Making a Difference at Yarm Primary School

As a company, Contego is committed to giving something back. We want to make a difference in the communities we operate in. That’s why we are delighted to make a donation to Yarm Primary School. Our support will help fund training that will benefit the school’s youngest pupils. We spoke to the Jill Wood, School Principal – to find out more. 

Q: How will Contego’s donation help you support your youngest pupils?

A: Contego’s sponsorship will allow teachers to attend training through the ICAN Early Talk resource to support the children’s speech, language, and communication skills. It is well documented that secure developmentally appropriate language skills underpin all learning at the early stages of education, so we are delighted that we will have increased capacity to address our youngest children’s needs.

Q: What is the ICAN Early Talk resource?

A: It’s targeted support that’s designed to help 3-4 year olds who struggle to speak and understand language. At the moment, that’s around one in ten children in the UK. In disadvantaged areas, that rises to one in four. At the moment, there’s a lack of knowledge and resources to help them. Without skills in speaking and understanding language, children struggle to make friends and learn. It also impacts on their mental health. 

Q: Has the pandemic had an impact on your ability to support children with communication needs?

A: We have all been impacted by the challenges of the pandemic and I believe that we are only beginning to see some of the effects on our young people in school. A nationally well-documented social deficit in our youngest children is of major significance, as secure developmentally appropriate language skills underpin all learning at this early stage. Not only that, as school budgets have been stretched dealing with the challenges of keeping open and having to finance substitute staff; training and resource budgets are taking a hit at the time when we need to offer alternative provision, make significant adaptations, and try to secure accelerated progress for our children.

Q: How will the ICAN Early Talk resource help your school?

A: It will allow us to make a long-term positive impact on our staff in supporting them to have the strategies to work on with the children and share with parents. It is a 4-session programme and costs £345, which at the current time is not within our financial capabilities. Be being able to access the programme, we would be in the position to begin making the impact on our youngest children’s speech, language, and communication before the summer. I would like to thank Contego so much for their generosity, on behalf of everyone at Yarm Primary School.

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