The Communication Trust Newsletter
December 2011


This December edition of The Communication Trust’s newsletter comes with festive greetings. It also comes with a big thank you for your support of the national year of communication (the Hello campaign).

Over 2011, Hello has sought to increase understanding of how important it is for children and young people to develop good communication skills. Hello has been run by The Communication Trust, a coalition of nearly 50 leading voluntary sector organisations, in partnership with Jean Gross, the Government’s Communication Champion. The campaign has been sponsored by BT and Pearson Assessment and backed by the Department for Education and Department of Health.

The Hello legacy will still live on with information, resources and updates being made available on our website. And we still want to find out about your excellent events and innovative practice. Our focus from January to March 2012 will be on evaluating the impact of the campaign so watch this space for more information.  

Have a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We look forward to working with you in 2012.

From all the team at The Communication Trust.

Shine a Light

The long-awaited Shine a Light Awards, the flagship event of the Hello campaign took place in November and the ceremony was a resounding success.SAL

150 people attended the Oscars-style event, hosted by TV and radio presenter Vanessa Feltz, who clapped and cheered themselves hoarse as 14 awards were handed out. The awards went to individuals and teams from schools, nurseries and children’s centres, as well as commissioners, who showed excellence in promoting good speech, language and communication.

For more information about the Shine a Light Awards, case studies of the winners and details of the highly commended groups click here.

A video about the Shine a Light winners is available here.

A video of the entire ceremony is available here.

'Tis the season for good communication

To mark the festive season, Hello is delighted to bring you Christmas speaking and listening games and activities courtesy of our friends over at North Yorks Talks.

There are Christmas-themed language activities for children from birth to year 7 plus a range of handouts for parents to promote communication this December.

If you plan to spend lots of time in the kitchen, don't fear: we have activities for you and your children to take part in 'Christmas Kitchen Chaos'. If you were dreading a long car journey to visit your relatives, try 'Rudolf's Roadtrip Rescue', a host of car games to keep your little ones occupied. Instead of dashing around the supermarket in a mad panic, take your time and take part in 'Santa's Shopping Challenge', designed to help keep your little elves busy while helping with the hard work.

For more information please click here.Christmas Top Tips

The school holidays are traditionally a time to hear the plaintive cry of ‘Mum, I’m bored’, but we've come to the rescue by putting together our '12 Top Tips for Christmas Communication' to keep the kids communicating and occupied. Click here to download.

Stuck for present ideas for children within your family? Here's a bit of help and advice to make sure you can choose toys and games which are suited to your child's developmental stage. And if they're more interested in playing with the box or the wrapping paper, don't worry, there's also some ideas and tips for how to use anything they play with as a chance to communicate with your child. Download the advice here.

Holding out for our Hello Heroes

We celebrated the end of the national year of communication in fine style by inviting our Hello Heroes – local coordinators and key partners who have done excellent work during the campaign – to an event at the BT Tower in London.
Downing Street
A group of 14 Hello Heroes spent the morning with Sarah Teather, Minister for Children and Families, discussing their highlights of the national year and the big issues for speech, language and communication in 2012. They also took time out to visit 10 Downing Street to have their picture taken outside the most famous front door in the UK.   

At BT Tower, the Trust had arranged a Journey through Hello exhibition connected to each of the year’s monthly themes before Hello Heroes were whisked up to the top of the tower for lunch and spectacular views across London.

Each of them was given a copy of our Hello Journey document (available to download from here) and a special ‘I’m a Hello Hero’ mug.

Pictures of the event are being added to the Trust’s Flickr account here.

Speech and language primed to become key part of National Curriculum from 2014

The Expert Panel for the National Curriculum review has released their Framework for the National Curriculum report.

The report has officially called for speech, language and communication to form part of the curriculum for all subjects from September 2014 right through compulsory schooling, rather than being focused in the National Curriculum for English.

The report specifically refers to a resource developed by The Communication Trust and Pearson Assessment – Universally Speaking – a set of three booklets that outline the ages and stages of children’s communication from birth to 18-years-old. Universally Speaking helps parents and the children’s workforce to know if a child is on track with their communication development and what to do if they are struggling. The booklets were developed as a key resource for the Hello campaign and currently 33,000 copies have been disseminated.

Anita Kerwin-Nye, Director of The Communication Trust, said: “We are delighted to see children’s speech, language and communication forming a major part of the Expert Panel’s recommendations for the future of the National Curriculum. This is a big step forwards for the issue and follows recent news that communication is now being included in the Ofsted framework.

“The Communication Trust and our members have been long campaigning for speech and language to be an integral part of the school curriculum for children of all ages. I am delighted that the work of the Trust has been recognised in the report and we will be pushing these recommendations forwards to ensure they become reality.”

To read the full press release, click here.


Hello website


Hello facebook

Government response to EYFS consultation

Between July and September 2011, the Government consulted on a revised draft Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework. The Government’s response to the consultation has now been published, which can be accessed here.

The reforms included reduced paperwork and bureaucracy for professionals; a strong focus on the three prime areas of learning most essential for children’s healthy development and future learning; simplified assessment at age 5; and a progress check at 2. The Department for Education (DfE) received over 2,300 online responses to the consultation and conducted an intensive series of meetings, workshops and events with a range of stakeholders. 

The DfE are also launching a one month consultation on proposed changes to The EYFS (Learning and Development Requirements) (Amendment) Order 2012. This consultation provides a further opportunity to comment on the Government's proposed changes to some parts of the learning and development requirements in the revised EYFS framework: the early learning goals; and the educational programmes. It is also an opportunity to comment on the statutory instrument which gives legal effect to these. You can access the consultation documents here.

Youth Justice training update

Staff in Youth Offending Teams across England and Wales are reporting changes in their practice following a series of training sessions delivered by The Communication Trust to help staff recognise and work with young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). Sentence Trouble

Funded by the Youth Justice Board, over 1,600 staff attended the two-day training course at 75 different locations in 2011. The course demonstrates how to identify young people with SLCN, which effects over 60% of young people in the youth justice system. Staff are also given practical tips, resources and strategies to make communication easier.

Feedback reflects how just simple changes around time and simplifying language can make a huge difference. As one person puts it: “I now sit down with the young person and make timetables as visual as possible”.

The Trust also delivered two workshops at the Youth Justice Board to magistrates, police and legal professionals. Watch this space for further training developments in 2012 and visit

New Level 3 award in speech, language and communication

The Communication Trust is delighted to announce the launch of the new City & Guilds CPD Level 3 Award in Supporting Children and Young People’s Speech Language and QualificationsCommunication (Number: 4337) which went live on 1st October 2011.

This continued professional development award is made up of three units: two mandatory and a third chosen from an optional list.  

To view and register for this award please visit the City & Guilds website here. If you are looking to take the award please find your local City & Guilds awarding centre by putting your postcode in the allocated box on the right hand side of this webpage.  

The Communication Trust has developed tutor and learner materials to support the delivery of the Award.

These materials are available at
For further enquires please contact Eve Wagg at


Initial Teacher Training

The Communication Trust has developed training and resources for Initial Teacher Training organisations to help support their students.Let's Talk About It

We have developed and successfully piloted a short training session for Initial Teacher Trainees intended to support their knowledge and skills in relation to speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). We're now making the training available to universities that provide Initial Teacher Training.

We have also produced a bespoke publication aimed at Initial Teacher Trainees, Let's Talk About It, copies of which will be available at no charge to Initial Teacher Training organisations.

To find out more about the training session and how to order the booklet please click here.

Think Big

What is Think Big?O2 Think Big
O2, in partnership with the National Youth Agency, works to give young people the opportunity to make their ideas a reality. As a partner, the Trust will allocate O2 grants to projects that address the SLCN development of children and young people. This may be through:
• Awareness raising projects 
• Direct projects that improve the communication skills of those young people involved
• Projects developed specifically at a Hello related project

How much are the grants for?
The Trust has annually until September 2013:
• 25 x £300 grants 
• 5 x £2,500 grants (for initial projects that prove to be successful)

Please spread the word and tell young people you work with about Think Big and encourage young people to apply. To download the application form, or to download a guide we have created for adults who would support them, please click here.

For further information or to discuss Think Big, contact Alison Marrs, Professional Advisor  Please send completed application forms to this e-mail address.

Resources and information

Here's a quick reminder of some of the resources that are available for you to use, order, download or view...

- Celebrate Good Times - For our November theme we developed a downloadable toolkit with information and activities that will help you celebrate communication milestones big and small. Please click here to download and find out more information.

- Talking Point – Contains information on all aspects of children’s communication development. It includes a Progress Checker if you have any concerns about a child and a postcode-searchable database of speech and language therapy services in your area.

- Universally Speaking – Sponsored by Pearson Assessment, for practitioners working with children in early years (0-5), primary school (5-11) and secondary school (11-18) settings. The ‘ages and stages’ booklets provide guidance on what stage children and young people should be at with their speaking and listening. Click here to download or order your copies.

- BT’s All Talk resource – All schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland have been sent a free copy of a book and DVD resource from BT called All Talk. It provides much-needed support for GCSE and A-level students in the study of spoken language and speaking and listening. All of the materials, plus extras, are free to download from

Teacher and GCSE moderator, Lindsay McNab called it “the best, most practical resource for the English classroom that I have seen for a long time. It is a wonderful set of materials to support all the tasks in GCSE English Language but it also provides a huge range of interesting, student-friendly ways to introduce the study of spoken language into any English classroom. The printed materials and suggestions for classroom activities are based on the premise that learning has to be active and fun, and the video content, including some great clips of students excelling in the classroom, is imaginatively conceived and beautifully presented.”

All Talk was developed by Dialogics and The Full English.

Talking Trouble

Talking Trouble is a new microsite, developed as part of Hello, Talking Troubleto highlight the communication barriers faced by children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

The interactive site allows people to highlight what their child might struggle with, look at a list of identifying factors and then be signposted for further help and support.

It has been developed for parents and anyone who works with children and young people who may not know much about this area.

To view the site please go to

The Way We Talk

The Way We Talk is a film from the Hello campaign which shows how communication difficulties can impact on children and young people. The Way We Talk

Oliver (aged 8), Attiyyah (15), Luke (4), Jamie (15), Barnaby (6), Aiden (7) and Alex (6) talk about their life, experiences at school and what it is like to have a communication difficulty.

It's available here on the Hello website and can be viewed on the Hello You Tube channel.

There are a number of films on our You Tube channel so be sure to have a look around.


Confident communication resources competition - winners announced!

Children’s confidence specialist Kidz4Mation congratulates the winners who requested the resources to boost confident social communication over summer.

Please find below the names of the winners who were chosen randomly. Could the competition winners please email Kidz4Mation on with your postal addresses so they can send you all one of their positive picture books.  Thank you.

Karen Robinson-Jones
Rebecca Fretter
Frances Tyler
Suzanne Shields
Louise Boyd
Su Hayward

New book: Listening to Children and Young People with Speech, Language and Communication Needs

This book includes information on:
• The voice of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs
• Insights from researchers, speech and language therapists, social workers, psychologists, teachers, advocates, and parents
• A diversity of disciplines: health, education, and social care
• A range of creative techniques and solutions for listening to children and young people
• Links to service implications

The Communication Trust has contributed to the book, edited by Sue Roulstone and Sharynne McLeod.

To find out more and to order a copy please click here.

Survey of SLT for children with cerebral palsy and communication difficulties

Dr Lindsay Pennington and Rose Watson from Newcastle University are conducting a survey of UK speech and language therapy (SLT) provision for children with cerebral palsy who have communication difficulties.

The survey has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research and aims to find out which areas of development and need SLTs focus on, the split in provision between dysphagia and communication, the types of assessment used, priority setting in intervention and models of service delivery.

The survey will provide a snapshot of practice in the UK and will inform future research applications. Results will be available to call clinicians to help plan service developments. The survey can be completed on line at

If you work with children with cerebal palsy please complete the survey so we can get a nationwide picture of survey provision.

For more information please contact Lindsay Pennington (; 0191 2821360 or Rose Watson; 0191 2825963.

News from our members

The Communication Trust is a consortium of nearl 50 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

Ambitious about Autism - Finished at School campaign
Ambitious about Autism

Ambitious About Autism have just launched a campaign called ‘Finished at School’ which aims to secure more and better educational options for all young disabled people once they finish school, to enable them to develop skills, gain employment, live more independently and ultimately to live the life they choose.

Please take a moment to sign their campaign pledge here:  and if possible email your MP too.

I CAN - Vacancies

I CAN currently have two vacancies available based at their London office:I CAN

Training Administrator - 35 hours per week, £23,935 - £27,816 per annum (including London Weighting)

Customer Service Assistant - 35 hours per week, £19,566 - £20,728 per annum (including London Weighting)

For more information please click here.

National Literacy Trust - Words For LifeNLT

The National Literacy Trust is re-launching its Words for Life campaign with a website for parents, The website is "in development" at the moment as we are testing what works best and how we can improve the site. 

Parents can make all the difference to their child’s communication skills. Helping children learn to communicate will help them develop good relationships, do well at school and be confident and happy. Words for Life gets parents engaged with their children’s communication and literacy development from birth to age 11 and is clearly split into age groups of baby-3, 3-5, 5-7 and 7-11.

Within each age group, the new website gives parents an idea of what communication milestones babies and children might reach as they grow, as well as giving tips and advice on how they can get involved and help their children. There are also fun ideas and activities for parents to do with their children and for children to do independently to help them develop their communication skills.

We would really like your feedback to make the site better and have put together a short survey. As an incentive, once you have completed the survey you will be entered into a draw to win one of three fantastic Boggle Flash games. Please go to to take the survey. Thank you.


Hello is sponsored by:

BT and andPearson Assessment

Contact Us

If you would like to contact us please call 0207 843 2526 or email
The Communication Trust, 8 Wakley Street, London, EC1V 7QE


Sentence Trouble:



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