What is Communication Leaders? A project supporting children and young people to take on a unique leadership role in communication within their homes and schools. An innovative way of improving speech, language and communication development for children and young people, which is young person led. A project that is being piloted over 2 years with 4 partner locations: Wandsworth (London), Clacton-on-Sea, Nottinghamshire, and Wythenshawe (South Manchester). It is being funded by The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Communication Leaders at primary: Children in school years 5 and 6 will be supported to become communication role models in school. They will support language development in younger primary aged children. They will be supported to share information on communication at home, whilst being supported to develop their own communication skills.
Project objectives: To enhance the skills and confidence of Communication Leaders as a direct result of their involvement in the project To augment the professional development of support staff who are mentoring the Communication Leaders To enhance parental understanding of the importance of communication for parents who are participating in Communication Leader activities To implement a framework of support for the children and young people involved through access to mentors, partners and self evaluation and reflection To evaluate the Communication Leaders concept against expected outcomes – for young people, their school and the local community To explore how Communication Leaders can be sustained longer term, whilst publishing and sharing learning
Why focus on communication? Speech Language & Communication Learning Social & Emotional Literacy Enjoyment Achievement Attainment
Why focus on communication? Language has critical importance for learning and wider development (Goswami, U., and Bryant, P. 2007) A focus on talk in the classroom can significantly enhance the way all children respond to schooling, in all subjects (Mercer, N. and Littleton, K. 2007) Good spoken language predicates reading and writing, with literacy gaps often widening as children progress through school Hartshorne, M. (2006) Talk and social interaction play a key role in all children’s social development. Language is the vehicle for organising, problem-solving, managing and evaluating experiences, influencing and informing; all crucial skills for the classroom and beyond Howe, C. and Mercer, N. (2007) Employers rank ‘effective communication’ as the competency most required and desired (Graduate recruitment, learning and development, Kaplan 2014)
Ofsted Communication has a strong position in the new Ofsted inspection framework, both in relation to teaching and learning and with a focus on those children who don’t attain well. Considerations are: How well teachers teach communication skills and pupils’ achievements in communication skills and their application across the curriculum; The achievement of disabled pupils and those with SEN since joining the school; How gaps are narrowing, the attainment of pupils eligible for pupil premium, how teachers systematically and effectively checking pupils’ understanding in lessons and make appropriate interventions; Teaching strategies, together with support and intervention to match individual needs
SEND reforms In line with the SEND Code of Practice 2014, being part of Communication Leaders can support your school with: Identifying and monitoring pupils who require SEN support Encouraging teaching and support staff to be responsible for the SEN needs of the children in their class Implementing targeted interventions as part of the graduated approach Identifying and supporting staff training needs Increasing the involvement of children and young people themselves in decision making and planning Committing to an increased focus on life outcomes for pupils, rather than units of provision Developing a whole school approach to SEND www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/sendreforms
Why should my school get involved? Communication Leaders is a unique project where young people take on a leadership role in communication Resources and training will support Communication Leaders in their role, and they will get a reward at the end to say thank you The project will be tailored based on the needs of your school and roles can be delivered when it suits you - all of our schools are doing the project slightly differently School staff will be supported to do language checkers with communication leaders, as well as those the leaders will supporting as part of their CPD. You will receive this data to monitor how the students are progressing Pre and post evaluation will monitor the impact of the project and you will receive the final project report
“...The leaders and those being led already seem more confident within themselves. This for me continues to be a successful, exciting and forward thinking project. The potential benefits to all involved are clear and I look forward to being involved in its second year.” Keith Dawes, Clacton Coastal Academy “This is clearly a very forward thinking project and one we are very pleased to be part of. Having been a teacher for 14 years, I have seen many schools try and set up peer to peer intervention activities with little success. The difference with the Communication Leaders project is the clear guidance and support given by the Communication Trust.” AVP Extended Learning “This is clearly a very forward thinking project and one we are very pleased to be part of. Having been a teacher for 14 years, I have seen many schools try and set up peer to peer intervention activities with little success. The difference with the Communication Leaders project is the clear guidance and support given by the Communication Trust.” AVP Extended Learning “He was very nervous. Low self esteem. Since the project he has become more confident – lovely to see !” School mentor, Newark
Find out more... If you would like further information about the project, please contact Amy Harker: firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 843 2530 www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk