Talking is a big success

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A PROGRAMME to help boost children’s language development in schools has already paid dividends at a school in Hartlepool.

West View Primary, in Davison Drive, is one of the schools whose staff have completed the training for the Talk Boost scheme.

In the space of just a few weeks, the school has seen real progress. Talk Boost is a catch-up programme, developed by the children’s communication charity I CAN and The Communication Trust.

Research has shown that Talk Boost can boost children’s communication by up to 18 months.

The programme can be used with groups of children in reception, Year 1 or Year 2 once the teacher and teaching assistant have been trained.

Two of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s speech and language therapists, Kate Cummings and Alison Thompson, are qualified to deliver the training that staff need to run Talk Boost in their school.

Kate said: “The programme aims to give children’s language skills a boost and can make them a lot more confident to talk in class.”

She added: “Each session includes activities that cover the key elements of language, including attention and listening, vocabulary, building sentences, telling stories and conversation.

“We think teachers and teaching assistants will love the resources, and all of the sessions are planned out ready to use with the children.

“It’s a fantastic programme and encourages parents and carers to support the language activities through a family workbook which the children take home.

“I have recently been to visit West View Primary School and it is lovely to see the progress children have made thanks to Talk Boost.”

Teaching assistant Jacqui Robinson said: “This is the best intervention programme I have ever used. It really has made a real difference.

“The children who have been coming to the Talk Boost group are more confident, more willing to speak up and put their hands up in classes and wanting to be involved.”

Teacher Michelle Ellis added: “When the children involved in the group join back up with their regular classes you can see the difference in them straight away. They are having conversations with the other children and feel more a part of the class. I would definitely recommend this training to other schools and we would be more than happy for any school to visit us to see Talk Boost in action.”

Find out more about Talk Boost by visiting