Communication charts

 

Summary of this person-centered thinking tool

Communication chart 1 – How the pupil communicates with us

Communication charts are a simple but powerful way to record how someone communicates through their actions as well as their words. We all communicate in a variety of ways. This chart gives an opportunity to describe these ways of communicating and how others should respond. See also the tool for recording how we can communicate with pupils.

Communication chart 1

Benefits for pupils

  • The pupil is listened to and their behaviour can be understood as communication. If staff understand this, then management strategies have a far greater success rate because they centre on changing the right thing, whether that is the environment or the pupil’s perception.
  • As a way of including the pupil in sharing what works best for them when they feel upset or angry.
  • Enables everyone to understand and respond consistently to how and what the pupil communicates.
  • As a way of people getting to know the pupil.

Benefits for parents

  • To enable parents to support staff to understand the way their child communicates with others.
  • To reassure parents at times of transition.
  • To help parents feel listened to and to underline that their child is respected.
  • To reassure parents that staff will be able to understand the way their child communicates with others.

Benefits for school staff and teams

  • The school day is smoother as staff are more aware of when pupils are feeling anxious or upset; it provides a way to recognise the signs earlier.
  • Staff are able to listen more effectively to what a pupil is communicating to them.
  • New staff and supply staff can use the information to learn quickly about how the pupil communicates with others and be confident that strategies are in place to support the pupil with insight and understanding.
  • Staff can add more information to the chart as they get to know the pupil better and gain a better understanding of how the pupil communicates with others. It may help staff to spot signs or behaviours that may otherwise be missed.
  • Gives school staff confidence because they know how to respond to the child effectively.

Benefits for others

  • There may be fewer incidents of difficult situations as staff are more aware of how pupils are communicating, especially when presenting behaviours that are difficult or challenging.
  • This information can be shared with peers to support the way they communicate with the pupil and help build better relationships.
  • Peers learn that everyone is different, that we all communicate in a variety of ways and some of us need very careful listening to in order to be understood.

Communication chart 2 – How we communicate with the pupil Summary of this person-centred thinking tool

Communication charts can also record how we can communicate effectively with the pupil.  Read how communication charts can show how the pupil communicates with us.

Communication Chart 2

Benefits for pupils

  • The pupil can more easily understand what is happening now or is going to happen.
  • As a way of the pupil recognising and being reassured in the same consistent way when they feel upset or angry.
  • Adults will communicate key messages in a consistent way.
  • Adults will be able to adapt the way they communicate in a way that works best for the pupil.

Benefits for parents

  • Enables parents to share their knowledge about how they communicate with their child and how their child best understands key messages from others.
  • Reassures parents that staff can adapt their communication in order to support their child better.

Benefits for school staff and teams

  • Staff will know how to make themselves understood by the pupil.
  • Lessons will run more smoothly as staff are able to communicate more effectively with the pupil.
  • Staff can add more information to the chart as they get to know the pupil better and learn more effective ways to communicate with them.
  • New staff and supply staff can quickly use information from the chart to help them communicate better with the pupil right from the start.

Benefits for others

  • There may be fewer incidents of difficult situations as staff are more aware of how to communicate with the pupil.
  • Effective ways to communicate may benefit other pupils. For example, staff will know the importance of breaking information into smaller chunks or using signs/symbols to support their communication.
  • Teachers could use this with the whole class or tutor group to establish with the class how they will convey key message to the whole class.