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Language and speech sounds groups pathway

What is the Language and Speech-sounds Groups Pathway?

Sheffield Children’s Hospital Speech and Language Therapy service provides blocks of sessions to small groups of children and their parents/carers. These groups demonstrate strategies and activities, which parents and carers can carry on using at home to support their child’s language and/or speech development.

A ‘block’ consists of a 1 introductory appointment, 5 weekly group sessions (45-60 minutes long) and 1 review appointment. There are usually around 5 children (and their adults) in each group.

What are the different groups?

If your child has been referred to the Groups Pathway, they will have been referred to the group that is at the right level to support their current language/ speech skills.

Language Groups (for children over 2 years 6 months) Group aims
Early Language Group
  • Understanding instructions with 1 or 2 key words, for example, “Where’s the dog?”, “Give the cake to dolly”.
  • Learning and using single words, covering topics such as food, transport and animals.
  • Using visuals like signing and communication mats to support communication.
Early Language Plus Group
  • Understanding instructions of 2 or 3 key words, such as “give the big biscuit to the dog”.
  • Using verbs (action words) such as ‘running’ and ‘eating’, and describing words like ‘big’, ‘little’, ‘wet’ and ‘dry’.
  • Putting 2 words together.
Higher Level Language Group
  • Understanding instructions with 3 and 4 key words, including position words ‘in’ ‘on’ and ‘under’.
  • Understanding more difficult questions.
  • Using simple sentences with 3 to 4 key words.
  • Sequencing simple stories with pictures.


Speech-sound Group (for children over 3 years 8 months, who have good language skills) Group aims
Rhythm and Rhyme Group
  • Developing syllable awareness.
  • Developing understanding of concepts related to sounds such as long or short sounds.
  • Developing listening for and production of some early consonant sounds.
  • Providing parents with strategies to help reduce your child’s frustration and help them develop their speech.

Where and when do the groups run?

  • We run groups at Ryegate House (1st Floor), Ryegate Children’s Centre , Charnock Hall Primary NHS/Hub and Firth Park Clinic North Quadrant.

What happens next?

  1. You will be sent a letter asking you to contact us to book your child’s introductory session – if you do not contact us we will assume you no longer wish to attend.
  2. Following the introductory session your child will be placed on the waiting list for the appropriate group on your required day.
  3. When they reach the top of the list you will receive a letter with the dates for your block of group sessions.
  4. Following the 5 sessions you will have another appointment with a Speech and Language Therapist to review your child’s speech and language skills and agree next steps.

Talk in your home language

Use your home language during activities and when using a strategy. It is really important that your child learns their home language. Being able to understand and use their home language will make it easier for your child to learn English.

Contact us

For more information about the Language and Speech-sounds Group pathway please contact 0114 226 0611. Please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

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Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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