in the selection criteria are children with:

·         phonological difficulties

·         comprehension difficulties

·         expressive language difficulties

·         semantic and/or pragmatic difficulties

·         articulatory disorder

The DSP is unable to cater for children with complex physical and medical difficulties. Children given a place in the DSP are primarily from Leicester and Leicestershire.

Further information on the transition process for admission can be found in the DSP admission document


Provision and Facilities

The DSP caters for up to 15 children across KS1 and KS2. All of these children have a statement of special educational needs or an EHCP; and a primary need of speech, language and communication. The DSP environment has 2 teaching classrooms (Base 1 and Base 2), a withdrawal teaching room and a speech and language therapy room. 

Home to School Transport

Transport is provided in accordance with the Local Authority SEN transport policy.


Identifying and Reviewing Need

The DSP operates within the framework of the revised SEN Code of Practice 2014, Local Authority Guidance and the Leicester City Council MIN document for Speech and Language.

All children have individual goals, which include speech, language and communication targets. Progress towards goals are continually monitored and formally reviewed three times a year (once will be at the annual statement/EHCP review) with parents/carers, and if appropriate, the child, in accordance with the revised SEN Code of Practice 2014. At these meetings new goals may be set in collaboration with professionals, parents/carers and the child were appropriate. Children’s goals are communicated clearly with all relevant parties involved in working with the children e.g. speech and language therapists.

Children may also undergo other formal and informal assessments, where appropriate, by the DSP team, SENCO and/or outside agencies, such as the Educational Psychologist.


Each child has an annual statement/EHCP review where everyone involved with the individual is invited to attend and/or contribute a report. More frequent reviews are held if this is considered necessary.

Speech and Language Therapy

Julie Barnes and Heather Swift are the speech and language therapists who support children within the DSP, currently one and a half days per week. The children are seen either individually or in small groups to carry out targeted speech or language activities.  Support within the classroom and a weekly whole DSP language group is also provided to ensure speech and language is an integral part of the children’s day. The therapists collaborate with the DSP teachers and support staff to set children’s individual speech and language goals. 


The therapists also regularly meet with parents/carers to discuss progress and provide support to parents/carers on how best to support their child’s speech and/or language needs in the home environment.


Access To A Broad and Balanced Curriculum

The DSP reflects the inclusive nature of the school. All children in the DSP follow a broad and balanced curriculum, which meets the requirements of the New National Curriculum at an appropriate level. The curriculum is flexible and is adapted to meet individual needs. Disapplication from National testing, such as SATS, may occur dependent on individual needs.  

Where appropriate children attend mainstream classes and trips, with support if required; this inclusion is reviewed half termly. Children have opportunity to take part in all school events and activities and have the same access to the school’s facilities and resources as all other children. Independence, self-help skills and speech, language and communication skills are integral parts of all aspects of the DSP curriculum.


Children in the DSP also have access to a wide range of specific interventions designed to meet the needs of the individuals within the DSP; examples of these are: Phonological awareness, Social Skills, Movement skills and Anxiety groups.


Home-School Links

Parents/carers are actively encouraged to be involved with all aspects of their child’s education. Parent’s evenings are held twice and year, annual statement/EHC reviews yearly and goal reviews three times a year (these may be held at the same time as a child’s annual review and/or parent’s evening). Parents/carers are always welcome to make an appointment or have a telephone conversation to discuss any concerns they may have.


All children have a home-school book that can be used to share information on a daily basis. All children are set homework in line with school policy. Information on current topics and a list of key vocabulary is provided half termly. 

Links Beyond School

Staff have access to the full range of services in the City and County in order to meet the needs of pupils. These may include the Educational Psychology Service, Special Needs Teaching Service and other agencies as appropriate to the children’s needs. 


Transition to Secondary Education

The transition to secondary education begins in year 5, where children in the DSP are reassessed by relevant outside agencies to determine current level of need. Appropriate secondary provision will then be decided upon in collaboration with parents. Children from the DSP typically attend the following range of secondary provision on leaving dependant on their individual needs: mainstream, specialist provision within a mainstream school or special school provision.

Transitions pathways are followed in accordance to the secondary school’s policy e.g. transition visits, information gathering, and photo books. A transition speech and language group is also provided to all Year 6 DSP children, which focuses on key secondary vocabulary. This all ensures that every child is fully prepared for secondary education. 


Further information can be found in the DSP Transition document. 


Exit Criteria

Children usually exit the DSP and return to mainstream education when their speech, language and communication are in line with their developmental age, not their chronological age. 

Action Plan and Review Criteria

The Headteacher, SENCo and speech and language therapists, write an action plan for the DSP. The action plan takes account of the school improvement plan and the DSP audit document, and is reviewed termly.


Further information can be found in the DSP action plan document.