The Communication Trust Newsletter
July 2011


Hello, the 2011 national year of communication, is a campaign to increase understanding of how important it is for children and young people to develop good communication skills.

The campaign is run by The Communication Trust, a coalition of 40 leading voluntary sector organisations, in partnership with Jean Gross, the Government’s Communication Champion. The campaign is sponsored by BT and Pearson Assessment and is backed by the Department for Education and Department of Health.

This newsletter provides updates on current developments in the world of speech, language and communication and on Hello.

No Pens Day Wednesday

No Pens Day Wednesday is a brand new initiative from the Hello campaign. This September, the Hello theme for the month is 'Back to school’. To celebrate this, schools are being encouraged to put down their pens and pick up their language on Wednesday 28th September by spending one day focusing on speaking and listening. No Pens Day

Evidence shows that schools that place a strong emphasis on explicit and structured speaking and listening approaches, see results improve. Talking is recognised as key in supporting and developing children’s thinking, learning and understanding.

Wednesday 28th September is the suggested day to take part, but if that doesn’t work for you, you can take part on another day this year. 

Sign up now for No Pens Day Wednesday. You can also download an introductory presentation for schools here with more information.

By signing up, you will receive at the beginning of September a free activity pack that will include
• A guide to organising your No Pens Day Wednesday
• Guidance and principles of good practice to plan for and support speaking and listening skills
• Signposting to resources to support speaking and listening across the curriculum and to help with identifying children who are struggling
• Materials with assembly and lesson plans
• Press release templates to share stories with local media
• Information for parents to explain the positive impact of good communication skills on children's learning

For more information and to sign up please click here.

July - Skills for work, life and play

The milestone activity for July is the launch of Talk Gym. This new resource, developed by BT, helps young people aged 14-19 build verbal communication skills so they can express themselves more effectively.Talk Gym

It helps young people, their teachers and parents to explore the importance ofcommunication and why it matters as they make the important transition from learning to earning.

Talk Gym includes a innovative Facebook application that encourages young people to check their ‘talk fitness’. It asks them six questions about themselves and then asks the same questions to nominated friends or relatives via Facebook. Their answers appear anonymously in a graph and the app uses the responses to assess the individual’s communication ability.

In addition to this, there are web based resources that give tips on being clear, listening well, being interviewed and talking in groups. These tips are complemented by videos, presented by young people, giving peer-to-peer advice on becoming a better communicator.

To find out more Talk Gym visit and get your fitness tested now.

12 categories, 36 awards, 1 special occasion

Shine a LightAPPLY TODAY!

The Shine a Light 2011 Hello campaign awards are the first and only national awards scheme to focus on children and young people’s communication. They will celebrate the hard work and achievements of individuals and teams in developing the communication skills of children and young people from birth to teenagers. If you, or someone you know, has done outstanding work in this area then this is the chance to shine.

The judges are looking for outstanding young people, employers, members of the children’s workforce, multi-agency groups and speech and language therapists so start spreading the word to family, friends and colleagues. All winners will be invited to attend the awards ceremony in London on Wednesday 23rd November where they will receive their award and specially tailored prize.

If you know someone who might want to apply or nominate someone you can download promotional materials that have been developed to help make it quick and easy to spread the word as far and wide as possible. Press releases, template emails, website copy and tailored flyers are available.

For more information and to apply please log on to

The deadline is Friday 12th August so don’t delay.

One in a million - new Hello film

To help highlight the challenges experienced by children with speech, language and Hello Filmcommunication needs, the Hello campaign has launched a new short film, One in a million.

Produced with support from Pearson Assessment, the film is narrated by Ben Macleod, a young actor who, as a child, had communication needs identified by his parents.

The film highlights that as many as one million children and young people have hidden long term and persistent speech, language and communication needs. It also makes clear what both parents and professionals, such as teachers and health workers, can do to help children by taking part in the Hello campaign.

To view the film on our brand new You Tube channel please click here.


August - What are your plans?

The theme for Hello in August is ‘Talk and Go’ to target families and children who are out and about over the Summer holidays. We would like to know your plans for August - we would like to display this information on our Hello website to give further information to the visitors to the site. For example you may be planning...

- Summer events /activities that you are holding / may signpost families too
- Summer residentials for young people and their families
- Resources that you are planning to develop or already have developed to support families with children of all ages with top tips for communicating / games / things to do over the Summer e.g. games for travelling (e.g. in the car), interactions outside (e.g. walking to the shops / in the shops / in the park / at the sea)
- Specific tips for children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) – e.g. resources on tips for communication, tips for parents to tell leisure centres about communication, training and advice or resources for staff regarding communication, short break links for parents, websites or signposting for families and children with SLCN

Please send any information to

Feedback on our publications

Over the past 6 months we have launched a number of new publications and resources for the Hello campaign (for a full list please go to the Hello website -

We very much appreciate your feedback on our publications to help us when planning future publications and to ensure they are supporting you at home or in the workplace.

We have produced the following feedback forms and welcome any comments:
- Click here if you use the publication(s) in your workplace as a practitioner.
- Click here if you use the publication(s) at home as a parent.

Please send completed forms to or post to The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE

Charity of the Month - 1Voice-Communicating Together

1Voice-Communicating Together is a unique and innovative national charity providing networking and support for disabled children who use alternative ways to communicate, and their families.

1Voice was established in 1999 by a speech and language therapist and a mother of a young disabled daughter. They felt there was a need to bring families together who have non-verbal disabled children and young people to enable them to gain support from one another, network, share ideas and experiences, and gain information. 


1Voice has been running family events since 2000.  These have included teenage workshops; themed young children’s weekends; film making sessions; summer activity weekends. All are inclusive to the whole family and are run entirely by skilled volunteers.

1Voice has developed its scope to now involve regional branches supported by our first member of staff – our  Branch and Events Co-ordinator.  Branches hold regular family activities ensuring that families are able to meet one another and overcome the isolation often felt by families who have children with complex needs. 

1Voice also runs award winning role model and teenage workshops; a website and a twice yearly newsletter as well as regular bulletins. Whatever form of communication the young people use, they work towards enabling young people to participate in their wider community and have a voice that will be listened to, respected and acted upon.

1Voice is run by a group of hard working and dedicated volunteer Trustees who are passionate about supporting children and young people who use AAC and their families. 

For more information contact or go to


Response to the Government's commitment to the Early Years Foundation Stage

The Communication Trust has today welcomed the Government's commitment to place communication and language at the heart of changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

The Government plans to accept many of Dame Clare Tickell's recommendations to the EYFS have been met warmly by The Communication Trust - including plans for speech, language and communication checks for children before three and for practitioners to report directly to parents on their child's communication and language.

To read the full response please click here.




New research calls for a 'balanced diet' of communication technology

Research from University of Cambridge and BT has been launched, calling for a 'balanced diet' of communication technology. The research highlighted the impact of technology on well-being and the quality of family life.BT

As a result of this research, BT has released their Balanced Communications Diet, a 5 point plan to support families in maintaining a healthy relationship with technology. Hello has developed Family Talk Tips to go alongside BT's Balanced Communication Diet giving parent's practical advice on developing their children's communication skills.  

To read the full press release please click here.

To download the Hello Family Talk Tips, which have been devised to support BT's Balanced Communication Diet. Please click here.

You can also download the Hello ten point plan for making technology communication friendly here.

To see the full report from BT's Balanced Communication Diet please click here




Hello website


Hello facebook

Launch of school improvement solutions by the Balance Consortium

The Learning Partnership has launched The Balance Consortium having recruited 150 school improvement advisors from the SIP network, and trained and accredited these advisors in the research validated diagnostic and profiling tools held in the consortium.

The Consortium is seeking to work with schools that wish to see a paradigm shift in educational provision in the UK. Research carried out by partner universities, Bristol, Denver, and Edinburgh over the last ten years have led to the design and testing of 360 diagnostics for Leadership in education, Teaching dynamics in the class room, and Learning Power in students.

Over the coming months The Communication Trust will be running a series of launches through the newsletter, which will give the Trust’s network access to these resources at a discount.

This newsletter launches Accelerated Leader – the 360 leadership diagnostic.

In today’s financial climate, any opportunity to reduce costs are a welcome addition to a school, so the experiences of Aylesbury Vale Academy following their use of Accelerated Leader  1 year ago should be noted.

“Staff supply cover costs in this academy during the 12 months preceding the use of Accelerated Leader were £250,000.00..... since completing the 360 with the whole leadership team staff supply cover costs in the 12 months  since have yet to reach £50,000.00. Accelerated Leader was the catalyst which changed the way the leadership as a whole in Aylesbury vale was organised, structured, and engaged. In itself it was not the magic wand, but it was the catalyst which enabled the leadership team to develop the magic wand which saw this turn around in staff engagement at the academy." Jonathan Johnson, principal

For more information please click here or visit

If you are interested in Accelerated Leader please contact Aulden Dunipace on quoting ref TLPCT2011 to receive a 5% discount on diagnostics.



Children's Commissioner report

The Office of the Children’s Commissioner have launched the report 'I think I must have been born bad'. This report looks at the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in the youth justice system.

Please click here to download.

They also produced a short film, available from, that captures the voices and stories of the young people involved in this project. It powerfully illustrates the importance of addressing the mental health and emotional wellbeing of young people who get into trouble with the law.

Free resources to boost confident social communication

Children’s confidence specialist Kidz4Mation are offering free innovative resources to boost children’s social communication skills and help you fill those end-of-term voids with fun.

The resources will help you to:

· Run stimulating and challenging role plays for children to teach confident   social communication

· Encourage children to express their feelings rather than suppress them

· Presenting and public speaking tips for children

· Teach positive body language for confident social communication

Six people who request the resources during July can also choose a free Kidz4Mation book. Each book has a theme: Positive Thinking, I Can Do It, Relaxing the Mind, Raising Self-Esteem, Goal Setting through Positive Affirmations and Gratitude.

“Kidz4Mation’s work reminds us that a child’s emotional and social development is as important as their intellectual development for success at school and in later life,” says Psychologist Dr Marie Stewart MBE.

These resources have been developed to link in with the National Year of Communication.

Click here to get your free resources now.

Anti-Bullying Week - Competition for schools

This year's Anti-Bullying Week will take place the week commencing 14th November, with the theme 'Stop and think - words can hurt.Anti-Bullying Week

The Anti-bullying Alliance has teamed up with Stand Tall: A Rock Musical to offer the chance for school pupils to be rockstars for the day.

The competition is open to all primary and secondary schools in England, and involves the following simple steps:

1)        Teachers/ staff download a powerpoint presentation from  to support an assembly or a lesson that introduces the theme of Anti-Bullying week 2011 and encourages students to think about and discuss bullying.  The presentation includes teachers’ notes to guide the general discussion about bullying, and gives enough flexibility to adjust for primary or secondary age students.
2)        The presentation introduces 3 songs from Stand Tall: A Rock Musical. As a school or a class, you vote on which song you think is best at getting across a strong anti-bullying message.
3)        There is a short description of each song within the presentation, or full lyrics are available to download from  
4)        Teachers/staff fill in the short online entry form on  to win the chance of producers from Stand Tall: a Rock Musical visiting their school to work with students to record the winning track. The deadline for entry is 5pm on Friday 29th July 2011. The winning school will be notified at the beginning of the autumn term.

Schools or youth groups may be interested in staging Stand Tall: A Rock Musical or songs from the show.  This is one fantastic and creative way that young people can take part in Anti-Bullying week 2011! For more information on the show, including how to purchase the full score, visit

News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of 40 voluntary sector organisations. We bring together our expertise to ensure that the speech, language and communication needs of all children and young people are met through signposting specialist training support and guidance to people working with children.

If your organisation would like to become a member of The Communication Trust’s consortium please go to for more information or e-mail

1 Voice - Communicating Together

Family Fun Day, Saturday 16th July1Voice

AAC users in West Yorkshire are invited to a Family Fun Day, with activities on offer are based on the theme of the Hello Campaign for July  “Skills for Life, Work and Play”

Date: Sat July 16 2011
Date: 10 am – 2pm
Venue: Kingsland School, Stanley, Wakefield, Off Junction 30 M 62
Cost: A contribution of £10 a family

For more information please e-mail

ACE Centre

New FilmACE Centre

ACE Centre have produced a moving film which highlight the experiences of parents who have children who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Please click here to view.

CandLE CandLE

The AAC Self Assessment Tool-Kit

CandLE supports schools to look at the way they use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) to help their students to learn and to communicate.

The AAC Tool-Kit helps 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.

You can access the tool-kit at:

Communication Matters Communication Matters

Call for Nominations for Trustees

Do you think Communication Matters does a good job? Are there things you feel it should be doing? Are there things you wish it didn't do?

By joining the Board of Trustees you have an opportunity to influence the development of Communication Matters as an organisation.

This year there will be 4 vacancies on the Board of Trustees - several Trustees are standing down as their term of office will be completed this year (a number will be standing for re-election). Election for these new Trustees will take place at the Annual Meeting on Sunday 25 September 2011 at the Gilbert Murray Conference Centre at The University of Leicester, during the Communication Matters CM2011 National Conference.

If you want to help Communication Matters develop and further its aims and objectives, are a current Individual member of Communication Matters (or are applying for membership), and have time to devote to work as a Board member, then please download the nomination form and return it to us by Friday 12 August 2011.

For more information on what's involved in being a Trustee click here.


Help Enquiry Service

Concerned about a child’s talking, listening and understanding? Are you looking for more information about speech, language and communication?

I CAN has launched a new service to provide expert information to parents and practitioners about speech, language and communication. Our speech and language therapists can help - whether you would like to check ages and stages or find out how to support a child with a known speech, language and communication need.

Parents and practitioners we have spoken to tell us they have found it really useful to talk directly to a speech and language therapist and to gain information about speech, language and communication development.  They have also appreciated receiving information about training, research and other organisations that can offer help and advice.

Call 020 7843 2544 or email to book your free and confidential call-back from a speech and language therapist. If you would prefer an email response to your questions please email your enquiry to

Find out more about what our speech and language therapists can offer at

As this service does not include meeting and assessing children, we are unable to provide specific advice about a child or the level of provision they should have.


Launch 'Everybody’s Business'

This publication offers all play, leisure and childcare providers practical advice, activities, and ideas on how best to include disabled children aged under eight years old in a range of play settings. Included with the book is a free A2 poster entitled ‘Including All of Us.’ To order your copy click here.

As well as publishing this new book, KIDS has also uploaded two good practice briefings on the KIDS website. The first, Communicating With Disabled Children and Young People, supports The National Year of Communication 'Hello’ campaign, and focuses on communication with disabled children and young people

The second briefing is Mythbusting – Busting the Myths of Inclusion, which looks at myths that act as barriers to the inclusion of disabled children in play settings and services, which was the theme of the PIP regional seminars held in Spring 2010.

National Literacy TrustNLT

Calling all new Dads

The National Literacy Trust launched a brand new Dads section to its recently launched and highly popular Talk to Your Baby website, dedicated to helping new dads communicate more with their young children. Amongst other advice it's urging new Dads to embrace basic 'TLC' in the first three years of their baby's life. To find out more click here.



Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

Contact Us

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


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