Language award for local pre-school

March 15, 2017 by Southend Borough Council

Wednesday 15th March 2016

Little Acorns in Leigh-on-Sea has become the first Pre-School to be awarded a Southend-on-Sea Early Language and Communication (SELCA) Gold Award.

The aim of the Southend Early Language and Communication Award (SELCA) is to recognise excellence in supporting and developing young children’s language and communication skills. The award is open to all types of childcare services, including child-minders, crèches, children centres, pre-schools, day nurseries, schools and other organisations working with young children and their families and carers.

Little Acorns in Leigh-on-Sea worked with specialist teacher Lynsey Weston, and learnt strategies to support the communication and language skills of the children. As part of their submission they had to review their interaction skills, environment and resources and present a detailed case history of one child demonstrating how the new strategies learnt were being implemented.

Cllr James Courtenay, Executive Councillor for Children and Learning, says: “Starting at a nursery or pre-school is an exciting time for most children, but an increasing number may find it difficult as they struggle with poor language and communication skills.

“Communication is fundamental to a child’s development. In order to learn, play and most importantly make friends, children need to understand, and be understood. If children start primary school without the basic speech and language skills it can be hard for them to learn and make friends, so this award is both great news and very important.”

Isobel Wratislaw, the council’s Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, said: “If children can access early years services that identify language learning needs and implement strategies to meet those needs, children can make important gains in their language development.”

Anna Woodcock, Little Acorns Manager, said: "We really enjoyed working towards our SELCA Gold. During this process it was great to see the long term progress of individual children as well as developing our work, so that we can continue to help improve the language skills of all the children within the pre-school.”