Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Small Talk @ The Richard Clarke First School

The reception class at Richard Clarke First School in Abbots Bromley have just finished a 6 week programme of Languageland training. They have ‘travelled on a magic carpet’and had fun with puppets, songs and games but in reality those activities were part of a training programme for the class teacher Miss Le Grove to assist her in dealing with the challenges of teaching a reception class in the 21st century.

Miss Le Grove called in Small Talk to deliver the training. It’s ideal because we can train reception and KS1 teachers without taking them out of the classroom. We looked at rhyme, syllable awareness, vocabulary, narrative, auditory memory, sequencing, expressive and receptive language skills with the children.

Small Talk Speech & Language therapy began to do lots of different training with nursery and primary school as a result of major concerns about the general level of children’s language when they start school. The Government’s Communication Tsar Jean Gross reported in January 2010 that 1 in 6 three year olds have a recognised problem but many, many more have delayed skills which will affect progress when they start school. A previous Government report in 2008 showed that this can be as high as 50% of children in some areas (Bercow, J.). A questionnaire to Primary Head Teachers by Small Talk Speech & Language therapy this year showed that 100% were concerned about declining speech, language and communication skills. 

These problems are not class or area specific and can affect all levels of society.

We live in a very visual, fast- paced age and often the first time a child is required to do any formal listening is when they start school, 

Previously, in the 1970s for example, when attention, listening and language levels were much better, reception class Teachers didn’t have the complex demands they have today. Their job is therefore doubly difficult, they have more to get through, with children who are not as ready as they were. It’s not fair on the child or the Teacher.  

Miss Le Grove felt that the sessions were very helpful, it confirmed what she was already doing and added lots more suggestions and ideas which she has already begun to implement. 

For further information please contact Libby on 0844 704 5888 www.private-speech-therapy.co.uk  or www.smarttalkers.org.uk or the Head Teacher on 01283 840206

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