TALK Derby DAY is here! People of Derby are being invited to celebrate the power of conversation this week as TALK Derby DAY takes places on Wednesday 1st July 2020.

TALK Derby DAY celebrates the work of TALK Derby – a major Government programme to help local children develop the communication skills they need to learn, make friends, stay well and ultimately find jobs.

The event is designed to inspire everyone – parents and families, businesses, schools, colleges and other organisations – to hold activities which encourage conversation. In line with current Government guidelines around Covid-19, the event has changed its emphasis to encourage activities online, at home and in small groups. Ideas for celebrating conversation have ranged from teddy bears’ picnics and storytelling, to structured debates and networking for older children and adults.  All can be carried out online or in person.

And anyone can win £250 for a city-based educational setting to spend on speech, language and communication development. To enter, post your activity on social media in the run up to and on 1 July, with the hash tag #TALKDerbyDAY. The winner will then be able to nominate a school or setting to receive the £250.

One of the schools celebrating TALK Derby DAY is Harrington Nursery School who has joined forces with Whitecross Nursery, Central Nursery School, Ashgate Nursery and Lord Street Nursery School to create a fun-filled day centred around good communication.

Wendy Colebourne, Headteacher at Harrington Nursery School and TALK Derby Ambassador, explains:

“We are planning a jungle-themed event around the ‘Animal Boogie’ book using action and movement combined with speech and language. Our staff and children are dressing up and we are transforming an area of our school into a jungle.

“We have lots of activities planned for the day, like making musical instruments for different animal movements, creating animal puppets and developing props and masks to re-enact the story, then encouraging children to make up their own. We also want to involve families and will be providing parents and carers with images of different animals with prompts to encourage conversation about movement, colours and sounds. There will be a big focus on improving vocabulary by introducing new words for the different animal movements.

Wendy adds:

“We wanted to be involved in TALK Derby DAY because I believe talking with children is really important – it helps them think, learn and make sense of the world. It is the tool that develops reasoning, knowledge and understanding. It improves bonds and helps form relationship and builds self-esteem. Communication allows all children to feel safe, acknowledged and to be successful in life,”

TALK Derby is being co-ordinated for Derby City Council by early years consultancy, Hempsall’s. Project Director Kate Freeman said:

“TALK Derby DAY has undergone a few changes since its launch earlier this year due to the impact of Covid-19, but its focus has remained on celebrating conversation and recognising the importance of these essential skills”.

“We know that parents, carers, professionals, businesses and other organisations across Derby will be holding events and making those conversations count.”