We want to say a massive thank you to our ongoing supporter Jimbo’s Fund at Leeds Community Foundation for their support during Covid-19 last year, which has been a difficult year for everyone.
Their generous donation has funded Becky, a specialist member of staff to support children from our nurseries with the development of their language and communication skills.
Here is an example of a week in the life of Becky, so you can understand a bit more about the valuable work that Jimbo’s Fund has enabled her to do.
Becky works across Jimbo’s Community Nursery and Hawthorn, our specialist nursery and focuses on improving children’s communication, language and literacy skills. She has a weekly timetable which allows her to work with approximately 46 children per week. She supports the children in variety of ways, from running 1 to 1 focused activities or running small group work sessions with 2-4 children at a time.
Becky focused her activities on the key areas and skills that children required extra support in. For example, for the children who were struggling to express their feelings she would use feeling and emotion dolls during play to discuss why we feel different emotions and how we act upon them.
One group activity that went down particularly well with the children was Billy Bear’s Birthday. This activity helps with speech sound development by using sounds and actions together to focus on pronunciation of particular sounds. This activity was with a small groups of children who were encouraged to take turns throughout the activity. The children remained engaged and focused and expressed to Becky how much they enjoyed the activity afterwards.
An example of a typical one to one activity that Becky would do with the children is the NHS First Word Checklist. This activity helps to build upon and improve a child’s understanding of common objects, common actions such as eating and walking and common family words such as mum and dad. She would use objects to help such as a cup or a car, which allowed the children to role play which encouraged first words, sounds and actions. The NHS First Word checklist would be used to record a child’s understanding, this would be when a child could correctly choose the object out of a choice of two or when the child could label the object independently.
This funding couldn’t have come at a more crucial time as emerging research shows that children with special education needs have been disproportionately effected by Covid-19, especially in the areas of language and communication.