St Giles Spencer Academy

Latest News

Total Communication

We have a ‘total communication’ approach to maximising pupils Speech, Language and Communication needs


 To view our Makaton sign of the week click on the link below:


Makaton Sign of the Week

What does this mean?


'Total Communication' is a holistic view of communication, often using a range of modalities or even thinking “outside the box” to create a system of communication that works for an individual. Other definitions of Total Communication include:

  • Using any means and every means to communicate and/or receive a message.
  • Creating a best fit system of communication to facilitate an individual to communicate, optimising their skills and reducing barriers to learning and communicating
  • A “catch-all” that ensures that an individual has access to some means of communication.
  • Facilitating and assisting each person by providing supports and opportunities to become involved and to reach their potential.”

In our school this means facilitating expressive and receptive communication through the use of:


  1. Touch cues
  2. Objects of reference
  3. Sign support – Makaton
  4. Symbol support including elements of PECs
  5. Facial expression, gesture and body language
  6. Environmental cues
  7. Pictures / Visual Strategies
  8. Assistive Technology / Communication / AAC
  9. Written text
  10. Speech & Vocalisation
  11. Intensive interaction

'Total Communication' Team


Our Communication Team consists of:


Karen Toulson

Vice Principal




Karen Brownhill

Communication Practitioner