Communication is at the heart of all we do at Millwood. It is the key skill needed to access the world and the people in it. Through communication we build relationships with other people. We let others know how we feel and what we think. People who don’t use speech can communicate. It’s just a matter of being more creative. Being able to communicate and know that you are being listened to is paramount. At Millwood we value all pupils and their communication methods. We emphasise the development of communication skills and work alongside parents and therapists to equip pupils with the means to do this. All pupils have a communication target on their Individual Education Plans. We advocate a Total Communication approach.

Total Communication is a willingness to use all available means in order to understand and be understood. This is a two sided process. With any message one person expresses it and someone else has to understand it. All people have to take both roles at different times.


At Millwood we recognise that this is not just about talking but includes

  • Facial expression
  • Eye contact and eye pointing
  • Vocalisation
  • Gesture and body movement
  • Signing – (Signalong)
  • Pointing to objects, photographs, pictures and symbols
  • Use of technology e.g. big macs, other VOCAS, Boardmaker etc
  • Picture exchange (PECS)
  • Writing, drawing, miming, drama and other art forms

Speech accompanies all of the above methods of communication.


Every week we will be adding a new sign of the week with a video to demonstrate. This term we will be focusing on words linked to home and families.