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ellesmere college leicester
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Communication SYstems

At Ellesmere we communicate in lots of different languages and in lots of different ways to support our students to communicate. The college is supported by sign, symbols and real objects where necessary to help vocabulary, understanding and ultimately the students own learning. Our communication is supported by:

  • Repetition
  • Oral rehearsal
  • Reduced language
  • Good models of speaking and listening
  • Giving students time to process and talk
  • Explanations of new and unfamiliar words

We use the following communication strategies with our students :

Objects of Reference

An object of reference is any object which is used systematically to represent an item, activity, place, or person. Understanding real objects is the first stage of symbolic development. Using objects is considered the most concrete way of representing a word. For example, a cup can represent a drink, a beanbag for PE.

Music/ Song Cues

This may be a short piece of music or a song which indicates a key time in the day or to represent a particular session. This could be “tidy-up” music, a “lunchtime” song.

Intensive Interaction

Intensive interaction is an approach to help our students at the early levels of their development. It supports early interactions, how to enjoy being with other people, to relate, interact, know, understand and practice their communication skills and encourages use of eye contact, facial expressions, speech and turn taking.

Visual Symbols

We use Widgit symbols to support our student’s memory and understanding
All classes provide the students with a visual timetable and if required, an individual timetable. There are symbols, Braille and Moon (Supporting the VI students) displayed around the college to identify different areas of the college.


Research shows that signs/gestures are easier to learn than spoken words (think about how a baby uses gestures before they can speak).
Makaton is taken directly from British Sign Language. It was developed in the 1970s to help people with learning difficulties to communicate.
Makaton is always accompanied by speech. Makaton is an aid to learning speech and not a replacement. It is a structured language programme.

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

This system is based on the use of picture cards to encourage expressive communication.
It was initially devised to be used with children with ASD (Autistic spectrum disorder) but is can be useful for others as well.
The focus is on the student initiating communication. It supports them to state what they want and need.


If you would like more information about our communication systems please contact your child’s class teacher in the first instance

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

At Ellesmere College we have staff and students from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. We ensure that the curriculum pathways reflect the needs of the students and their EAL requirements. 

Ellesmere College is an EAL (English as an Additional Language) Champion school.

Language Number of Students  Percentage 
Arabic 3 0.98
Bengali 4 1.30
Czech 1 0.32
English 217 70.45
Farsi/Persian 2 0.65
Gujarati 37 12.01
Hindi 2 0.65
Igbo 1 0.32
Katchi 1 0.32
Konkani 1 0.32
Kurdish 1 0.32
Latvian 1 0.32
Malayalam 1 0.32
Ndebele 1 0.32
Pahari 1 0.32
Panjabi 7 2.27
Polish 2 0.65
Portugese 2 0.65
Shona 2 0.65
Slovak 2 0.65
Somali 6 1.95
Swahili 2 0.65
Tamil 1 0.32
Turkish 1 0.32
Urdu 9 2.92
Group photo    40 Braunstone
Lane East
0116 2894242 
  • Healthy Schools Bronze Award
  • Gold Award Small

Steph Beale

 Steph Beale

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