Local Co-ordinator Newsletter
June 2011



Hello and welcome to the second Hello Local Co-ordinator's newsletter.

This newsletter has been created to help you plan the rest of the year using the Hello monthly themes. Read on to find out about key milestone activities for each month and ideas and tips on how you can use the themes locally.

We will also update you with news, events and available resources.


Looking back

Before we look forward, we want to say a huge thank you for your support over the last couple of months. It has been busy and we have seen a huge amount of Hello activity taking place nationally and at local level. Highlights have included:Raa Raa

- Taking CBeebies by storm with the launch of new children’s character, Raa Raa the Noisy Lion, developed by Chapman Entertainment in support of the national year – more details can be found below in the May round up.

- Working with the National Literacy Trust to release new research on the views of 7,000 young people about communication skills. Click here to read what some of them said.

- Reaching 3,000 families in Liverpool with Hello goody bags packed with information and resources on speech and language at National Family Week’s headline event. Click here for more info.

- Launching the Shine a Light 2011 Hello campaign awards for developing children and young people’s communication in partnership with Pearson Assessment. Click here for full details and to find out how to enter.

- Getting a copy of Universally Speaking 0-5 ‘ages and stages’ booklet for early years practitioners sent to every nursery in the country, with the help of Pearson Assessment. Click here for more info.

- Being part of the Nasen annual awards, which this year included a special category to mark Hello - 'Outstanding resources to support children with speech, language and communication needs’. Click here for more info.
Small Talk
- Launching new Hello resources including Small Talk – a booklet for parents of children aged 0-5, to show where children are likely to be with their communication at a certain age, and Other ways of Speaking, which looks at the different ways children communicate, especially those who have little or no speech. To view these and other Hello resources click here

- Heaing about fantastic local activity taking place such as Hertfordshire’s ‘baby's first word’ initiative that has been rolled out to all Children’s Centres and Cambridgeshire’s ‘Big Book’, created by speech and language therapists, to record all of their national year work and activities to sustain initiatives beyond 2011. You can find more here

Work is taking place at individual, setting and strategic levels and we want to hear about what you have done – whether it’s big or small. This newsletter is an excellent way for you to share your success stories and learning so please keep posting them on the Hello website here

We now have a new section of the website where we can showcase local news. If you have a story you want us to know about email hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk



**News flash**

Have you entered for a Shine A Light award? Or do you know ofShine a Light
someone who has being doing great work with children and young people to develop their communication skills?

You can enter or nominate someone here www.helloawards.co.uk

But remember the deadline is fast approaching so get your application in soon!


June - Imagine life for those who struggle

This month we want to work together to raise awareness of speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and their impact on children, young people and families. In the UK today over 1 million children have some form of long term SLCN that can affect them severely and for life.

No parent should feel alone or have to fight to ensure their child’s needs are met. You will see the following on the Hello website:

- The launch of You’re the Voice campaigning toolkit. Available to download NOW - just click here
Intended to raise awareness of SLCN , the toolkit provides a template to write to your MP and local councillors, and a communication charter for your local authority to sign up to. Share this with your networks and encourage them to use the templates. To make change happen for children, we need to ensure speech and language is a top priority for decision makers.

- The release of our short film ‘One in a Million’. Produced with support Hello Filmfrom Pearson Assessment, that highlights the challenges experienced by children with SLCN. The film is narrated by Ben Macleod, a 21 year old actor who developed severe communication needs at a young age. To view the film click here . Please feel free to use this as far and wide as you can. Or view it on our YouTube channel here

- Signposting to Talking Point. The website that contains everything you need to know about supporting children’s speech and language development. It is designed for parents, people that work with children and children and young people themselves. To find out more click here

- Links to The Communication Trust’s consortium. All organisations with expertise in speech, language and communication. This includes Afasic, CandLE and The Makaton Charity (to name a few) who have resources, case studies, video clips and factsheets on SLCN. You can view all this and more here

- The launch of the Communication Triathlon. Developed by I CAN with Openreach and LOCOG, to provide a series of active and fun filled events for primary schools that are perfectly timed for the forthcoming London 2012 games. Find out more and how your local schools can take part here. We’d really like to see special schools and mainstream resourced provision settings sign up to the Triathlon – are there any in your area you think would be interested?

- Take part in a Sponsored Silence. To complement June’s theme, I CAN are running a sponsored silence to help children understand what it is like to struggle to communicate. This educational activity, complete with curriculum-linked lesson plans, has been created by I CAN’s specialist teachers to help build good speaking and listening skills. To find out how you can join in click here .

If June doesn’t work for you, you can run the Sponsored Silence at another time that suits you. Let us know how you get on, drop us a line and tell us your stories.

- Heard about Giving Voice? This month is a perfect opportunitGiving Voicey to find out more about Hello’s sister campaign, Giving Voice – run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

This month Giving Voice is discussing the importance of identifying children with SLCN and will be showcasing stories of children affected by stammering, cleft lip and palate, autism, speech and language impairment, learning difficulties and adolescent mental health difficulties. To find out more click here

- More coming to the Hello website. Bookmark the Hello website if you haven’t done so already because at the end of the month we will be launching a new microsite that explains SLCN in an easy to understand and simple way – a valuable resource to share with parents and other practitioners. www.hello.org.uk




A checklist for this month

- Help us get as many people possible using the You’re the Voice by writing to local MP’s and local councils using the easy to use templates and step by step advice.

- Start talking to settings, schools, employers, families of young people with SLCN and multi-agency teams about the Shine a Light awards. There is a category for everyone! Need specific copy or fliers for different audiences? Email us at hello@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk

- Add information about Talking Point to your newsletters, bulletins, intranets etc. It includes a new Progress Checker that can identify if children are having difficulties and a postcode searchable database of local speech and language therapy services. Click here for futher info.

- Showcase the new ‘One in a million’ film by linking to it on your Facebook and Twitter, email it to your colleagues or show it in a parents group or training session for professionals.

- Download the Hello facts and stats document with the key figures on SLCN and the resource catalogue, which contains a list of resources for children of all ages with SLCN.

- Start talking to schools now in your area to plan for September’s milestone activity, No Pens Day Wednesday, taking place on 28th September. Please click here to download the flyer.


July - Skills for work and life

Next month the Hello theme is focusing on young people as they move from learning to earning. The milestone activity for July is the launch of a new resource, Talk Gym, developed by BT to help young people to learn about how they communicate, why it matters and how they can get better.

About Talk GymTalk Gym

The way we communicate has a massive effect on our life - friendships, family relationships, education and work all depend on it. The trouble is, most young people don’t know what they’re like to talk to. How could they?

Talk Gym is designed for young people aged 14-19, their teachers and parents. It comes in three parts:

1. A 360° communication skills survey on Facebook for young people to find out ‘What kind of communicator am I?’ It allows you to invite friends to answer questions about you.

2. A series of video-based self-assessment surveys looking at the kinds of communication skills that employers, teachers, parents and friends value most.

3. Four interactive resources that help young people build skills and confidence in four key areas; understanding others, being clear, working in groups and job interviews.

Check back on the Hello website in July to access Talk Gym. Help us promote it in July by telling schools in your area – it would be an excellent lesson activity using Facebook to engage young people and also complements work experience programmes brilliantly.

You can also shout about it to other agencies that work with young people such as Pupil Referral Units (PRU’s), youth services or Connexions etc.

For more information please go to www.bt.com/talkgym


- Read about Redbridge’s SLCN working group who are running an event for young people across settings in the area using puppets to engage young people to talk to each other. There will be fun communication workshops and a challenge to do as much chatting as possible.

Click here to read more and keep your ears peeled for an exclusive podcast from the event.
Pearson Assessment
- Pearson Assessment is running their ‘Early Years Speech, Language & Communication Conference’ in Central London on 1st July 2011 in support of Hello, with workshops led by eminent speech and language therapy authors. For more information and to register click here

- Pearson has matched a test and intervention title to each of the Hello monthly themes which can be viewed here

We will be promoting key initiatives and resources designed for young people from our consortium. This includes:BT

- BT who produce a range of free education resources for young people. Access the full catalogue here

- I CAN’s Secondary Talk programme, an evidence-based practical programme to help schools support their young people to develop essential communication skills. Find out more here

- National Literacy Trust’s Words for Work programme can be viewed here. This brings together secondary school pupils and volunteers from the business community to explore the use of speaking and listening skills in the workplace.

- Afasic’s Watch your Language resources for parents/carers of young people 11+ to share with youth and leisure services. Click here to find out more.

- Debate Mate – the first national peer-to-peer debate programme in the UK that uses top university students to teach debating - www.debatemate.com

- Speakers Trust, who run youth public speaking events in schools. Find out more at www.speakoutchallenge.com

- Cambridge University’s Thinking Together approach that supports secondary teachers in developing language in the classroom http://thinkingtogether.educ.cam.ac.uk

- Autism Education Trust’s ‘The Den’ - a new, interactive area for teenagers with autism. Click here to find out more.


Hello website


Hello facebook

Tell us your story - Highlighting Southampton's WOW moments

This case study from Southampton is an excellent example of how to promote communication, language and speech skills as part of the Hello campaign in Early Year’s settings.

Some amazing ‘WOW’ work in Southampton’s early years settings has been taking place including the following:

• The ‘Books for Breakfast’ project in one nursery encouraged parents to stay for 20 minutes, once a month (when they drop off their children), to share books with them whilst they have breakfast provided.

• Parents and staff have been given strategies for supporting children’s communication to try out in settings/at home e.g. staff have asked less questions and used more comments, and parents have followed the ‘Thanks for 7’ rule; leaving at least 7 seconds for their children to respond to questions. One parent said this had a significant impact on his son’s communication skills.

In addition to these specific projects, Early Years staff have also:

Run Parent Workshops on communication (leaving the parents asking for more), run targeted training for staff about children who have an additional language/s to English, run a ‘Dialogic Book Sharing’ project to support staff to develop their confidence in telling stories (by adding props, questions and extension activities) and a whole host of joint working projects to encourage communication development (e.g. a Nursery Nurse has been promoting use of open cup drinking by 1 year old for children on her home visits).

Tell us what you have been doing in your local area in our Your Stories section of the Hello website here

If you would rather let us know over the phone please call us on 0207 843 2517.


August - Talk and go

In August, the monthly theme is ‘Talk and Go’. With the summer holidays, it’s the perfect time to reach parents with ideas on how they can develop their children’s communication skills while they are out and about. 

We will be in touch soon with more information about the Hello campaign’s August activities but below are some ideas to help you with your planning;

  • Use this month to reach leisure and extended schools staff with information about communication development and how to help those who are struggling.  Spread the word about the campaign and pass on Hello resources.
  • Why not provide parents with factsheets, activities or ideas that tie into the theme ‘Talk and Go’. This could cover:

             Travelling – when families are on the train, in the car or on a plane.
             Day Trips Out – whether families are visiting the zoo, the swimming pool or a local museum
             Holidays – should families be going abroad or exploring the UK
            Outdoors – whether families are going for a walk in the country or heading to the beach

  • Provide some advice and guidance to families about going on a Listening Walk or running a Treasure Hunt for kids. You could even promote your local storytelling activities- the Storytelling Association have links to local storytellers in your area http://www.sfsdir.org.uk/
If you develop information for this month, plan how you can disseminate it to your networks including children’s centres, holiday clubs and schemes, museums and libraries, leisure centres, local charities and Scouts, Brownies and Guide groups

Other useful links include:

Netmums – parenting advice, information and events in your local area

Mumsnet – with news, special offers, competitions and information in your area

Families Online – with local listings and seasonal features.

Fink – who help families improve communication with conversation cards and games that get families talking. http://finkcards.co.uk




September - Back to school

'No Pens Day Wednesday' is a major new initiative to support September’s ‘Back to School’ theme. 28th September is the suggested day, though of course schools can take part at any time. We will provide schools with all they need to organise a day when learning and assessment takes place through speaking and listening activities, rather than writing.
No Pens Day
Schools can sign up to receive a free activity pack via e-mail including:

- A guide to organising your 'No Pens Day Wednesday'

- Activity pack of example lesson and assembly plans

- Information for parents, including text for newsletters to explain the positive impact of good communication skills on children’s learning.

Please click here to download the leaflet and find out more.

Spread the word about No Pens Day Wednesday on 28th September and ask schools to sign up. If schools can’t join us on that day don’t worry, you can make any day 'No Pens Day'.


- Download your Hello Schools Guide, which will provide a whole school approach to supporting children’s communication skills across the curriculum and at universal, targeted and specialist levels. Including factsheets about approaches, interventions and resources, this guide will also include guidance of what works in helping children with SLCN.

- We will be signposting to tools that audit the schools environment to ensure they are communication friendly. Click here and have a look at page 27 of the All Together Now toolkit for a checklist of what communication supportive environments include.

- In addition to the information in All Together Now, you can download a factsheet from Jean Gross, Communication Champion, with ideas for schools involvement in the national year, that she has picked up from teachers across the country. Please click here to view.

- We will be working with Radio in Schools – a fantastic not for profit organisation who offer a safe podcasting platform to allow schools and children to get their voice heard in their own communities. To find out how your local schools can get involved click here

- Schools will be running Communication Triathlons, developed by I CAN with Openreach and LOCOG, to provide a series of active and fun filled events for primary schools. Click here to find out how to take part.

- We will also be providing downloadable assembly ideas and CPD toolkits for a 1 hour staff meeting and inset day on SLCN.

Other useful links include:
A Chance to Talk
A Chance to Talk – supporting primary schools to provide an evidence based approach to improving the speech, language and communication skills of children aged 4-7. It has been developed by I CAN, The Communication Trust and the Every Child a Chance Trust. Click here for further info.

Talking Point -To view a brief introduction to some ideas on how to adapt the educational environment to include children and young people with SLCN click here

Elizabeth Jarman Training – the sole provider of Communication Friendly Spaces™ Training and Development Programmes. Click here to view the options available.

Warwickshire – have developed 3 booklets which help schools and settings audit their  environment to check how communication friendly it is. Click here for further information.




October - Not just words

October is International Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Month and you can use this month to find out more about children and young people who have no speech or whose speech is difficult to understand. Other Ways of Speaking

The Hello campaign will be shining a light on the work of key organisations in this area and your support to do this locally would really help to raise awareness of this often misunderstood subject.

If you haven’t already, then you can download or order Other Ways of Speaking – a new information booklet for parents and professionals that provides information on the different ways children and young people communicate, how to support them and where to go for further information and help.


- The Hello campaign will be running their Parliamentary Event on 19th October.  This event will highlight key successes and recognise the enormous amount of work that has been put into the campaign across the country, by a wide range of sponsors, individuals and organisations, including our Local Coordinator network. 

- Communication Matters will be announcing the winner of their celebrity interview competition ‘I’ll be asking the questions’ for people who use AAC. The challenge is to devise 10 questions to present to somebody famous with the prize being a chance to interview a well known person. Find out more here

- Start thinking about the legacy of the work you have been doing and how you can evaluate the outcomes and impact as the year is starting to draw to a close. We need to hear from you about what worked, where the gaps still are and how you are embedding this work beyond 2011.

Other useful links include:

CandLE have an AAC Self Assessment Tool-Kit to supports schools to look at the way they use AAC in the classroom, decide whether students need assessment for AAC and examine the training needs of staff. To view the tool-kit click here

ACE Centre North also have a AAC Toolkit which includes a suite of ‘How to..’ guides aimed for use by school based professionals. All these guides have been produced alongside professionals working within schools and are designed to tackle issues that arise repeatedly within school environments.

The ‘How to..’ toolkit range includes the following titles:

  • Moving on from making choices
  • Choosing words for AAC
  • Strategies to repair communication breakdown
  • Being a good communication partner
  • Developing auditory scanning
  • Vocabulary packages for high tech communication aids

In addition to this a review of the published AAC assessments, including case studies, is available to support professionals in their assessment of individuals who need AAC. This also includes potential intervention strategies as a result of the assessments. The resources will be available to download from www.ace-north.org.uk

The Makaton Charity have a new MyChoicePad, an educational iPad app to enable choice and communication for people with learning or communication difficulties. The app uses Makaton symbols and signs with real sounding speech. Find out more about the MyChoicePad here




November - Celebrating communication

This month, we will be celebrating the Shine a Light 2011 Hello campaign awards for developing children’s communication, sponsored by Pearson Assessment.Shine a Light

These awards www.helloawards.co.uk will ‘shine a light’ on the excellent work and achievement by the children’s workforce in developing the communication skills of the children and young people they work with from babies to teenagers. These best practice exemplars will be shared with practitioners across the country to incentivise improved practice in 2011 and beyond.

Twelve awards will be up for grabs including three ‘Communication Friendly’ awards, three ‘Team of the Year’ awards, an award for ‘Communication Strategy’ and ‘Best Joint Commissioning’ as well as the ‘Hello Young Person of the Year Award’.

The winners will be celebrated at the ‘Shine a Light’ 2011 Hello campaign awards ceremony taking place in London from 3‐6pm on Wednesday 23 November.


- Link in with Anti Bullying Week in Schools, taking place from 14th - 25th November 2011. The theme this year is 'Stop and think - words can hurt'.



Don't forget...

We have already developed lots of resources you can use or pass on to your contacts. Below is a reminder of a few of the things we have produced for you:

- Hello Calendar – shows the monthly themes and has space for you to add your own events.

- All Together Now toolkit - contains advice and guidance on how to encourage your contacts to get involved in the campaign.

- Feedback on our resources – give us your feedback on our publications and resources and support us by collating feedback from parents and staff you are in contact with.

- Hello PowerPoint presentation- contains information about Hello to share with your contacts

All of these resources are based on our partners expertise and guidance and examples that we have seen in practice.


Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2550 or email enquiries@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


For further information or to opt out of the newsletter please contact Sandra Telford stelford@thecommunicationtrust.org.uk, 0207 843 2530

Website: www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk
The SLCF: www.talkingpoint.org.uk/slcf

Sentence Trouble: www.sentencetrouble.info

Hello: www.hello.org.uk