NAPLIC Conference 2016

NAPLIC

The annual NAPLIC conference and AGM will be held on Saturday 23rd April 2016 at the Aston Business School in Birmingham.

The title of the conference this year is Exploring how spoken language underpins progress in literacy and the programme features keynote speakers Dorothy Bishop and Maggie Snowling. It's definitely not one to miss!

Dorothy Bishop is a professor of Developmental Neuropsychology in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. Dorothy's research is concerned with trying to understand the nature and causes of language impairments in children. Maggie Snowling is President of St John’s College at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on children’s language and learning and she is specifically interested in the nature and causes of children’s reading difficulties and how best to ameliorate them.

The NAPLIC conference is always a great day, packed full of inspirational speakers and a brilliant chance to catch up with colleagues from across the country. As usual we will be there, so do come and visit the Language for Learning stand for information about training opportunities and new resources to support children with SLCN. Check out the programme here.

For more information and booking visit the NAPLIC website.

Posted on 18th January, 2016

Worcestershire's SLCN Pathway relaunched

SLCN Pathway NEW

Worcestershire's SLCN Pathway has been relaunched on our Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust website following a huge redevelopment and updating. This relaunch is part of our month long campaign 'We need to talk' to raise awareness of the importance of speech, language and communication skills.

Worcestershire's SLCN Pathway was originally launched in 2011 following the SLCN Review led by the Integrated Commissioning Unit and winner of the Shine a Light Award for Commissioning as part of Hello, the national year of communication. Developed by health and education practitioners, the Pathway provides information and support for anyone with an interest in speech, language and communication.

It includes clear guidance and an extensive range of free downloadable tools to support parents, early years practitioners, teaching staff and professionals in meeting the needs of children and young people with SLCN.

We hope everyone will like the new format and find the fact sheets and downloadable tools useful. Visit the Worcestershire SLCN Pathway and have a good explore!

Posted on 23rd November, 2015

9th November - 9th December is We Need To Talk Month!

We need to talk logo

The importance of communication is the month long campaign at Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. All children deserve an equal chance to succeed in life. Children who communicate better, learn better; they make friends more easily and they feel more positive about themselves.

As part of the Get Worcestershire Talking campaign, #weneedtotalk will raise awareness of the importance of face to face communication and interaction. Each week the campaign will have a different focus and will provide great advice about using technology to support speech, language and communication skills.

During 'We Need To Talk' month we will be encouraging everyone to take time to talk, listen and play with children. You can get tips and resources from the Get Worcestershire Talking Campaign; we are running the fantastic Gigglebox joke telling competition in conjunction with West Midland Safari Park; we will be launching the Family Talk initiative and there are rumours the Dummy Elves may be visiting Worcestershire again!

Visit the Speech and Language Therapy campaign page and follow the service on Facebook and on Twitter @SLT_Worcs.

Posted on 6th November, 2015

Gigglebox Competition

Gigglebox logo

The Speech and Language Therapy Service in Worcestershire has launched a Gigglebox competition this week. The ‘Get Worcestershire Talking’ campaign has joined forces with West Midland Safari Park to offer fabulous prizes to schools who can think of the funniest animal and dinosaur jokes.

Children with SLCN often find jokes difficult to understand and may miss out on fun with peers and family members. Teaching jokes and puns, for instance by helping children to understand words with more than one meaning can really help.

Enter the Gigglebox competition and you could win:
1st place: Class visit for 35 students and 5 adults with a half hour Discovery Session
2nd place: 1 hour Creatures in your Classroom visit
3rd place: Family pass to the Park

Download an entry form from the Speech and Language Therapy campaign page.

Posted on 6th November, 2015

Working with our colleagues in Kent

Emma Jordan and co

This week we're in Kent delivering another Training for Trainers 4 day course and the annual update day for all of our existing trainers. Kent has been a licensed authority for ten years, with specialist teachers and speech and language therapists working together to deliver training for everyone supporting children and young people with SLCN.

We have two brilliant Language for Learning coordinators in Kent - Teri Rutherford and Jane Smith. They do a brilliant job working across such a huge county to ensure Language for Learning is offered in a consistent way to schools and settings. Kent deliver our Foundation Stage, Key Stages 1 & 2 and Key Stages 3 & 4 training.

Working together has brought many benefits over the years with Kent and Worcestershire learning from each other. More recently both counties have adopted The Balanced System to support the whole system development of services for SLCN. The week is being led by Ros and Kathy with Emma kicking the week off. Teri has supported the new training for trainers course and has been busy working with Emma to ensure all of the Kent's training materials are updated and ready to go for the annual Refresher Day at the end of the week.

Posted on 1st July, 2015

Training for Trainers in Worcestershire

TFT 2015

Last week we delivered a Training for Trainers course in Worcestershire for new trainers in our county, Dudley and Warwickshire. This is an intensive 4 day course for specialist teachers and speech and language therapists, equipping them to deliver our training courses in their local area.

We are thrilled that Warwickshire has joined our team of licensed authorities and we're looking forward to helping the new team - Hannah, Louise, Sarah and Gill - to make plans for the autumn term and beyond.

Ros Pow and Kathy Othen have been a big part of the Language for Learning team for many years so it's very exciting to have them both join the Training for Trainers programme (pictured here with our new trainers). They are both highly experienced trainers and bring a wealth of knowledge about the training courses. They spent the week working with Emma to deliver the programme in readiness for another Training for Trainers 4 day course in Kent later this month which will be followed by Kent's annual update day.

Welcome to the team everyone! We had a great week working with all of you and can't wait to hear the feedback from your first courses.

Posted on 8th June, 2015

NAPLIC Conference 2015

NAPLIC15

We were thrilled to be at NAPLIC's annual conference on Saturday. As always it was a brilliant conference with the opportunity to catch up with lots of friends within the SLCN community. Emma, Ros and Anna met lots of practitioners clearly passionate about their work in schools.

The day was focused on the SEND Reforms and the implications for SLCN, kicking off with an introduction from Christine Lenehan and Anne Fox. Sue Roulstone emphasised the importance of seeking children's views and then there was a choice of seminar sessions.

The afternoon session was focused on the outcomes and learning from the pilot schools within the Balanced System's Scheme for Schools led by Marie Gascoigne. It was great to see our very own Anna Branagan presenting as part of this project. The Scheme is proving to be of great benefit to schools in planning their provision for children with SLCN, ensuring they are meeting the requirements of the new SEN Code and being cost efficient too. Visit the Scheme for Schools site for more information.

We also caught up with our good friends at Yellow Door and Black Sheep Press. We can't wait to get our hands on the new Black Sheep Press resources! Their Narrative programmes are very popular in Worcestershire schools with our Communication TA training focused on narrative this term. Save the date for 2016 - NAPLIC's conference will be on Saturday 23rd April 2016 at Aston University.

Posted on 17th May, 2015

Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service Day

Emma Jordan and Jacqui Woodcock

All of the speech and language therapy team from across Worcestershire met this week to share what's been happening across the service and make plans for the coming year. We're a big team when we are together, over sixty of us!

Language for Learning is proud to be part of the NHS and what we can offer to early years settings and schools across Worcestershire and beyond. We were able to share our new 2015 catalogue and details of forthcoming training events this term. Language for Learning is part of the Additional Services we provide to schools and an integral part of the Every Child a Talker programme led by Ros Pow in early years settings.

The service launched 'One Service One Solution' this week - if you're buying in additional services, choose the NHS! For more information email Emma - Emma.Jordan@hacw.nhs.uk

Posted on 24th April, 2015

Afasic Voice for Life Event

Afasic3

Many thanks to Tony Curtis and Linda Lascelles from Afasic for inviting us along to the Afasic Voice for Life Event in Kidderminster today.

It was great to catch up and to meet parents from across Worcestershire and neighbouring Shropshire. We provided some information about our services and some top tips for parents. The presentation can be downloaded here for anyone who was unable to make it.

We're looking forward to welcoming Linda to the Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service countywide service meeting in April when we hope to explore new ways of engaging with parents.

We hope there might be another Voice for Life Event later in the year in Worcester.

Find out more about Afasic here

Posted on 26th March, 2015

Newly Updated TA Survival Course

TA survival 15

It was great to meet TAs from across Worcestershire this morning at our newly updated and revised TA Survival Course. This training session includes an overview of the current national policy and thinking around speech, language and communication needs.

We discussed the recently published EEF report about Making Best Use of Teaching Assistants and the revised SEND Code of Practice .

Check out the SEND Gateway website for updates, information, advice and resources. Download the SEND Code of Practice documents, Guide for Parents and Guide for Schools here.

If you attended this morning, don't forget to check out The Communication Trust's website. You will find a link on our Links page above. Here's the publication Phoebe shared with you Don't Get Me Wrong.

The ECaT Development Chart we discussed is in the post below.

Posted on 18th March, 2015

Every Child a Talker in Worcestershire recruiting new settings for 2015

ECaT 2

Every Child a Talker (ECaT) is a universal level programme designed to improve the skills of the early years workforce in supporting speech, language and communication development, raising children's achievement in early language as measured against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

ECaT in Worcestershire is a year long programme including two days of Language for Learning Foundation Stage training, three cluster meetings and at least three visits from a speech and language therapist or specialist teacher. During the most recent phases, the number of children deemed to be at risk of SLCN dropped by half over the course of the programme.

Download a copy of the ECaT evaluation summary report here.

Download a registration of interest form if you would like to join the programme in 2015.

We've had a lot of requests for the ECaT Development Chart recently, so here it is for download . This is a useful reference tool for anyone working with preschool or primary age children, use it to find out when children develop specific skills and to monitor progress.

Posted on 17th March, 2015

SEND Reforms

SEND Booklet 3

Our SEND training session provided school staff with an overview of the new SEND Code of Practice. We looked at how speech, language and communication needs relate to categories of SEN; the purpose of the Local Offer, levels of intervention and what good looks like in schools.

There's lots of information out there about the SEND Reforms so here's a quick link to the main sources of information and documents:

• Check out the SEND Gateway website for updates, information, advice and resources.

• Download a copy of the NASEN magazine Everybody Included.

• Download the SEND Code of Practice documents, Guide for Parents and Guide for Schools here.

Here are those two brilliant slides from The Communication Trust.

Posted on 2nd March, 2015

NAPLIC Conference 2015

NAPLIC

The annual NAPLIC conference SEND Reforms and SLCN will be held on Saturday 16th May 2015 at The University of Warwick.

As usual we will be there, so do come and visit the Language for Learning stand for information about training opportunities and new resources to support children with SLCN.

Key note speakers include:

Christine Lenehan and Anne Fox, Council for Disabled Children and The Communication Trust
Achieving best outcomes for children and young people with SLCN in the reformed SEND system

Sue Roulstone, University of the West of England and The Bristol SLT Research Unit
Seeking children's perspectives: Responding to the SEND challenge

Marie Gascoigne, Better Communication CIC
The whole is greater than the sum of its parts: The Balanced System for schools in practice

PLUS choose from a number of seminar sessions. Check out the programme here.

The NAPLIC conference is always a great day, packed full of inspirational speakers and a brilliant chance to catch up with colleagues from across the country.

For more information and booking visit the NAPLIC website.

Posted on 2nd March, 2015

Worcestershire Speech and Language Therapy Service celebrates awards

Emma Jordan staff awards

We were celebrating last week at the Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust Staff Awards. The service was shortlisted for no less than four awards, the only Children's Service represented from the Trust. In the limelight was our successful Every Child a Talker programme led by Ros Pow and our Communication Teaching Assistant Scheme.

Ros has led the ECaT programme in Worcestershire since its outset, drastically reducing the number of children at risk of SLCN in early years settings. The ECaT programme includes two days of Language for Learning Foundation Stage training.

Our Worcestershire Communication TA Coordinators won the Partnership and Integration Award. We now have 280 registered Communication TAs in mainstream schools across the county supporting targeted interventions. Working together, health and education, we really can make a difference to children with SLCN. Best outcomes come from joint working. Congratulations to everyone in Speech and Language Therapy!

Posted on 6th October, 2014

No Pens Day Wednesday 2014

No pens 2014

No Pens Day Wednesday was a flagship event of the Hello campaign in 2011 (national year of communication), which encouraged schools to put down their pens and to run a day of speaking and listening activities.

No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 will take place on Wednesday 15th October 2014!

Join the 2,500 schools already signed up to get involved in the event this year! Register your interest for No Pens Day Wednesday 2014 here and access the new for 2014 free resources as they become available. The 2014 Activity Pack is ready to be downloaded - it will help you find out more about how to get involved and plan your No Pens Day Wednesday whatever your setting.

As well as retaining the focus on mainstream primary and secondary schools, The Communication Trust is extending the resources available for No Pens Day Wednesday to early years and special school settings for the first time ever this year! 4 sample lesson plans new for 2014 are already available, one each for early years, primary, secondary and special schools. Plus all the resources available from previous years - they're all still relevant and freely available for you to use.

Posted on 25th June, 2014

Brighter Futures Nursery in Malvern wins the Rhyme Rocket competition

Pirates

There was much excitement in Worcestershire today when the Rhyme Rocket crew landed at Brighter Futures Nursery in Malvern. The nursery won the Get Worcestershire Rhyming competition by entering a brilliant rhyme about pirates eating fish and chips in their underpants!

The Rhyme Rocket Competition was launched in May throughout Worcestershire as part of the Speech and Language Therapy Service’s Get Worcestershire Talking campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the impact of poor communication on outcomes for children.

Improving a child’s language dramatically improves their life chances and the competition aimed to raise awareness in preschool settings of how rhyming can help to develop children’s talking.

Emma Jordan said “rhyming is a great way to get children to have fun with language and listen to the sounds in words. Not only does it help them to develop their language skills, but it is also great preparation for literacy. Research tells us that toddlers that rhyme become children that read.”

Dozens of nurseries and Children’s Centres across the county rose to the challenge to put their setting into a nursery rhyme. The standard of entries was very high but the service was most impressed with the entry from Brighter Futures. The nursery received a visit and performance from the original cast of the Cbeebies television programme Rhyme Rocket - Professor Poet and First Officer Ditty. The popular programme aims to harness the power of poetry as a pre-literacy tool for 4-5 year olds, a goal that is in line with SLT’s mission.

Posted on 16th June, 2014

Exciting Competition!

FB prize

We are celebrating the weekend with a fantastic competition! Simply like our Facebook page and share the competition post to go into a draw to win these brilliant resources worth more than £30.

The winner will be selected at the end of term and will receive our Show Me DVD, demonstrating 10 universal strategies to support children and young people with SLCN together with two visual timetable packs - one for Early Years and Key Stage One and the other for Key Stage Two.

Visual timetables are one of the most under used resources in mainstream classes. We suggest introducing very simple day timetables in reception, three day level timetables at the beginning of Key Stage 2 and five day timetables by the end of Key Stage 2, ready for secondary school. There's a brilliant demonstration of a three day timetable on the Show Me DVD.

Simply like and share for the chance to win!

Posted on 13th June, 2014

SEND Reforms

SEND2014v2

The new SEN Code of Practice was laid before Parliament this week. The final version has been published and is available to download here. The document sets out the statutory guidance for all those working with and caring for children and young people with SEN.

The new code covers the age range from 0-25 and defines the expectations from education, health and social care to ensure that every individual has their needs met across all services. Language for Learning can help schools and settings develop their offer for SEN - identifying children with SLCN and developing a good universal offer.

NASEN has developed a range of very useful summaries, guidance and provides links to the new SEND Gateway, all available on their website. Download Everybody Included; the SEND Code of Practice Explained and key guidance on the graduated approach, the legal framework, assessment and the Local Offer.

Posted on 13th June, 2014

Cornwall Update Day

Emma Jordan and Cornwall Trainers

Thanks to all of our trainers in Cornwall for a great update day today and for supporting ICP2014 by signing the pledge.

This is the first of our update days this year and it's been a busy day considering how to best support schools in developing their universal provision for children with SLCN.

We spent the day considering the opportunities and challenges within the SEND reforms and how Language for Learning needs to form part of both the School and Local Offer at a universal level. We also explored the Communication Commitment and the new Scheme for Schools that will be linked to The Balanced System, new resources and ideas to raise awareness of SLCN.

The sun is always shining in Cornwall and it's always a pleasure to catch up and make plans with our trainers.

For more information about the Scheme for Schools visit the Better Communication CIC website.

Posted on 6th June, 2014

International Communication Project 2014

ICP

We have joined this unprecedented international effort to raise awareness of communication disorders.

The International Communication Project 2014 (ICP) is a collaborative effort developed by speech, language and hearing organisations in various parts of the world, including our very own Royal College of Speech Language Therapists.

The ICP aims to raise the profile and status of communication disabilities with international health bodies and policy makers; increase public awareness of communication disabilities and the severe impact they have on people’s lives; and encourage people around the world to join together and make a difference in the lives of people living with a communication disability.

We agree with the key messages from the International Communication Project:

* Communication is vital to life.
* Communication disorders limit a person’s ability to participate fully in family life, their community, education and work.
* Communication professionals make a critical difference.
* Without access to key services, people with communication disorders are at a lifelong disadvantage.
* Early intervention is key.
* Research shows that early identification and intervention programs create positive results over a lifetime for children with communication disorders and society as a whole.

Please support this campaign and help to raise awareness of SLCN and equip the children’s workforce to develop speech, language and communication skills.

Do you agree that communication is a basic human right? The join us by signing the ICP pledge. We will be encouraging practitioners and colleagues across Worcestershire to sign the pledge at events during the year and we’ll be asking all of our Language for Learning trainers across the country to join us in signing the pledge at annual update days.

Posted on 20th May, 2014

NAPLIC 2014 Conference

NAPLIC14 Stand

We exhibited at NAPLIC's annual conference on Saturday 10th May. As usual this was a great conference with inspirational speakers, the opportunity to network with other practitioners and catch up with friends from licensed Language for Learning authorities. The day was focused on outcomes and impact for children with specific language and communication difficulties and provided the opportunity to consider how we currently measure change and utilise the evidence base.

Highlights included practitioner presentations of a whole school approach to story telling at Meath School and a model of working across mainstream schools in Surrey. Yvonne Wren provided a comprehensive guide to using the What Works database.

The day kicked off with Marie Gascoigne and an introduction to a new Scheme for Schools to support schools at Step 3 of the Communication Commitment. This Scheme will provide schools with a framework for their School Offer for SLCN based on The Balanced System, identifying standards for schools to meet at a universal, targeted and specialist level. Both NAPLIC and Afasic are supporting the development of this Scheme. Pilot schools are being asked to come forward and register their interest with Better Communication CIC. We hope schools will be able to use evidence from Language for Learning training as part of this scheme.

Save the date for 2015 - NAPLIC's conference will be on Saturday 16th May 2015 at Warwick University.

Posted on 12th May, 2014

Rhyming Competition

Rocket small

As part of the Get Worcestershire Talking campaign, the Speech & Language Therapy Service in Worcestershire has launched a competition today to encourage rhyming in early years settings. Professor Poet and First Officer Ditty are orbiting above Worcestershire on the look-out for rhymes. They need a place to land and it could be your nursery! All you have to do is put your setting’s name into a nursery rhyme.

The original characters from CBeebies Rhyme Rocket will be landing in the winning nursery to collect the rhyme and entertain the children on the afternoon of 16th June 2014.

Rhyming is a great way to get children to have fun with language and listen to the sounds in words. Not only does it help them to develop their language skills, it is great preparation for literacy. Research tells us that toddlers that rhyme become children that read. To help you get your children rhyming, everyone who enters will get rhyme resources from the Speech and Language Service.

Download a copy of the entry form and email your rhyme to tracy.horncastle@nhs.net no later than the end of day on 2nd June 2014.

The Speech & Language Therapy Service will be sharing their favourite entries and rhyming ideas as well as lots of other information about the service on their Facebook page and on Twitter.

Have fun and help us get Worcestershire children rhyming!

Posted on 7th May, 2014

Get Worcestershire Talking

Get Worcestershire Talking

The Children's Speech & Language Therapy Service in Worcestershire has launched a Get Worcestershire Talking campaign.

Building on the success of the Worcestershire Question Time competition, the service wants to raise awareness of the huge impact poor communication skills can have on outcomes for children and to work together to change this for children in Worcestershire.

Speech, Language and Communication Needs are everyone’s business and the service wants to support service users in raising the skills of the children they work with.

They will be regularly updating Facebook and Twitter with:
• Information about training events
• Practical tips to help support children
• Links to resources
• News and competitions
• Information about Talking Walk-in Session dates and times
• Updates on the Named TA for SLCN scheme

Like the service on Facebook: Worcestershire Speech and Language Therapy and follow the service on Twitter @SLT_Worcs to make sure you don’t miss out on what is happening on the campaign to Get Worcestershire Talking!

Posted on 15th April, 2014

Positive Outcomes for Language for Learning Training

LfL logo large

All Language for Learning training courses are led by two registered trainers: a speech and language therapist and a specialist teacher or educational psychologist.

All of our training courses are evaluated and include general training feedback and a before and after measure of knowledge, skills and confidence against SLCF competences (universal and enhanced level).

Across the academic year 2012/13 and over 300 course participants, three key outcomes were evidenced:

1. Improved practitioner knowledge and confidence - Language for Learning training greatly improves practitioners' knowledge and confidence in identifying when children are not developing speech, language or communication skills as expected in addition to enabling them to use a range of practical strategies.

2. Language for Learning provides high quality resources for immediate use - practitioners praised the readiness of the resources for immediate use in their workplace.

3. Positive impact on children and young people - almost without exception, practitioners agreed that Language for Learning has had a positive impact on children in terms of their: attention and listening; receptive language; vocabulary development; social communication skills; expressive language and memory.

All of our licensed authorities have received full, detailed analysis of the outcomes of their training courses.

Download a copy of the Training Outcomes Summary report here.

Posted on 14th February, 2014

Worcestershire Speech and Language Therapy Services launches new handbook for mainstream schools

SLT Handbook

Emma Jordan and Jacqui Woodcock from the Children's Speech and Language Therapy Service have met with SENCOs from across the county over the last three weeks. These meetings have provided a great opportunity to share information about new developments and to launch a range of additional services schools can commission directly from the service.

Emma and Jacqui were also keen to promote The Communication Commitment as a very simple way to adopt a whole school approach to supporting children and young people with SLCN.

All schools in Worcestershire will receive a copy of a new handbook which provides information about:

• Worcestershire's approach, the Balanced System and the need for a whole system approach.

• The core Speech and Language Therapy Service and what schools can expect to receive.

• A wide range of additional evidence based services schools can commission to support children and young people at a universal, targeted and specialist level from whole school approaches to regular direct intervention, including the many opportunities available from Language for Learning.

• Worcestershire's workforce development plan for SLCN.

The Communication Commitment

For more information contact Emma Jordan on 01562 752749 or email Emma.Jordan@hacw.nhs.uk

Posted on 14th February, 2014

NAPLIC Conference 2014 #naplic14

NAPLIC

The annual NAPLIC conference SLI: Outcomes and Impact will be held on Saturday 10th May 2014 at Aston University, Birmingham.

Come and visit the Language for Learning stand for information about training opportunities and new resources to support children with SLCN.

Key note speakers include:

Marie Gascoigne Better Communication CIC
Supporting children and young people with SLCN in schools: Setting standards to deliver outcomes

Anne Haywood Specialist SEND Consultant, The Anne Haywood Consortium
Measuring the impact of therapy and other interventions on pupil, staff and organisational outcomes: practical ways to make it happen and make it stick in schools and other settings!

Mary Hartshorne Director of Outcomes and Information, I CAN
Measuring the impact of whole school support for children and young people with SLCN: A workable approach

Yvonne Wren Senior Research Speech and Language Therapist, Bristol Speech and Language Therapy Research Unit/NIHR Research Fellow
What Works for children with SLI: understanding the ‘What Works’ database and its contribution to intervention

There will also be presentations by staff from specialist SLI teams

For more information and booking visit the NAPLIC website.

Posted on 14th February, 2014

Draft Code of Practice

Code cover

A draft of the new Code of Practice has been published. The document sets out the statutory guidance for all those working with and caring for children and young people with SEN.

The new code covers the age range from 0-25 and defines the expectations from education, health and social care to ensure that every individual has their needs met across all services.

The consultation is open until 9th December. You can view all of the documents on the DfE website, look on the right hand side of the page under 'Articles'.

NASEN has produced a very useful summary of the new Code, available on their blog page.

The new Code of Practice will come into force on 1st September 2014.

Download a copy of the Draft Code of Practice.

Posted on 15th November, 2013

Communication Commitment

Communication Commitment

The Communication Commitment is a simple way to develop a whole-school approach to communication that is tailored to the needs of your school.

Developed by The Communication Trust in partnership with schools, the Commitment will help you make communication part of your school's policy and practice in order to get the best outcomes for your pupils.

The Communication Commitment is divided into five areas to help you address every aspect of communication development across school. Each area has straightforward and achievable actions to move your school forward with communication. You'll choose one from each area to create your own Action Plan to take forward and make your Communication Commitment.

The Communication Commitment has 3 simple steps to help you work out what you need, decide what comes first, create your individual Action Plan, and signpost you to the most suitable and effective resources to help you on your journey. This includes practical resources and training available from Language for Learning.


Make a commitment to take a whole school approach today, visit The Communication Commitment website to find out more.

Download the Communication Commitment Handbook and a simple Journey through the Commitment.

Posted on 15th November, 2013

Every Child a Talker in Worcestershire

ECaT Group

Every Child a Talker (ECaT) is a universal level programme designed to improve the skills of the early years workforce in supporting speech, language and communication development, raising children's achievement in early language as measured against the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.

ECaT in Worcestershire is a year long programme including two days of Language for Learning Foundation Stage training, three cluster meetings and at least three visits from a speech and language therapist or specialist teacher. 140 settings will have benefited from ECaT by 2014 with remarkable outcomes.

An evaluation summary has been published this month which clearly demonstrates the impact of ECaT on staff competency in early years settings and shows a significant reduction in the numbers of young children at risk of SLCN. During the most recent phases, the number of children deemed to be at risk of SLCN dropped to half over the course of the programme.

Pictured here is the latest cohort of ECaT settings with Rosalind Pow, Programme Manager and Specialist Speech & Language Therapist and Kathy Othen, Specialist Teacher.

Download a copy of the ECaT evaluation summary report here.

Download a registration of interest form if you would like to join the programme in 2014/15

Posted on 29th October, 2013

Facebook

find us on facebook

Language for Learning is finally on Facebook - thank you to Alex and Victoria at our Kent update day last week.

Check out our new facebook page for information about resources, news and forthcoming training courses.

Posted on 7th October, 2013

Welcome to our new trainers in Kent

Kent 2013

We've just returned from another great week in Kent.

Many thanks to Jane Smith and Teri Rutherford our Kent coordinators for organising another great week of training for trainers. We've trained 5 cohorts of trainers in Kent since 2005 making Kent our biggest Language for Learning county.

Welcome to all of our new trainers - we had a brilliant week working with all of you, sharing the training materials and seeing you practise delivering the training course. We wish you great success as you begin to deliver training in Kent.

On Friday we held our annual update day sharing news from Language for Learning and The Communication Trust, getting trainers' feedback on our primary training course and making plans for training in Kent over the coming 12 months. It was great to see everyone.

Posted on 7th October, 2013

Language for Learning Trainers - report published on the impact and benefit of Language for Learning

LfL logo large

All Language for Learning training courses are led by two registered trainers: a speech and language therapist and a specialist teacher or educational psychologist.

Earlier this year we surveyed trainers from our licensed authorities to formally measure the impact of Language for Learning on their confidence, knowledge and working practice. The survey received a very positive response and we are pleased to publish a report summarising the outcomes.

We asked our trainers a range of questions about the impact and benefits of Language for Learning and for feedback about our training courses and materials. We looked at trainers' confidence in advising others and delivering training; and their knowledge of language development, SLCN, resources, strategies and working in the context of the curriculum. We also asked questions about working relationships and the impact of Language for Learning on the development of collaborative working practices between therapists, specialist teachers and educational psychologists.

There are 7 key findings:

1. Language for Learning improves multi-agency working - working collaboratively with other professions has been identified as the most rewarding part of being a Language for Learning trainer.

2. Trainers are knowledgeable and confident - 9 out of 10 therapists report that being a trainer has increased their knowledge of practical ways to support children in the classroom.

3. Training is positively received … and implemented

4. Training resources are practical and of good quality

5. Preparing and delivering training takes time - trainers reported the biggest challenge is finding the time to deliver training amongst other responsibilities.

6. Engagement with schools can vary - Language for Learning works best when the whole school is committed to implementing the training.

7. Trainers find Language for Learning valuable - without exception all Language for Learning trainers would recommend being a trainer to a colleague.

Over the coming months we will be disseminating our findings at our licensed authority update days and investigating solutions to some of the practical issues raised with our local coordinators.

Download a copy of the Trainer Survey Summary report here.

Posted on 20th September, 2013

No Pens Day Wednesday

npdw

No Pens Day Wednesday was a flagship event of the Hello campaign in 2011, which encouraged schools to put their pens down and to run a day of speaking and listening activities. In 2012 over 1,100 schools signed up to No Pens Day Wednesday and nearly half a million pupils took part.

Due to this success, No Pens Day Wednesday will be back on Wednesday 9th October 2013.

Register your interest today here and access lots of free resources.

Posted on 30th August, 2013

What Works .....?

TCT

In response to demands from teachers, head teachers, speech and language therapists and other practitioners, The Communication Trust has worked with the Better Communication Research Group to develop the What Works database of evidenced interventions, approaches and programmes to support positive outcomes in children's speech, language and communication.

The What Works database is now live and you can search the database of evidenced interventions by age range, target group, who the intervention is delivered by and the level of evidence.

Register today and start searching for evidence based targeted interventions using What Works.

Posted on 17th May, 2013

NAPLIC Conference 2013

NAPLIC2013

The NAPLIC conference on Saturday 27th April was a great success. The conference focused on SLI and considered the impact of diagnosis on provision, intervention and outcomes for children and young people with specific language impairment.

Tina Pereira, Specialist Speech & Language Therapist and Helen Colles, Educational Psychologist presented Worcestershire's pathway for the identification of Specific Language Impairment.

Anna Branagan and Stephen Parsons gave a brilliant introduction to Word Aware. Don't miss the Word Aware course coming to Worcestershire in July. For more information go to our courses page.

Posted on 30th April, 2013

Goodbye Hello

Hello

The Communication Trust has published a final evaluation report for Hello, the national year of communication describing the impact the campaign had.

Goodbye Hello highlights results of surveys that took place, the resources that were produced, the work of the local Hello co-ordinators and case study examples of the impact of the campaign. It also talks about the legacy of Hello and what still needs to happen.

The Trust has collated some of the fantastic activities and achievements that took place during the national year of communication into one document, Hello Journey. The Journey showcases the great work people did across the country. It features a month-by-month account of the Hello themes and includes information about the Shine a Light Awards and resources available.

All of the resources produced during the Hello campaign continue to be available on the Trust's website. Follow the link below to download resources today.

Download a copy of the Goodbye Hello report here.

Download a copy of the Hello Journey document here.

Download resources on The Communication Trust's website.

Posted on 26th February, 2013

A Generation Adrift

Generation Adrift Cover

The Communication Trust has just launched A Generation Adrift – a new document which draws together research which shows that many children and young people are not being adequately supported to develop good communication skills and children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) are often misunderstood or missed altogether.

It shows that high numbers of children living in poverty have SLCN and one-third are not working securely in speech, language and communication when they reach five-years-old.

The Trust is using this opportunity to highlight solutions to these problems, such as the What Works database, which will be launched in the coming months.

A copy of A Generation Adrift can be downloaded here, the Trust would like the publication to reach as many people as possible so please share it far and wide!

Posted on 31st January, 2013

Better Communication Research Programme

BCRP1V3

The BCRP (Better Communication Research Programme) is a landmark programme of research in SLCN. Part of the Better Communication Action Plan, the government's response to the Bercow Review 2008, the research was published on 27th December 2012.

The Communication Trust will be working with consortium members to disseminate information about the BCRP over the coming months.

The research report makes recommendations within six key areas:

1. Identification - there remain huge challenges at a universal level identifying SLCN; there are continued concerns about the label SLCN, how it is interpreted and that it is too generic when describing specific language and communication impairments.

2. Support - children with language needs require support at all levels, in the classroom as well as from specialists. Children have made it clear what works for them- other people's behaviour and understanding being paramount.

3. Outcomes - children with SLCN do less well in school than peers of similar ability. Measurable outcomes need to be at the heart of the system.

4. Workforce development - there continues to be an ongoing need to raise understanding of SLCN, particularly for teachers in changing their classroom practice.

5. Commissioning - health and education need to work together to deliver needs-led local services. This needs to be developed from universal through to specialist services. Too many children are still "falling through gaps in the system".

6. Research - needs to combine the expertise of practitioners, parents, service providers and researchers to fill the evidence gaps.

Links to the research report can be found on the DFE website, BCRP website and The Communication Trust homepage.

Posted on 10th January, 2013

NAPLIC announces date of 2013 conference

NAPLIC

NAPLIC will hold their annual conference on 27th April 2013 at the Lakeside Conference Centre at Aston University, Birmingham.

The conference 'SLI: What's in a name?' will consider the impact of diagnosis on provision, intervention and outcomes for children and young people with specific language impairment.

Speakers to include:
• Dr Vicky Slonims Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapist, Newcomen Centre, London: 'Diagnosis and Dilemmas'
• Dr Gina Conti-Ramsden Professor of Child Language and Learning, The University of Manchester: 'Is SLI a condition which changes from childhood to adolescence?'
• Dr Julie Dockrell Professor of Psychology & Special Needs, Institute of Education, London and for the Better Communication Research Programme: ‘What does the 'specific' nature of SLI tell you about needs and academic achievement’
• Dr Courtenay Frazier Norbury Reader in Developmental Neuropsychology, Royal Holloway, University of London:: 'Defining (specific) language impairment: Why getting it right matters'
• Tina Pereira Specialist Speech & Language Therapist & Helen Colles Educational Psychologist: ‘Worcestershire's Pathfinder Project: Identifying & Supporting Children with SLI’
• Marian Downs Specialist Teacher for Speech and Language/Co-ordinator & Jen Smith Speech and Language Therapist, SLI Team, Newcastle upon Tyne: ‘A Salad not a Soup’

This conference will be of interest to: Teachers and SENCOs, Teaching Assistants, Speech and Language Therapists, Advisory Teachers for SLCN, Educational Psychologists and LA Advisors

• Member’s early booking rate held at the 2010 price - £95
• Registration opens on Monday 3rd December 2012

Further information on the NAPLIC website.

Posted on 27th November, 2012

Voice for Life - 6th December, Bristol

AFASIC Logo

Afasic England - Unlocking speech and language

This is an exciting and free event for anyone with an interest in children and young people's speech, language and communication needs. As well as an exhibition, there will be 36 workshops to choose from, being run by a host of national and local agencies and covering a range of topics.

Language for Learning will be exhibiting so make sure to visit the stand to check out new resources, information about training and forthcoming events.

For more information visit Afasic England.

Posted on 13th November, 2012

Cracking Communication Conference

TCT

Tuesday 13th November 2012 in Manchester

This conference has been organised by The Communication Trust for school leaders. The conference will provide information and advice to help support outcomes for children and young people with SLCN.

A particular policy focus will be on the inclusion of communication in the new Ofsted framework. Key note speakers include Anne Duffy, a representative from Ofsted, Professor Geoff Lindsay from The Better Communication Research Programme, and Wendy Lee, Professional Director from The Communication Trust.

Marie Gascoigne is running a workshop to support schools as commissioners of services for children and young people with a range of additional needs including SLCN, deciding how precious resources can best be deployed to get maximum benefit.

More information about the conference

Posted on 2nd November, 2012

Twitter

Small transparent Twitter

Language for Learning is now on Twitter!

Follow us @LforLearning for news, training information and resources.

Posted on 27th July, 2012

Signalong Celebrates

Signalong Image

Worcestershire is proud to be a Signalong county. Signalong empowers children and adults with impaired communication to understand and express their needs, choices and desires by providing sign vocabulary for life and learning.

Signalong will be celebrating 20 years of promoting better communication on 20th September at the Royal Festival Hall with their Communicating Choices conference. They will be joined by John Bercow, Anna Reeves, Flo Longhorn, Bob Black, Paula Hellal and the Hands & Voices choir.

More information

Posted on 25th July, 2012

No Pens Day Wednesday in the Autumn

No Pens

No Pens Day Wednesday returns in October 2012 - put down pens and pick up language!

Last year, staff and pupils from over 800 schools put down their pens using resources and lesson templates developed by The Communication Trust. The Trust will be providing more exciting FREE activities, lesson plans and a media toolkit so you can promote your endeavours. You can either join efforts nationally on Wednesday 10th October or run your day whenever suits you.

Go to The Communication Trust to register.

More news from The Communication Trust

Posted on 25th July, 2012

Shine A Light in 2012

Shine A Light

The Shine A Light Awards are back for 2012. Organised by The Communication Trust in partnership with Pearson Assessment, the awards celebrate and reward best practice and excellence around supporting children and young people's communication and honour those who make a difference to those with SLCN.

Worcestershire won the Shine A Light Award in 2011 for commissioning. Want to tell the world about the great work you do to support children's communication?

Categories include 'Primary School of the Year Award', 'Secondary School/College of the Year Award', 'Team of the Year Award' and 'Communication Champion Award'.

Information from The Communication Trust about the awards

Posted on 25th July, 2012

RALLI YouTube channel highlights the issues of specific language impairment

RALLI (Raising Awareness of Language Learning Impairments) have launched a YouTube presentation of videos to highlight the issues of SLI (specific language impairment) and how it affects individuals and families.

RALLI was formed by a group of senior academics: Dorothy Bishop, Professor of Developmental Neuropsychology at Oxford University; Gina Conti-Ramsden, Professor of Child Language and Learning at the University of Manchester; Maggie Snowling, Professor of Psychology at the University of York; Dr. Courtenay Norbury, Head of the Literacy, Language and Communication Laboratory at Royal Holloway, University of London; together with Becky Clarke Speech and Language Therapist.

Its aim is to provide inspiring content that helps all of those working with children and young people experiencing SLI and in the process becomes a resource useful to children, families and educators.

Click here http://www.youtube.com/rallicampaign for the RALLI presentation.

Posted on 19th June, 2012

FREE Show Me DVD for all Worcestershire schools and early years settings

Show Me LARGE

Our Show Me DVD is now available and we have a free copy for all Worcestershire schools and early years settings. The DVD was filmed at Foley Park Community Primary School and King Charles Secondary School in Kidderminster. Following an introduction to SLCN by Linda Lascelles, Chief Executive of AFASIC and a number of local expert professionals, ten simple strategies are demonstrated by real practitioners in real settings! The DVD will help you to improve your practice at a whole school and whole setting level.

Schools can pick up their free copy of the Show Me DVD at the joint LST/SLT Conference on Tuesday 26th June. For more information about the conference go to our home page.

Early years settings will receive their free copy through the Every Child a Talker (ECAT) project.

The DVD is also available for purchase in our catalogue.

Posted on 19th June, 2012

NEW Secondary Training now available

Secondary Book

The Language for Learning training materials for Key Stages 3 & 4 have undergone significant redevelopment over the last 12-18 months. The new training course is now available and includes a new focus on a whole school approach and planning change effectively. The training is linked to our new book Language for Learning in the Secondary School.

Go to the 'Training' page for more information about the content of the course and the 'Courses' page for information about training in your local area.

Language for Learning in the Secondary School is an essential resource for Secondary Schools from Award Winning authors Sue Hayden and Emma Jordan. It employs the same easy-to-use format as the best-selling Primary version of this book but has been adapted to meet the specific needs of secondary school teachers. This indispensable resource is packed full of practical suggestions on how to support students with speech, language and communication difficulties. Download an order form

Posted on 19th June, 2012

Key documents for Language for Learning trainers

At our update days in Kent and Medway last week we discussed the changing landscape across services and the potential opportunities for supporting children and young people with SLCN.

Here are some of the key documents we discussed:

Jean Gross' final report with key recommendations for services, commissioners and schools. 'Two Years On' report

The publication following the Better Communication conferences in the autumn of 2011 organised jointly by Jean Gross and RCSLT. Following an introduction from Jean Gross and a commissioning paper by Marie Gascoigne, this publication brings together examples of best practice. Download the Better Communication document

In Worcestershire we have adopted the workforce planning framework suggested by Marie in one of the commissioning tools published by CSP. This framework identifies levels of competence within the SLCF for the children's workforce. In Worcestershire we have mapped our own workforce onto this framework and then mapped the training available locally at each level. Download the Workforce Planning Commissioning Tool

Posted on 19th June, 2012

New Guidance on Phonics Screening released from The Communication Trust

TCT

Communicating Phonics is a guide to support teachers delivering and interpreting the phonics screening test to children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). The guide will help teachers to deliver the test this June, but also has lots of useful tips and advice to support the overall literacy development of children with SLCN.

The phonics checklist, also known as the phonics test or phonics screen, is being administered to Year 1 children from June 2012. The Department for Education has supplied universal guidance for administering the checklist and for interpreting and responding to the results. There are, however, implications for many children with special educational needs (SEN) and particularly those with SLCN.

This guide, put together with the expertise of nearly 50 of specialist organsiations, will support teachers in delivering the test but also in overall literacy development of children with SLCN. The guide isn't just about the phonics test. You will find lots of information and guidance to support the literacy development of children with SLCN beyond the test itself.

More information

Download the teachers' guide to Phonics Screening at http://thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/phonics

Posted on 19th June, 2012

SEN Green Paper - Next Steps published

Support and aspiration: A new approach to special eductional needs and disability - Progress and Next Steps report is now available. This document details the progress made since publication of the SEN Green Paper.

Download full document

Posted on 19th June, 2012

Worcestershire co-present key note speech at a national conference

Conference Photo

Worcestershire was invited to co-present a key note speech at three national conferences organised by Jean Gross, England's Communication Champion and RCSLT. Marie Gascoigne, MGA Consulting supported our Joint Commissioning SLCN Review leading to Worcestershire adopting 'The Balanced System™' (Gascoigne 2010). In addition Worcestershire features as a case study in a range of commissioning tools for SLCN written by Marie and Jean and published by CSP. Emma Jordan was invited to co-present a key note speech with Marie, sharing Worcestershire's journey over the last year.

Worcestershire's speech and language therapy service is licensed to use The Balanced System™. Please click here
http://www.mgaconsulting.org.uk/ for more information.

View full article

Download the Better Communication Document

Pictured from left to right: Jean Gross, England's Communication Champion, Marie Gascoigne, MGA Consulting, Emma Jordan and Kamini Gadhok, Chief Executive, RCSLT

Posted on 15th June, 2012

Worcestershire Joint Commissioning Unit win 'Shine A Light Award'

Shine A Light

Hello, the National Year of Communication culminated in a celebration of best practice with the Shine A Light Awards.

Over the last 18 months, Emma has worked for the Joint Commissioning Unit in Worcestershire, project managing an extensive commissioning review of services to children and young people with SLCN. The review has led to significant changes, improving services and leading to better outcomes for children.

View full article

Posted on 15th June, 2012