Giving Voice is a national campaign led by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists which aims to demonstrate how speech and language therapy makes a difference to people with speech, language and communication needs, their families, and wider society.
I'll be updating this blog regularly so please keep checking back and share it too :) click the Giving Voice logo to go direct to the official website!
Earlier this month we hosted our
inter-school Voice Box competition in Ashington, Northumberland. It was a lovely end to a busy week and we
were delighted to welcome Ian Lavery, MP, and Andrew Day, Executive Director of
the Northumberland Church of England Academy (NCEA) to our judging panel. All five
schools participated and we invited the winner and 2 runners up from each of
them. There were 3 schools from Ashington, one from Newbiggin and one from Lynemouth.
In the weeks leading up to the
competition there was lots of chatter about Voice Box as I visited each of the
schools. I had presented at a number of the staff meetings to encourage schools
to take part and I was delighted with the enthusiasm this had created. A number
of the schools sent a homework activity to find and learn a joke and staff
reported that this lead to a positive uptake of homework with almost all pupils
actively engaging. Each campus held their own Voice Box competition slightly
differently with class based competitions, class votes and whole school
I was excited for the final and
was looking forward to welcoming parents and guests for an afternoon filled with
laughter. Key Stage 2 from our host school also formed part of the audience. I
briefly introduced the afternoon and then handed the stage over to the budding
comedians! All of the runners up went first, followed by the winner from each
of the 5 schools. While the judges were deciding their winner (with the help of
a score sheet and a Giving Voice pen from their goody bag!) I welcomed Lost Voice Guy to the stage.
He entertained us for 15 minutes through a funny story packed with jokes. The
children (and adults!) loved him and it was great to have a Comedian join us
for the afternoon.
Lost Voice Guy, Ian Lavery, Andrew Day
At the Judges table with their goody bags!
Ian Lavery announced the winner
and handed out all of our medals and trophies. All the children received a
medal and certificate and the winner from each school also received a trophy.
Ian Lavery and Andrew Day both said a few words before I closed the afternoon
and thanked everyone attending.
Medals and trophies for the children
It was a truly lovely way to spend
an hour on a Friday afternoon and it was nice to be talking about and promoting
the Speech and Language Skills of all the children. I’ve had lots of lovely
conversations with staff in all the schools about how much the children enjoyed
and engaged with it. Most of the schools took part on their No Pens Day which
allowed lots of opportunity to really put Speech, Language and Communication at
the top of the agenda J
All of the winners have been submitted
to RCSLT now and we look forward to hearing back about whether any of them have
been shortlisted for the National Final. It was also lovely to see on Twitter
that Richard Burgon, MP for Leeds East, got involved with his local schools competition
again too. Read about last year here.
Wishing lots of good luck to all
the schools and children who have taken part this year and don’t forget if you haven’t
sent in your schools winning joke yet the deadline is this Thursday 1st
December! Further details from RCSLT here.