Saturday 30 June 2012

Small Talk Training for parents and professionals

Small Talk are a team of highly experienced, consultant speech and language therapists and early years professionals.

We are licensed to deliver Hanen and Elklan courses as well as being lead practitioners for the Early Language Development Programme by ICAN.

Click on link for details:

Parents                   Nursery Staff

Primary Staff         Secondary school staff

Child Minders        Demonstration Training

We can also tailor-make courses especially for your nursery, school or group... just ask!

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Does your nursery need help to train the staff as per Professor Nurbrown's recommendations? If so we can help

A leading voluntary coalition with expertise in speech, language and communication calls for settings, organisations, awarding bodies and local authorities to offer robust qualifications for practitioners and recommends the Speech, Language and Communication Level 3 award as a suitable solution.

The Communication Trust, a leading voluntary sector coalition, last week  welcomed Professor Cathy Nutbrown’s recommendations on the vital importance of young children’s speech and language development and the need to ensure that all early years practitioners are skilled and
knowledgeable in this area through access to robust and quality qualifications. 

Lisa Morgan, Professional Director for the Trust, said: “Every child deserves the best start in life and nurturing speech, language and communication skills supports all areas of a child’s development and
ultimately their life chances. Professor Nutbrown’s recommendations clearly highlight the role early years practitioners play in supporting and nurturing language development. 

“Evidence shows that better qualified staff lead to better outcomes for children. The Trust, since its inception five years ago, has recognised the need for formal and national qualifications to be introduced for early years staff as Nutbrown espouses. Research has demonstrated that staff often feel under-skilled and lacking in confidence in supporting children’s typical language development and recognising early when they are struggling.

We can help nurseries to train their staff to level 2 and level 3 accreditation as well as provide  other relevant training. How about 'Speech and Language support for under 5s'?

This is a highly successful accredited ten week course for under 5s practitioners.  The course has been received enthusiastically by over 7,000 learners across the UK and Europe.
What do participants receive?
·         Teaching from qualified speech and language therapists and advisory teachers. They provide training to support the communication of all children but especially those with speech and language difficulties in under 5s settings.
·        The book Early Language Builders which forms the core reading material for the course. It is full of practical advice and ideas.
·         Accreditation through Open College Network (OCN) at either level two or three, the individual chooses the level under the guidance of the Elklan tutor.
·         Support needed to write a portfolio to achieve accreditation though the Open College Network.
·         Opportunities to meet other Under 5's practitioners and receive mutual support.

Who is the course for?
This course trains Early Years practitioners working within Education, Playgroups, Sure Start projects, Day Nurseries and other Early Years settings. The course is usually taught at weekends, but can be taught at staff training days.
What is taught?
The course runs for ten sessions, each with targets you will be able to acheive by the end of the course:
·         What is communication?

·         Identify the processes involved in communication
·         Appreciate the wide range of communication problems
·         Adult child interaction and non-verbal communication

·         Understand the effect of adult-child interaction on the development of communication
·         Appreciate the importance of nonverbal communication behaviours
·         Developing play, listening and attention skills

·         Understand the link between play and language development
·         Develop strategies to promote listening and attention
·         Understanding first words and using visual strategies

·         Know how children understand their first words
·         Develop activities to facilitate the learning of basic concepts.
·         Understand how using visual information helps children learn
·         Understanding beyond simple sentences

·         Use a language scheme model which supports verbal reasoning skills, including why and how questions, inferences, sequencing, predicting
·         Practice modifying the adults' speech accordingly
·         Modifying adults' speech to help a child understand language

·         Use Information Carrying Words (ICW's) to develop understanding
·         Encouraging expressive language development

·         Develop strategies to facilitate the development of vocabulary
·         Discuss techniques to develop syntax (grammar) and narrative skills
·         Promoting effective communication and social skills

·         Identify skills required for successful social communication and share ideas as to how to promote these
·         Supporting children with unclear speech

·         Appreciate the development of speech sounds
·         Know strategies to support children with unclear speech
·         Understand the link between speech, reading and writing
·         Appreciate the importance of phonological awareness in the pre-school setting
·         Management of stammering and application of all strategies learnt

·         Have some knowledge of how to support children who stammer.
·         Present evidence of applying knowledge during everyday activities.
 We do lots more too including the award winning Hanen 'Learning language and loving it' and tailor made courses.

Friday 22 June 2012

Smart Talkers are awarded by Netmums

We are delighted to have been recognised by the parents who come along to our classes in the recent Netmums awards. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. It makes it even more special that its a parent vote.

The particular class hi-lighted was the Teeny Talker group at Silkmore Children's Centre. This is for two year olds who are not talking as much or as well as expected. There are many reasons for this but we try to narrow  the gap as the recent Roulestone 2011 study (basis for the think 2 project) showed that children need to be identified at two so that early intervention can begin. Roulestone et al showed that if a child is delayed at 2 years, without intervention, he will still be delayed upon school entry and may never catch up.

We work on attention, listening, auditory memory, vocabulary plus other receptive and expressive language skills in a very simple format. We use puppets, stories, songs, bubbles and games.

We do other Teeny Talker groups across the area and also do Teeny Talker demonstration training for staff of 2 year olds where we run a group for 6 weeks in the nursery (no cover costs incurred then!). However, if you  want to get away from the children, we also do training courses for parents and staff with a variety of accredited courses at levels 1, 2 and 3.

Friday 15 June 2012

Great news: ACE Centre is saved

ACE Centres
Oxford communication technology support centre to remain open following creation ofnational specialist ACE organisation.
Two leading charities have today announced plans to develop a national service for individuals inEngland with communication needs and ensure that a vital site in Oxford remains open.
The merger of the ACE Centres in Oxford and Oldham will ensure the Oxford site, whichpreviously faced closure at the end of June, will continue to provide independent advice,assessments and training to enable access to technology for individuals, including children, withsignificant communication needs. The move is to be financed by investment from the ACE Centrein Oldham, and will also use an existing grant from the Department for Education to developnational services providing support in the areas of Augmentative and Alternative Communication(AAC) and Assistive Technology (AT).
Members of Parliament, including the Oxford Centre’s constituency MP Andrew Smith, have raisedconcerns about the closure of the Oxford site limiting access to specialist communicationssolutions for individuals with acute needs, their families and professionals who support them.
The announcement follows the recent publication of the Government’s response to the SpecialEducational Needs Green Paper, which confirmed funding to develop AAC models nationally totackle the under-provision of local and regional services, in relation to the estimated size of thepopulation who require AAC services and communication aids.
Managers and Trustees of both Boards of the ACE Centres, who have pushed for a solution, haveclaimed the announcement will ensure the right to communicate is extended to as many peopleas possible in England. The sector-led plan has been welcomed by the Department for Education.
Anna Reeves, Manager of ACE Centre North, said:
“Communication is not a privilege, but a right that is fundamental to an individual’s quality oflife.  This merger, which has received welcome support from the Department for Education, willhelp provide crucial support to children and adults in England who have complex communicationneeds.”
“What we have done is to lay solid foundations for the provision of a national service.  Both ACECentres already have tremendous individual legacies, and today’s announcement will allow us tobuild on our existing successes  ensuring that every individual needing support has access tounrivalled independent assistance on how best to meet their unique needs.”
Bill Nimmo, Chair of the Board of Trustee for the ACE Centre in Oxford, said:
“This is a vital and very positive step in the development of national service that is best placed toprovide advice and access to technology for both children and adults with communication needs.
“Many of individuals we’ve supported over the years have required very specialised assistance. Unifying the two ACE Centres will allow us to develop our expertise even further, which can onlybe a good thing for the thousands of people in England with communication needs.”
Andrew Smith, Member of Parliament for Oxford East, said:
“Saving ACE Oxford from closure is great news and an enormous relief for all those with acutecommunication needs relying on the remarkable expertise of the centre.  It has been hearteningto see the public support for this vital work. The merger with ACE North is an opportunity tostrengthen provision in the future, giving hope and life chances to people otherwise isolated bycommunication difficulties.”