What is in the Toolkit?
The toolkit is made up of two tools: the Screening Tool and the Intervention Tool.
The first part of WellComm is the Screening Tool, which enables you to evaluate children’s language skills, draw up a detailed profile and thus identify children at risk of having difficulty in developing language skills. Informed judgements can then be made about children who need close monitoring/support from within their own setting, or children who should be referred on to an outside agency for additional support. The Screening Tool contains the following:
- Handbook: Your guide to using WellComm, outlining administration and next steps when using the test.
- Little Book of Score Sheets and Rules: A handy booklet that contains both the Score Sheets and rules on how to administer the items for each section of the Score Sheets.
- Picture Book: Contains all the pictures needed for administering the Score Sheets.
- Online resources
The Screening Tool is flexible in its application. It is split into nine age sections for early years, and four for primary, each containing ten items which are scored by answering either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. The ‘Yes’ answers are simply added up to produce an overall score for that age band.
The Screening Tool can be used both quantitatively and qualitatively. This means that children are not only allocated a WellComm score, but it is clear from the profile where teaching and learning should be targeted. It also allows the practitioner to identify children who do not need any additional input or support at the moment. WellComm does this through its unique traffic-lights system; after screening, children are given a colour-code according to their overall score:
those most likely to need intervention from a specialist service
those for whom extra support and the highlighted activities may be enough to help them develop age-appropriate language skills
those not considered in need of any extra input or assessment at the moment
The second part of WellComm is the Intervention Tool, which consists of the following:
- The Big Book of Ideas: A resource which provides focused teaching and intervention activities to meet individual needs, once a profile has been drawn up for each child.
- Online resources: These include PDFs of all the language activities contained in The Big Book of Ideas which are suitable for printing, online support materials for test administrators and parents, supporting language at home videos for parents and the Online Report Wizard.
A key component of the WellComm Toolkit, The Big Book of Ideas ensures that children’s language learning needs can be identified, progress monitored and crucial skills enhanced and developed. It provides bespoke, fun and practical intervention activities, designed to stimulate and improve the speech and language skills of all children at all levels. They enable the practitioner to address specific areas of need as signposted from the child’s WellComm profile, thus ensuring that individual areas of need are targeted in a practical and engaging way.
Activities can be followed during one-to-one sessions with a child or in a small group. Many of the interventions relate to activities already carried out in the classroom (for example, story time) and provide advice on how to tailor these typical classroom activities to individual children’s language needs. Items not achieved in the Screening Tool can also be used to signpost users to appropriate activities in The Big Book of Ideas. The Big Book of Ideas is also designed to help practitioners guide the parent/s to support their child’s development at home. The importance of involving parents and including them within activities is highlighted throughout. All activities have been written to be jargon-free and easy-to-use, so written advice and activities can be easily photocopied.
- Supporting language at home videos: These videos show strategies for modelling good language in the home environment and can be used with parents via parenting sessions, language support classes, training workshops etc.
- Online support materials: These provide additional support to help practitioners get the most out of the WellComm Toolkit. The materials include an overview of the WellComm Toolkit, how to administer the screening tool, how to interpret the scores, how to use the intervention activities, working with parents and case studies of everyday use. All customers of the WellComm Toolkit are provided with free access and we advise users of WellComm to refer to this resource alongside the Handbook before getting started.
- Online Report Wizards: Available in addition to the Toolkit, the online Report Wizard enables early years settings and schools to make informed judgements about the overall levels of children’s language development and to record any progress made following intervention.