Speech & Language

At Lanterns Nursery School children are given opportunities to experience a rich language environment; to develop their confidence & skills in expressing themselves; and to speak & listen in a range of situations.

Communication and Language is about:

  • developing the ability to listen and attend
  • understanding and using a range of strategies to communicate thoughts, wants and needs
  • understanding spoken language 
  • using language to communicate with others and in a range of situations e.g. individually and in small groups

We work as a team to identify and plan for each child’s individual needs.  This could be met through a referral to a Speech and Language therapist, 1:1 support from our Communication Practitioner, attending one of our differentiated language groups, 1:1 work with class teacher/keyperson.  

We recognise that families have a vital role to play in supporting children’s speech and language and communication development. Forming a close partnership with the family is central to our approach.  Many of our children come to school in taxis and we communicate via home school and books, telephone and 1:1 sessions.  We actively encourage and welcome parents to come in and meet with us as regularly as possible.


Lanterns Nursery School is a Makaton Centre of Excellence and all children experience Makaton signing as part of their learning. Makaton uses signs, symbols makaton1and speech to help people communicate and is used by all Nursery staff. Makaton symbols and photo prompts are also used to support and encourage the children to communicate, alongside the signs.

Makaton Leaflet, Beginners Makaton, Foundation Makaton

Makaton for Professionals course

Parent Makaton course

Click here for the Makaton sign of the week !

Speech & Language Therapists

The Speech & Language Therapists from the Solent NHS Children’s Therapy team provide on-site support for our referred children and work closely with our Communication practitioner and Inclusion Manager.

The speech and language therapy team supports children with speech, language and communication needs and those with feeding and swallowing difficulties. Speaking and eating uses the same muscles and speech and language therapists are specially trained to help with specific difficulties with feeding and swallowing.

Some children they see may have a medical condition or diagnosis or learning difficulty, but many do not.

Please see their website for more information on the service that they provide:

Solent NHS / Children’s Therapies / Speech Therapy