Communication Champions

What is the Communication Champions Project?

The Communication Champion Project is part of the Norwich Opportunity Area, launched by the government to improve the life chances of local children. The Communication Champions project aims to support early speech and language development to give children the skills they need to communicate both inside and outside of school, now and in the future.

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Why is Communication so important?

Developing good speech, language and communication skills in the early years and beyond has a powerful impact on the health and well-being of children. In addition to this it supports their educational progress and in turn their employability in the future.

Communication is the most significant life skill, yet 1.4 million children have a speech, language and communication need. Children with these speech, language and communication needs may have trouble communicating but also there may be children who have underlying difficulties with understanding, attention, listening and interacting with others.

Some children have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), others may be a little late in developing their skills, and some children have no identified needs but all children will benefit from the support we are able to provide.

If these children do not receive the right support, it can cause significant long term difficulties for children and young people.

 

What are we doing at Edith Cavell Academy and Nursery?
  • We have three members of staff who are Level 3 Communication Champions

    • Miss Nicholas (Early Years Lead)

    • Mrs Pope Nursery Practitioner

    • Miss Himpleman (Teaching Assistant)

  • We have one member of staff who is a Level 2 Communication Champion

    • Miss Merrick (Teaching Assistant)

  • We have a 'Speech and Language Therapist', Lindsey Monoharan, in school every other Wednesday supporting children and staff with speech and language, providing training, intervention activites and targets for children.

  • All staff in the school have attended initial training held within school

  • Communication champions attend hub meetings with other trained professionals to develop best practice

  • Every classroom provides for communication friendly spaces

  • We are developing partnerships with the UEA by hosting student placements in our Reception classes

  • We buy into specialist support from a private speech and language company to support SLCN (speech, language and communication needs) within our school

What can you do at home to support?
  • Sing songs and nursery rhymes. They contain rhythm and rhyme that help with speech and literacy development.

  • Read and share lots of story books with your child - books can develop language and literacy skills

  • Be a good example – speak clearly and slowly and face your child when speaking. If your child says a word or sentence incorrectly, rather than correct them or ask them to repeat it, just say the word / sentence back to them correctly to show you have understood. This way your child always hears the correct version. This is how children learn language.

  • Vocabulary is key and learning new words is very important. Help your child by using all of their senses to learn new words and them build in lots of repetition and practice

  • Build on what your child says. Perhaps adding words for younger children and expanding phrases for older children

  • Turn the technology off - sometimes the best way to engage in conversation means switching the technology off and modelling having a face-to-face conversation

 

(Some ideas adapted from icommunicatetherapy.com)

Where can I find out more about speech, language and communication?

These websites have useful information: 

https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/ - Simple, fun activities for kids, from newborn to five

https://ican.org.uk/i-cans-talking-point/professionals/tct-resources/ - The communication trust is now hosted by ICAN, they offer some resources. The Speech, Language and Communication Framework, also an online short course "An introduction to speech, language and communication"

http://www.platform3online.org.uk/ - Platform 3 is an online route to completing the Level 3 accredited qualification: Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech, Language and Communication


https://salt.ecch.org/ - We are East Coast Community Healthcare Speech and Language Therapy Service. We help children and young people with speech, language and communication needs through assessment, advice and direct therapy across Norfolk and Waveney.