A teacher at St James’ Junior School in Derby, has won £250 for her school after entering the #TALKDerbyDAY prize draw. Year 5 teacher, Amy Calpin, shared her school’s TALK Derby DAY activities through social media and was randomly selected to receive the prize. The money will be spent on equipment to support essential speech, language and communication skills in the school.
TALK Derby DAY, held on Wednesday 1 July 2020, celebrated 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. Schools, nurseries, businesses, charities and other organisations shared their events on social media using #TALKDerbyDAY. All images and videos submitted were entered into a prize draw with the winner receiving £250 to spend on communication resources or activities for a city-based school or nursery.
As well as teaching year 5, Amy is the lead for computing and distance learning at the school. She got involved with TALK Derby through Ruth Bordoli, Oracy Lead at St James’.
“I really enjoyed the different TALK Derby DAY activities and introducing the children to something new. I’m extremely grateful for winning £250, it will be an amazing help for our school in developing our children’s spoken language skills!”
Along with children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), there is also a significant proportion of children in St James’ Junior School with other Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) as well as children eligible for Pupil Premium funding to support their learning.
To assist these children, and the rest of the school, including 80% who speak English as a second language, St James’ is running a school-wide Oracy Project in the autumn. It plans to use the prize money to buy two new Easi-Speak Microphones and docking stations, so that more pupils have access to such equipment.
Ruth Bordoli said:
“The microphones will support children who speak English as a second language to record their English vocabulary. It will also enable those with SLCN and SEND to develop their thoughts and ideas and to become more confident in using spoken English.
“They’ll be a valuable tool in enabling all our children to become more confident in articulating their ideas, helping them to record longer passages of speech as they work with their friends.”
TALK Derby is being co-ordinated for Derby City Council by early years consultancy, Hempsall’s. Project Director Kate Freeman said:
“We are delighted to be able to award this prize money to Amy and St James’ Junior School. The new equipment will be invaluable to them as they help build the children’s confidence in speech, language and communication.”