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I'm a student who is doing some research on childhood communication and I am interested in anything about the new Sure Start Communication Matters training.If you have been on any training, or are preparing training for the modules I would be very interested in what you think about them.

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I don't think many will have necessarily heard of these materials as they are primarily aimed at lea's for training purposes and are not being distributed on demand. Your La will have been given a few copies but even we have to copy further if we want to share with other teams. Basically it is training provision produced by Prof Nigel Hall (forget which uni, Manchester?) which focuses on the key aspects of pathways to communication. There are three modules, one focuses on language development, one focuses on different pathways to communication and the other I forget right now. They consist of training manuals and cd's that have the powerpoints and video clips. Most LEA's will be using these materials during the next few years as they are intended to form part of our training packages. There are different ways they can be used and there is talk of them also being accredited but again this will depend on how Leas disseminate the materials as the gap tasks will form part of that process and will ivolve the need for external moderation. At the last LA regional conference this was still being worked out ata regional level and we didn't get very clear info about this bit. We are currently discussing this as a full EYs team as it will involve both the EYATs and the FS consultants, with possible input from other teams. Sections can be used and adapted to fit in with other trainings as I have done this term, in existing training packages.


They are very good materials and if used sensibly will have a lot of impact I think - our problem is how to implement them in an already full schedule. We won't realistically be delivering any units in full until at least next year, and many colleagues in other boroughs are saying the same. We don't want to rush into this as it is in total 6 days of training so there are many implications about HOW we can deliver them. Something the FS/strategy RAs don't seem to address!!



Edited by catma
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This project is a joint venture between Sure Start, the National Primary Strategy and the DfES SEN division, in recognition of the need to improve the language and communication skills of young children aged from three to five. The project team is based at the Institute of Education, Manchester Metropolitan University, and is led by Professor Nigel Hall. The views of practitioners about the teaching of communication and oral language would be welcome.



Communicating Matters has three main aims:

1. To deepen practitioners' understanding of children's communication and language, particularly between the ages of three and five years.

2. To deepen practitioners' understanding of how their own communicative behaviour affects children's use and display of communicative behaviours.

3. To help practitioners reflect on and develop their practice to promote children's communication and language more effectively.


All early years practitioners are teachers of communication and language. Communicating Matters seeks to raise the awareness of practitioners so they become more reflective about their interaction with children, and to understand better how their own role in communication events can be improved so that they become more effective in encouraging and supporting children's development as communicators and speakers.


Communicating Matters works through practical activities which develop observation, reflection and analysis. The training consists of three modules:

1. An introduction to communication and language in early years settings.

2. The management and organisation of communication and language in early years settings by children and practitioners.

3. Exploring different pathways to communication, language and English.


Training packs have been made available to local authorities, who should be contacted for further details of local training plans.

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Sounds a really good resource - I just wonder when it will reach us. I appreciate that this appears to be comprehensive training course but why does everything take so long to reach us. I attended a meeting the other day and when I asked what it was all about I was told that it was a new CD that had been issued - I had seen it 8 months earlier and had my own copy. Sometimes I feel that whilst we may not be able to use things in their entirety without having the training often having them gives some good ideas/activities to get started on which can only benefit.


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