Countywide Conference 2014

Conference Information 2014

‘time to talk’ Countywide Conference
Following the success of previous countywide cluster meetings we held a conference for this year and secured a top venue and speaker. The conference took place on Friday 28th November 2014 and we welcomed 70 Early Years and Children’s Centres practitioners.

True to all ‘time to talk’ events, there was an ice-breaker!


The day included:

our keynote speaker, Elizabeth Jarman presenting The Communication Friendly Spaces™ Approach. Elizabeth provided an overview of the approach which will help practitioners to develop their learning environment and make sure it’s really supporting children’s speaking and listening skills, physical development and emotional well-being. Theory was illustrated with lots of relevant imagery, case studies and examples of impact. Key strands included:

  • Planning for transitions
  • Maximising the use of space
  • Storage and resource management
  • The impact of noise
  • Informed use of colour
  • The effects of light

Elizabeth Jarman presenting

Elizabeth is a much respected and inspirational speaker and gave us all plenty to think about. For more ideas, you can ‘like’ her facebook page, ‘Elizabeth Jarman for Families‘. Her session was followed up in the afternoon with a workshop led by Alison, Hayley and Rosie, the team from Kingsbury and Polesworth Children’s Centre, who set up a room at the venue in two different styles. On one side was a ‘traditional’ setting; on the other side was a ‘communication-friendly’ setting. Our practitioners were asked to spend some time in each half of the room, and there was then chance to reflect on the effect of the environment on their play in each area. Feedback showed that this was a great way to showcase how natural resources, open-ended play, multi-sensory experiences and creative use of materials can really enhance a child’s emotional, physical and communication experience in a setting. Thank you to Alison, Hayley and Rosie for all their hard work in creating and transporting the workshop.

‘time to talk’ Speech and Language Therapist Melanie Packer led a workshop on the use of video to support practitioners in maximising the opportunities for children’s language learning based on the VERVE approach. Attendees were shown how the philosophy has a positive impact on children’s communication development through the power of video reflection. Find out more about VERVE here.

Melanie Packer VERVE
Melanie showed some videos of practitioners at different stages of VERVE and their insights into their use of strategies

We heard a series of short presentations on ‘what works for us’…

Carly from Abbey Fields sent in a presentation about their language enrichment extension. Unfortunately Carly was not able to attend on the day.
Carly White from Abbey Fields Nursery sent in a presentation about their language enrichment extension
Carleen from Badger Valley Children’s Centre spoke about the process of preparing their portfolio for the ‘time to talk’ enhanced certificate
Sarah Walker from the Health Visiting team spoke about the two year integrated review
and our very own Louise Perry talked about her experiences as a new parent in her talk 'chatter matters... but...'
and our very own Louise Perry talked about her experiences as a new parent in her talk ‘chatter matters… but sometimes I just need reminding!’

Thank you to all who contributed with these short talks. It’s great to hear about all the great practice out there.

We held a workshop led by Sally Tonge, a storyteller from Shropshire. Sally shared some of her storytelling ideas and had everybody joining in!

IMG_0250 IMG_0293Sally Tonge session IMG_0292 IMG_0312 IMG_0278

Thank you to Sally for a fabulous session, perfect for any age.

We had displays from exhibitors relevant to ‘time to talk’


and we launched our new book and poster, ‘the abc of talking with me’

IMG_0357 IMG_0351

There were opportunities for networking, receiving updates and news about ‘time to talk’ and a celebration of Champions’ fabulous contributions to support children’s speech, language and communication. We ended with Alex’s talk about the ‘time to talk’ blanket…


'time to talk' blanket

and a thank you to Champions for all their hard work.

Thank you

See you next year!