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General Information

The Acorn Centre Brochure 2022-2023


The centre has three classes. Each class has a specialist teacher, a higher level specialist teaching assistant and a number of specialist teaching assistants.
The Early Years Foundation Stage and Year 1 & 2 teacher is Miss Miller
The Year 3 and Year 4 teacher is Mrs Dolby.

The Year 5 and 6 teacher is Mrs Packman.


Entry to The Acorn Centre


The Acorn Centre is an SRP attached to both The Oaks Infant School and Minterne Junior School. The Acorn Centre supports children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who require a highly specialist provision for their speech, language and/or communication needs (SLCN). In exceptional cases, the provision may be offered as part of an initial plan to determine pupil’s individual needs.

Children admitted to The Acorn Centre will have a primary diagnosis of a Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) (formerly known as specific language impairment (SLI)) or a speech disorder. Children below the age of five will have a primary diagnosis of a potential Developmental Language Disorder (DLD).

There will be evidence that their profile of need requires specialist provision including intensive speech and language therapy and specialist teaching to be jointly planned and delivered by the specialist team.


Entry Arrangements


As part of an Education, Health and Care Plan assessment, a child may be identified as suitable for the provision. In this case the relevant Kent SEN officer will send the child’s paperwork for consideration by the school.

Children with an existing Education Health and Care Plan may be identified as appropriate for a place in The Acorn Centre through their Annual Review. In this case the child’s current school should make the relevant Kent SEN officer aware of the request for a change in provision/placement and if appropriate he/she will send the child’s paperwork for consideration to The Acorn Centre.

The decision to offer the provision will be taken by the relevant SEN Manager in consultation with the specialist team in The Acorn Centre and the Headteacher of The Oaks Infant School or Minterne Junior School.


Exit Arrangements


Each child’s progress will be closely monitored and reviewed by the specialist team in collaboration with mainstream school staff and parents/carers including the pupil as appropriate. Other professionals may be involved.

The EHCP In-Year review and Annual Review meetings will regularly consider the outcomes of support to determine whether the needs of the child continue to require this level of provision. If significant changes in the child’s profile occur, therapy input and alternative provision may be considered. Transition from the provision to a mainstream setting will be considered at the point where a child has made progress and no longer needs the provision. This could be where:

1. Resultant or additional learning needs can be met within a mainstream setting without the direct support of the specialist team in The Acorn Centre.

2. The child is at the end of Year 6 and transferring to secondary school.

3. Alternative provision will also be considered where a child needs a higher level of specialist support or an alternative type of support because their presenting needs have changed. This will be discussed as part of the EHCP review process including In-Year reviews and an Annual Review.


When a child is ready to leave the provision, effective transition will be planned and supported to enable success.


The children in the Acorn Speech and Language Centre follow the National Curriculum, which is a highly differentiated with a high language focus, presented in a visual format and supported by ‘Makaton’ and ‘Cued Articulation’.


Each child on roll is entitled to the following:-


  • Specialist teachers and teaching assistants
  • Intensive speech therapy sessions individually and in small groups
  • Collaborative target setting between class teachers and speech therapists
  • Supportive safe environment
  • Opportunities to encourage speaking skills
  • Opportunities to encourage listening skills
  • Supported integrated sessions into mainstream
  • Highly differentiated curriculum with a high language focus
  • Multi-sensory resources including Makaton and Cued-Articulation
  • Language Through Colour
  • Structured small step approach
  • Small differentiated groups
  • Appropriately paced lesson delivery
  • Opportunities for adult interaction to develop children’s play skills and vocabulary
  • Structured sensory and motor co-ordination activities where applicable
  • Structured social skills programme to meet needs



Three Speech and Language Therapists are based at the Centre for part of the week and a full time Speech & Language technician. The therapists are involved with assessment, therapy, monitoring children’s progress and setting targets. The class teachers and speech therapists plan and work collaboratively.


As the Centre is part of the mainstream schools, there are excellent opportunities for inclusive provision for all of our children. All children are included in playtimes, lunchtimes (with additional support), assemblies, PE and special occasions. Opportunities for further inclusion are arranged when deemed appropriate.


For further information or enquiries;
please contact 01795 472323 or