Meet Les Elvin, speech and language practitioner at Cudworth Churchfield Primary school in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and find out about how Infant Language Link works in his school.

Tell our readers a bit about your role.

Les: I have been working at Churchfield School for almost 17 years supporting children with various needs. 13 of those years have been spent working with children aging from 5-11 years old with SLCN. Churchfield School is a two-form entry school with 400+ children on roll. Cudworth and Barnsley are very special places to be where everyone has a place of belonging!

In September 2022 Barnsley LA bought Infant Language for all the 69 primary schools in its area. How did you go about implementing the package in your school?

Les: We needed to ensure that the staff leading and delivering the interventions had sufficient time within their timetables to assess children, get familiar with the Language Link website, understand the structure of Language Link and also prepare the resources from Year R to Year 2. Resource printing time is vital for a smooth start to this intervention.

How many children did you screen and in which year groups?

Les: We used the online assessment to screen the 42 children in Year R and a selection of children from Years 1 and 2.

Did you find the programme easy to use?

Les: We found the in-package training videos vital to the setting up process and running of this package for our children. The videos were very clear and were more helpful than just reading a self-start guide.

What other things were useful?

Les: The Speech and Language Link Help Desk is a fantastic free resource and probably the best resource tool you will have during your time delivering Language Link as they’re very knowledgeable and can save you so much time.

Do you have any other tips for schools using Language Link for the first time?

Les: Ensure the person leading the interventions meets regularly with class teachers, phase leaders, the school SENDCo and other, relevant, staff so that a holistic approach is taken for supporting each child identified with SLCN. Also stick to the planned sessions by Language Link and don’t be tempted to divert away from the detailed and structured planning.

So overall a good start?

Les: Absolutely yes! We feel we have had the best start to this package and have seen effective outcomes for the children receiving the Language Link interventions. Early identification of SLCN has helped us give support to the children who require it much sooner enabling us to be more proactive rather than reactive. We will continue to use it in years to come.

Our fabulous and friendly Speech and Language Help Desk was a finalist in the Bett Awards ‘Service and Support’ category 2021.

See for yourself the difference Language Link can make to the outcomes of your pupils with SLCN. Take a FREE trial here:

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