Here are a few examples from colleagues in Norwich about how they have been involved in NOA projects so far and their experiences. This is just a taster of some of our work …

Evidence Based Practice Fund

Cassandra Williams, Headteacher at Lakenham Primary School talking about the impact of the use of the Leuven scales and Process Orientated Monitoring System (POMS) on children’s progress and transitions across the EYFS, Year 1 & Year 2.

Teachers now have a tool to assess children in the process of learning, Leuven scales look behind the data related to academic attainment/outcomes and asks what we can do to improve the conditions for learning for all of our children – we now have a shared understanding of the importance of raising children’s wellbeing and involvement and a framework for addressing this.

Communication Champion Hubs

Stuart Allen, Headteacher at Mile Cross Primary School, Chair of the NOA Communication Legacy Team & Lead for the North Norwich Communication Hub, shares his experiences.

“It is this commitment to our professional community from staff in schools, settings and agencies that will support us to develop our network further in the future, learning from expert speakers, and from each other, as practitioners share best practice from their settings and the personal skills they have acquired through direct work with children and families”.

Communication Champion 0-2 Hub

Yvonne Hamilton from Chestnut nursery talking about her work as joint lead of the 0-2 Communication Champions Hub.

The Hub runs regular meetings covering all aspects of Early Years Communication and how this impacts children’s early speech, language and communication and provides a forum to share best practice, ideas and expert knowledge.

Communication Champions

Cecilia Basnett, Communication Champion, Bignold Primary School

Cecilia trained as a Communication Champion with NOA, to focus on improving support around early speech, language and communication within their school or setting. This aimed to create a universal approach to communication development, increase practitioner’s knowledge and better assess and support emerging needs. There are now over 110 Communication Champions in Norwich.

Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSAs)

Norwich Opportunity Area are supporting more than 100 ELSAs across primary and secondary schools in the city. ELSAs are trained to provide support for children who are experiencing social, emotional and mental health difficulties. Schools tell us how vital ELSA trained staff have been in supporting children back into school routines following Covid disruption.

NOA has funded the training of these class-based support staff that can deal with issues as they arise in the classroom and the wider school. The training has given members of school staff the skills and confidence to support children with a wide range of difficulties, including; bereavement, family break up, anger and anxiety management.

“This project has already made a difference in our school and will continue to benefit our school, our children and our families, now and in the future” – Eileen Maceachern SENCO at Mile Cross Primary School

Sharing our work nationally …

Some of our projects have been shared nationally and can be found on the Insight Guides page on Opportunity areas insight guides – GOV.UK (

This includes a showcase of the Norwich Careers Facilitator network in the Careers Insight Guide. Our very own Katrina Temple, Careers Lead at City Academy Norwich represented CAN, the NOA and the network at a national webinar on place-based working in careers education to share her experiences alongside key representatives across the country.

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