Communication Policy


St. Brigid’s Primary, Nursery School, Autistic and Learning Support Classes.




Communication encompasses the important skills of talking, listening, reading and writing and is fundamental to thinking and learning in every area of life.




Communication is important because:


  • The development of Communication skills is a basic human right – an entitlement for all pupils and therefore the responsibility of all teachers and parents within the school.


  • Our understanding of Communication incorporates talking, listening, reading and writing. These elements of language are interdependent and integral to all learning. Communication should therefore be promoted holistically.


  • Communication is fundamental to personal and social development, for life long learning and for operating effectively in society.  Communication takes many forms – our understanding extends beyond basic decoding to critical reflection and understanding how language works.


  • In addition to communication, effective literacy development should encourage interest and pleasure in language in all its forms and make use of multimedia and ICT technologies to convey information and ideas creatively and appropriately.


  • All staff within the school has a responsibility to develop literacy across the curriculum.


  • All elements of the Communication Policy should be reflected across the curriculum.


  • The Communication Policy will reflect the needs of every pupil.


  • The policy will be supported by a strong staff development programme.




The purposes of the Communication Policy are:


  • To develop pupils’ key skills in all areas of Communication in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum.


  • To raise standards in Communication by enhancing the quality of teaching and learning.


  • To promote a shared view of Communication and literacy development across the curriculum.


  • To promote the appropriate use of multimedia and ICT technologies as a medium for the development of Communication.


  • To develop Communication within the wider framework of the School Development Plan.


  • To promote staff development to ensure an understanding of common approaches and consistency across the school.



It is our aim to provide opportunities for children:


  • To become effective and independent learners and to communicate confidently through talking and listening, reading and writing.


  • § To develop confidence as speakers who are able to listen with interest and understanding.


  • To work co-operatively with others and to listen to and respect the views of others.


  • To read for interest, enjoyment and information.


  • To become fluent, critical and independent readers.


  • To develop a knowledge of and familiarity with a wide range of literature both fiction and non-fiction.


  • To use a range of information texts and ICT resources to research and manage relevant information.


  • To develop as enthusiastic and expressive writers who are able to communicate ideas creatively and appropriately.


  • To use a range of genre and forms of writing for a variety of purposes and audiences, using spelling, punctuation and syntax appropriately.


  • To produce legible handwriting which is accurately formed and consistent in size.


  • To be able to reflect on, discuss and evaluate learning and consider ways to improve their work.




At St. Brigid’s Primary School it is recognised that a variety of teaching and learning approaches enrich and enhance children’s knowledge, skills and capabilities and understanding. These include whole class teaching, group work, paired work and individual work.


Discussion is an important and integral part of all Communication lessons and children will be encouraged to express their thoughts and opinions, ask questions to develop and communicate ideas and to justify their views.


The teaching of other subjects in the curriculum supports the development of Communication.



            ICT is an integral part of Communication and will be used to enhance pupils’ literacy work




            Strategies will include:


  • A variety of texts including stories, rhymes, poems, information and digital texts will be read to/by pupils to foster a love of reading.


  • Pupils will participate in modelled, shared and guided reading activities.


  • A range of strategies will be taught including synthetic phonics, graphics, syntactic and contextual cues, to improve pupils’ accuracy, fluency, understanding and expression in reading.


  • Readingschemes, (Oxford Reading Tree Years 1-3 and Book Project Years 4-7) will be used to develop pupils’ skills, understanding and confidence in reading at all levels. These will include a variety of genre both fact and fiction.


  • A range of novels will be read and discussed by pupils to deepen their awareness and understanding of all aspects of texts, at the appropriate level.


  • The Accelerated Reading Programme, introduced for Years 3-7 in January 2014, will continue to promote pupils’ enjoyment of reading and improve their reading and comprehension skills.


  • A range of strategies will be used to develop pupils’ oral and written comprehension skills at different levels ranging from the literal to the inferential and evaluative.


  • Class and school libraries will provide additional reading materials to foster a love of reading and develop pupils’ reading preferences.


  • Pupils will be provided with homework/reading diaries. Parents will be asked to monitor their children’s reading at home.




  • Children will be exposed to ‘print’ from an early stage.


  • The modelled, shared and guided approach will be used to teach the processes, forms and conventions of writing.


  • Pupils will be taught a range of writing genre and forms for a variety of purposes and audiences at a level appropriate to their ability e.g. Recount, Narrative, Procedural, Poetry, Explanation, Report, Exposition


  • Pupils will write in a range of forms that suits the audience and purpose of their writing, e.g. letters, lists, recipes.


  • Children will be taught to plan and redraft their work, at the appropriate level, to improve their writing.


  • Pupils will be taught a range of spelling strategies, at the appropriate level, to enable them to become accurate spellers. The LOOK, SAY, COVER, WRITE, CHECK approach to learning spellings will be used. A variety of resources will be used to help with spellings e.g. word banks, dictionaries, computer spell-checks.


  • Pupils will be taught to use punctuation and grammar accurately.


  • The school will follow the Nelson Handwriting Scheme to encourage pupils to develop a legible and fluent style of writing. Linked script will be taught from Years 4-7.


Talking and Listening


  • Children will be given opportunities to enjoy language through stories, rhymes, poems, songs, word games, drama and digital texts.


  • They will be encouraged to develop confidence as speakers using appropriate quality of speech and voice.


  • They will be encouraged to listen attentively and derive meaning from what others say.


  • They will be encouraged to respond to discussions on a cross curricular basis and express their thoughts and opinions on a range of activities and issues.


  • They will be encouraged to use language to explain, justify, reason, plan, predict and to solve problems.


  • They will be encouraged to prepare talks or digital presentations on a range of topics and for a variety of audiences, at the appropriate level.




We plan for continuity and progression in Communication by:


  • §  Using the school schemes for literacy based on the N.I Curriculum. These outline the skills and capabilities, knowledge and concepts to be developed in each year group.


  • Drawing up half-term planners collaboratively in year groups. These identify the learning objectives to be developed in each of the three attainment targets and take account of the targets set for Communication in the School Development Plan.


  • Using IEPs to set targets for differentiated learning to support pupils with special needs.


  • Regular monitoring and evaluation of the planners. This is carried out by the class teachers and the Communication co-ordinator.


  • S.L.T. will draw up action plans to raise standards in Communication as part of the School Development Plan.


Monitoring and Evaluation


  • The Communication co-ordinator monitors planners on a half- term basis and pupils’ books once a term. Oral and written feedback is given to the principal, S.L.T. and staff.


  • The Principal reviews pupils’ work once a term.


  • Key stage / year group meetings take place once a term to review work on Communication.


  • PRSD is carried out by the Principal and Communication Co-ordinator.


  • The results of the end of Key Stage Assessment Units and the school standardised tests (Progress in English) are analysed by the Communication co-ordinator. Oral and written feedback is given to the principal, SLT and staff. These results are used to inform planning and to set targets as part of the School Development Plan


  • The Scheme of Work and Communication Policy are reviewed every three years.


  • The Principal reports to Governors.


The Role of the Co-ordinator


  • To promote Communication throughout the school.


  • To ensure continuity and progression in planning.


  • To give guidance and support to teachers.


  • To keep staff updated on developments which affect Communication.


  • To ensure the provision of appropriate resources.


  • To monitor half-term planners and pupils’ work and give oral and written feedback to principal, staff and SLT. 


  • To analyse the school’s standardised tests for Communication and set targets for improvement as part of the School Development Plan.


  • To monitor and evaluate the implementation of Communication throughout the school.


The Responsibility of the Class Teacher


  • To contribute to the development and implementation of the whole school Communication policy and Schemes of Work.


  • To use schemes of work and half-term planners to implement agreed approaches and strategies and to ensure continuity and progression throughout the school.


  • To differentiate the level of work in Communication to meet the needs of individual pupils.


  • To monitor Communication in the classroom on an ongoing basis.


  • To use assessment for learning strategies to monitor the progress and learning needs of pupils in order to plan future work and improve learning.


  • To use data, target-setting and action plans to inform planning and to raise standards as part of the School Development Plan.


  • To participate in staff development for Communication.


Role of the Principal and SLT


  • To monitor the implementation of Communication throughout the school.


  • To Monitor and evaluate the results of the school standardised tests and end of key stage assessments and set targets for improvement as part of the School Development Plan.


  • Class observations by Principal and Communication Co-ordination.


  • Review schemes of work and Communication Policy.


  • Give feedback to co-ordinator and teachers.


  • Provide resources


  • Principal’s report to Governors.





Policy Review Date   Spring 2018