Talk Boost KS2 Launch
‘This intervention enabled all of the children to make progress with their communication skills.’ – SENCo, St James Church School, Taunton, Somerset.
Last week I CAN launched its latest intervention programme – Talk Boost KS2 targeted at children aged 7-10 who have delayed language development. We know that good language skills are crucial for learning, literacy and making friends but that a number of children in key stage 2 struggle as language and communication become more complex. Talk Boost KS2 aims to boost children’s language skills to help them catch up with their peers and reduce the impact of language difficulties on academic attainment and social development.
We designed Talk Boost KS2 to engage 7-10 year olds by using a detective theme; children become communication detectives finding out as much as they can about communication skills and strategies. Using an eight week small group intervention delivered by a teaching assistant (TA), along with classroom activities and homework tasks delivered by class teachers, children focus on various aspects of language that support both learning and social interaction. Children are encouraged to become independent learners and one child told us, ‘it’s really fun and helps us learn.’
As part of the intervention, teacher and TA pairs attend a one day training session covering language skills in KS2 and the delivery of the intervention. Detailed manuals with more than 80 ready to use resources are provided. In addition, an online tracker allows teachers to record and monitor progress of children in the group and provides reports on the impact of the intervention.
Talk Boost KS2 was evaluated in a carefully designed study using active and comparison schools. A range of formal and informal measures were used with school staff, parents and children. The evaluation showed that children made significant progress in language and communication.
What now? This month, the first groups of I CAN licensed tutors from different parts of the country were trained and all were enthused to start delivering Talk Boost KS2 to their local schools. More training sessions are planned to help us reach as many primary schools and children as possible.