A group of Year 9 students have been participating in Talk About Talk Secondary, a pilot programme of speech and language intervention in conjunction with I CAN.
On Wednesday 8th March the group held a 2-hour workshop for members of Dawlish Rotary Club, presenting what they had learnt during their Talk About Talk sessions with Lead TA Mrs Howell. Using interactive challenges and role play, they explained the difficulties some young people face in communicating with others, and what can be done to support students with these issues in order to enhance their employability in later life.
I CAN is the leading charity for children and young people’s speech, language and communication. It provides effective, practical evidence-based solutions that change the lives of children and young people with communication difficulties, and support all children’s communication development.
Talk about Talk Secondary is an evidenced training and mentoring intervention that supports young people’s transition into the workplace. Aimed at 13-16 year old students in Years 9, 10 and 11 who have language difficulties, it develops the communication skills that support other ‘soft’ employability skills such as team working, time management and problem-solving students. In a series of 12 sessions, trained school staff mentor students so they can co-deliver workshops about communication to local employers.
Through this and through tutoring sessions between workshops, students learn, practise and improve their communication and presentation skills. A Talk for Work profiling tool tracks the development of these skills, and provides school staff with a measure of progress.
The programme is currently being piloted in 18 secondary schools across England including Dawlish Community College. The College decided to become involved with Talk about Talk Secondary as a way of extending our provision in school for pupils with Speech, Language and Communication Needs. I CAN has been working with the College over the last year, training staff and supporting them to deliver the intervention. This is the second cohort of pupils who have presented the workshop to local employers. By being involved students learn about communication and have an opportunity to develop their skills which will help them be more effective in interviews and in the workplace.
We would like to thank Dawlish Rotary Club for participating in the workshop, as well as Liz Wood from I CAN. Well done to the Year 9 students for their fantastic effort in this project!