At Critchill we recognise the importance of communication for all of our pupils. Everyone has the right to communicate and we strive to promote pupil voice in all areas of school life. We work collaboratively with staff and parents to break down individual barriers to communication, plan supportive interventions and strategies and if needed embed the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Some of our pupils may have a communication profile. This provides key information of an individual’s level of communication ability and how best to support their speech, language and communication needs.

Communication and Interaction is firmly embedded into all pupils PLIMs. Pupils also have the opportunity to access a range of tailored programmes to develop speech, expressive language, comprehension and social interaction skills.


sign-along-logoCritchill School uses Sign-along to support verbal communication.

Sign-along is a signing system which helps in developing clarity of communication alongside speech. Sign-along is a “one concept, one sign” system, which is different to other British Sign Language based systems. Other signing systems often require an understanding of the context in order to distinguish meaning. People who have learning difficulties, especially those with Autism, may find it difficult to differentiate the context. This is why it is so important to teach object – symbol – sign recognition.

Sign-along is embedded into our daily practice so that ALL of our children understand how to communicate not only with adults but also with each other on a “total communication” level.

Additional information on Sign-along can be provided on request and free resources can be found and downloaded on the Sign-along website:

Communicate in Print

Communicate in Print is a desktop publishing program for creating symbol- supported resources. These resources are used to support teaching, learning and individual’s communication. At Critchill we use this programme to create signage for many purposes including: displays, timetables, communication boards, accessible PLIM maps, learning activities etc., so that they are accessible to a wider range of learners.


Eye gaze or eye tracking is a way of accessing a computer or communication aid using a mouse that pupil’s can control with their eyes. The system follows a pupil’s eyes with amazing accuracy to see where they are looking on the screen. Pupils can then select the item they are looking at by dwelling (staring at the screen for a length of time), blinking or clicking with a switch.