Awards celebrate excellence in supporting children's communication

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Early Years settings, practitioners and schools are invited to enter this year’s Shine a Light Awards, which celebrate the achievements of those who support children’s speech, language and communication.


Bishop Alexander L.E.A.D Academy was named Early Years Setting of the Year in the 2016/17 Shine a Light Awards

Run jointly by The Communication Trust and Pearson, the Shine a Light Awards, now in their sixth year, recognise the contributions of teams, schools, settings, young people and individuals across England who champion innovative work and excellent practice.

Award categories include – Early Years Setting of the Year, Primary School of the Year and Communication Champion of the Year. There is also a new category for 2018, The Katie Rough Memorial Award, in honour of seven-year-old Katie Rough who had selective mutism and sadly died this year. This award is open to all settings, organisations, services and individuals working with children affected by selective mutism.

The closing date for entries is 23 January 2018 and the awards ceremony will be held on 22 March in London, hosted by a secret celebrity.

Octavia Holland, director of The Communication Trust, said, ‘The Shine a Light Awards gives individuals, teams, settings and young people a unique opportunity to shout about their achievements and for this best practice to be recognised across the sector.

‘Last year’s applications were amazing. The Shine a Light Awards shows how lives can be enriched with dedication and commitment, particularly for the one million children and young people with long-term speech, language and communication needs (SLCN). We encourage settings and individuals across the country to put themselves in the spotlight and celebrate the work they have achieved.’

100 Million Minute reading challenge

Nurseries, childminders, school, parents and carers across England and Wales are also being invited to sign up for Achievement for All’s reading challenge in 2018.

This year, over 125,000 primary school children participated in the Ten Million Minutes Challenge, which will be even bigger next year, challenging schools and settings to collectively read 100 million minutes in a week and be in with a chance to win prizes.

The 100 Million Minute Challenge will take place from 1 March (World Book Day) to 9 March 2018. Prizes will be awarded to schools and settings who achieve the highest average number of reading minutes per child. Certificates will also be awarded to individuals who reach key reading targets throughout the week.

The aim of the event is to highlight the importance of introducing children to the habit of reading in everyday life to improve their communication skills and future prospects.

According to Achievement for All – a not-for-profit organisation that works in partnership with schools and settings to improve outcomes for children vulnerable to underachievement, across the UK, up to two in five children in disadvantaged communities have difficulties with literacy.

For further information on the challenge and to register your place visit:

  • To enter the Shine a Light Awards 2018 click here


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