Improving Early Communication

In Norwich we have established a network of Communication Champions in schools, nurseries and early years settings across the city to create a universal approach to improving speech and language. Addressing speech, language and communication needs in the early years can have a powerfully positive impact on the health and wellbeing, educational progress and employability of children and young people.

“A Communication Champion is a leader in empowering children and young people with the skills for their future”

The network is led by five Communication Hubs who work together, led by Stuart Allen, Headteacher at Mile Cross Primary School. Contact your local Hub school/setting for more info about training and sharing best practice.

Lakenham Communication Hub
(Run by Lakenham Primary School)
Hub leads: Jess Bell and Tracey Hawthorne
Peapod Communication Hub (Run by Peapod Preschool)Hub leads: Fran O’Neill and Sarah Riley
Lionwood Communication Hub (Run by Lionwood Infant and Nursery School)Hub Leads: Sam Thorpe and Faye Herron
North Norwich Communication Hub
(Mile Cross Primary School and Catton Grove Primary School Partnership)
Hub Leads: Eileen Maceachern and Catherine Bryan Contact:    
0-2 Communication Hub
(Little Squirrels Play Forest and Chestnut Nursery Partnership)
Hub Leads: Suzie Squirrel Hughes and Yvonne Hamilton Contact:  
Breckland Communication Hub
(Run by Necton CoE Primary School)
Hub Leads: Leanne Cryan and Lynsey Eaglen

You can find more information and Hub Meeting dates here

Communication Champions

Angel Road Infant and Nursery School – Carol Vincent/ Lisa Bilham/Emma Wayman

Bignold Primary School and Nursery – Julie Carey/Cecilia Basnett

Charles Darwin Nursery – Michelle Owen/Emma Seymour

Cloverhill Infant and Nursery School – Sophia Weston

Colman Infant School – Catherine Situmorang/Katherine Morley/Michelle Collins

Edith Cavell Academy – Gill Pope/Donna Nicholas

Heartsease Primary Academy – Becky Clack

Magdalen Gates Preschool – Leanne Whiting/Paula Watts

Nelson Preschool – Lisa Tomkins

Recreation Road Infant School – Louise Carolan

St Clements Hill Academy – Faye Brown

St Francis of Assisi Primary – Soledad Alvarez Sanchez

Time Childcare – Stella Presland

West Earlham Infant and Nursery School – Cheryl Hillyard/Amy Wood

Final round of Communication Champion Training for NOA schools and settings

Online Communication Champion Training – Now Available

As you may already know, prior to Covid-19, our dedicated Communication Champion Leaders were busy cascading their CC training down to their colleagues and other local settings in an effort to upskill as many practitioners as possible around children’s early speech, language and communication development. However, as face to face training is no longer an option given the current circumstances, the Norwich Opportunity Area has taken the decision to move this training online!

We hope that this move will encourage practitioners, from all over Norwich and beyond, to access this training from home and upskill themselves around this key subject. It is anticipated that as a result of the extended time spent away from education settings, the language gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged children will have widened. Therefore, it’s more important now than ever, that practitioners understand how to identify children’s speech, language and communication needs and how they can best support them.

The FREE online training is now available here with The Communication Trust.

Communication Champion Online Training Modules
Speech, Language and Communication  2.1 Attention, Listening and Understanding
1.2 Identification and Assessment of Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)2.2 Vocabulary and Expressive Language
1.3 The Communication Environment2.3 Speech Sounds and Involving Children with SLCN
1.4 Strategies and Support for SLCN   

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