Cognus Therapies have been the preferred provider for Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy at North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT) since 2017. In October 2023, Cognus Therapies were asked to deliver training for Teachers and Learning Support Assistants across the college on supporting therapy needs in the classroom. Ashlea Stephens (Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Post 16 Lead for Cognus Therapies) delivered two training sessions as part of the NESCOT Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme and a total of 57 members of staff attended.
The training initially introduced Cognus Therapies staff for the Academic Year 23-24 and explained how the service worked in terms of the young people who are eligible for provision and the model of working. It then worked through each stage of the communication pyramid (attention and listening, social interaction, understanding language, using language, speech sounds and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)), discussing some theory behind the practice, followed by strategies for the classroom. The training ended with a discussion around additional points to consider when working with the 16-25 cohort before allowing time for questions.
Following the training, all staff who responded to the feedback form reported feeling either ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ in understanding how the Cognus Therapies Service works at NESCOT. Staff felt ‘OK’, ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ in supporting all areas of communication and interaction in the classroom, with the most confidence seen in understanding and using language. The following comments were shared from members of staff who attended the training:
I found the training session really helpful, extremely interesting & very well delivered. Thanks very much.
Useful presentation with a lot of information to take in. Feel confident to seek support, and who to request it from, if concerns arise.
The training was delivered in a very clear and informative way, enabling us to have a much clearer understanding of the role Cognus play in the lives of our Foundation students and how to better support them with speech and language.
Cognus Therapies Post 16 Service continue to work in a number of colleges and educational provisions locally and if any local Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) teams would like to hear more regarding the training, assessment or therapy that could be provided, then please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.