Dream Believe Achieve

What Does That Mean ?



Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)  is a range of strategies and tools to help individuals who struggle with speech. AAC helps someone to communicate as effectively as possible, in as many situations as possible and can be aided, including writing, use of pictures and/or symbols and use of communication aids (high or low tech) or unaided, such as eye contact facial expressions, signs and gestures.

Some examples of resources used to aid communication we use include:

  • PECS
  • Visual timetables
  • ALI boards/choice boards
  • Eye gaze devices
  • iPads
  • Lanyards
  • Picture strips
  • Now and next boards


Aided Language Input, also known as Aided Language Stimulation.

This is a teaching strategy in which a teacher/parent highlights symbols on the pupil’s communication aid/ ALI board/book/iPad as they interact and communicates verbally with the user. Rather than ‘rote’ teaching of symbol to concept the learner  is provided with frequent models of symbol use in NATURAL and REAL interactions.When ALI is being conducted on a routine basis, in all ongoing activitieswithin a classroom, there is no need to conduct ‘test’ like activities e.g. “can you find the symbol for ‘stop?’, where is ‘cake?’.

This therefore mimics the natural way typically developing children learn to comprehend language, it eliminates need to set aside specific sessions for symbol comprehension training.We use ALI boards a lot in school for many activities, each board is created bespoke to the activity and includes core vocabulary related to the activity and this language is taught naturally throughout the activity, just like the way a typically developing child would learn the language.

Attention Autism 

Attention Autism is an intervention model designed by Gina Davies, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to develop natural and spontaneous communication through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities

Stage 1- The Bucket: Everyone attends to the same thing chosen by the adult Stage 2- Attention Builder: Pupils develop longer and sustained attention skills. 

Stage 3- Turn-taking games: Pupil learn to shift attention 

Stage 4- Independent work: Pupils focus, sustain, shift attention, transition and then refocus.

This programme is used across school where appropriate.

Colourful Semantics

Colourful semantics is a targeted approach to support children with their sentence building and to teach them about sentence structure. It was developed by Alison Bryan and is now widely used with children experiencing language difficulties. The approach teaches a child the different parts of a sentence by giving each one a colour and an associated question prompt. The four parts of a sentence are: who, what doing, what and where.

For information on this speak with Terri Chester or Rosie Hargreaves

CVC words

CVC words are three letter words that follow a consonant/vowel/consonant pattern. For example - cat, dog, mum, dad, hat, mat

VC words are 2 letter words that follow a vowel/ consonant pattern. For example - it, at, as, an

CV words are 2 letter words that follow a consonant/vowel pattern. For example - to, go, so, no 

These are taught where appropriate as part of our phonics programme via Bug Club.

Emotional Regulation Plans

We recognise pupils may show some behaviours which challenge. We see this as a way to communicate an unmet need and therefore work with the class team to identify the underlying cause and put in place a plan to help the pupil learn to recognise and manage big feelings. These are shared with families to use at home.

Forest school

Forest school is an educational experience using the outdoor environment as a classroom. We have an onsite facility for all to access Forest school is an all inclusive experience that aims to support a holistic approach where possible.  It allows all participants the opportunity to succeed and develop in many ways. Everyone is offered the opportunity to engage in motivating and achievable tasks throughout the year. Activities include; controlled fires, tool work, crafts, outdoor exploration, tree climbing, etc. 

Intensive Interaction 

Intensive Interaction is highly practical, with the only ‘equipment’ needed being a sensitive and relaxed interactive partner. The sessions are aimed predominantly at non-verbal pupils who are at the very early stages of communication. Each session is child led, with the interactive partner copying facial expressions, body movements and vocalisations – the adult is non-directive and responsive and will encourage turn taking when appropriate.

The teaching sessions are therefore frequent, quite intense, but also fun-filled, playful and enjoyable. Both participants should be at ease with enjoyment of the activity as the main motivation. A session could be highly dynamic, with a great deal of vocalisation, sometimes with fun-filled physical contacts. A session could also be peaceful, slow and quiet.

Intensive Interaction can happen any time... Staff become attuned with the pupils in their classes and are open and approachable should a child wish to interact. Sessions are also sometimes structured into the timetable, with pupils taken to quiet areas of the classroom, into the playground, to the light room, in the swimming pool… in fact, almost anywhere! 


The Picture Exchange Communication System, or PECS, allows people with little or no communication abilities to communicate using pictures. People using PECS are taught to approach another person and give them a picture of a desired item in exchange for that item. By doing so, the person is able to initiate communication. A child or adult with autism can use PECS to communicate a request, a thought, or anything that can reasonably be displayed or symbolized on a picture card. PECS works well in the home or in the classroom.

Rebound Therapy 

Rebound Therapy is a form of physiotherapy. It uses trampolines to provide therapeutic exercises to people with a wide variety of disabilities and additional needs. The therapy involves using the moving bed of the trampoline to promote movement in the participant.

Rebound Therapy is led by highly trained staff; with each pupil having an individual programme of work. It takes place in the school hall, with the lights on low and music playing. It’s a highly enjoyable and relaxed session that promotes learning and communication through physical activity. 

Sensory Processing  Support – Sensory Diet

Sensory integration therapy is based on the idea that some children experience “sensory overload” and are oversensitive to certain types of stimulation. When children have sensory overload, their brains have trouble processing or filtering many sensations at once. Meanwhile, others are undersensitive to some kinds of stimulation. Those who are undersensitive don’t process sensory messages quickly or efficiently. These children may seem disconnected from their environment. In either case, children with sensory integration issues struggle to organize, understand and respond to the information they take in from their surroundings.

Sensory integration therapy exposes children to sensory stimulation in a structured, repetitive manner. The theory behind this treatment approach is that, over time, the brain will adapt and allow them to process and react to sensations more efficiently. Supporters of this therapy say it can help children learn and pay attention more efficiently too.

Sensory Integration Therapy takes place when pupils are identified as having significant sensory processing issues. Sensory integration activities are put into place throughout the school day to enable the pupil in question to regulate and be more able to take part in activities. These activities are tailored to the pupils likes and dislikes and are adapted regularly.

Children who struggle regulating their sensory input will often have a Sensory Plan written for them so staff all know what key things needs to happen for the child to manage their sensory needs during their school day


Tacpac® is a revolutionary activity pack that combines touch and music to promote communication and social interaction, sensory, neurological and emotional development. TAC PAC can be used as part of the timetable or for individual students. It promotes communication through the joint attention to different tactile objects and allows pupils to engage in social interactions with staff. Each TAC PAC session follows an identical format to allow pupils to understand what is happening next over a period of time. 


Contact Us

Mayfield Special School
Gloucester Road,
Chorley, PR7 3HN
Ian Dickson | Acting Head Teacher 01257 263 063