5. Language learning in special schools
5.1 Language provision
Recognising that satisfying the criteria of the 1+2 policy may not be fully applicable / appropriate for special schools, we instead asked local authorities the broader questions of how many of their special schools were providing opportunities for language learning.
The responses received show that approx. 91% of special schools were providing such opportunities 2020-21, with the remainder (9%) not doing so.
The most taught language was French, being taught by 38% of special schools that provided opportunities for language learning. However the provision of 'Other' languages is more common, with a range of alternative languages / communications systems being provided, including: BSL, Makaton, PECS, and Signalong.
N.b. This data may contain multiple counting of some schools, e.g. a school may offer both French and Spanish for different year groups. Out of 40 schools.
5.2 Models used to deliver language learning
Where it is appropriate for learners to do so, special schools offer learning in one or more additional languages. Some introduce languages as part of interdisciplinary learning, delivering a number of languages throughout the school experience.
A number of special schools reported the use of immersive experiences to explore the culture of the countries where the target languages are spoken. Provision is made in some schools for secondary stage learners to undertake SQA awards and national qualifications in languages.
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