The Communication Champion Project is one part of the Norwich Opportunity Area, launched by the government to improve the life chances of local children. It aims to support early speech and language development to give children the skills they need to communicate inside and outside school, now and in the future.

Developing good speech, language and communication skills in the early years and beyond has a powerful impact on the health and wellbeing, educational progress and employability of children and young people.

Two to three children in every classroom are struggling to communicate.

If they do not receive the right support, speech language and communication needs can cause significant long term difficulties for children and young people. 

Some children have speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), others may be a little late developing their skills, and some children have no difficulties, but they will all benefit from the work we are doing on the Communication Champions Project.

We want to give all our children the best possible start in life and provide the support they need to succeed.

Please read our Mission Statement to find out what we hope to achieve.

  • At MCP three teachers have completed Communication Champion Leadership training. Miss Maceachern (SENCO), Miss Hall (Reception Class Teacher) and Miss Ruffell (Year 1 Class Teacher).
  • All classroom staff have attended initial training in school.
  • 12 staff have attended a more in-depth training programme in school to become champions within their classes or year groups.
  • Staff are using this training to make sure classrooms and teaching are communication-friendly.
  • We are developing partnerships with the UEA by hosting student placements in Nursery and Reception.
  • Mile Cross Primary and Catton Grove Primary are working together to develop The North Norwich Communication Hub, one of four Hubs in Norwich. We will provide training and support for other schools and offer more opportunities for families to get involved.
  • Take part in our ‘Talk and Play all through the day’ challenge
  • Try these strategies in the home.
  • Try these activities
  • Check out these apps
  • Help your nursery child to give up their dummy as part of our ‘Give your dummy to the Mile Cross Bunny campaign’.  Please ask Miss Wright (Nursery Teacher) or Miss Maceachern (SENCO) for a free book to support this.
  • Turn your mobile phone off at key times, particularly when collecting from school, so that you and your child can talk without distraction.
  • Try the techniques suggested in this newsletter written by UEA students as part of the Communication Champions Enhancement Project.
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If there is a child aged under 5 in the family, you can get advice and support from our Community Communication Champion, Oliver Joyce. He can suggest activities, signpost local groups and services and sign you up to a fun family training course if you are interested.

This is what some parents have said about the courses so far …

“Very friendly calm environment. Will be recommending courses in the future.” 

“I have a lot more confidence after attending the Let’s Talk course because I received great advice and support regarding my child’s needs and how to adapt to the structured language they already have. I’ve found the group very helpful and we will continue their progress at home.”

“This course has been very helpful and I have seen an improvement in my son’s speech since he started, other members of the family are understanding him more already. And the staff members were very helpful.”

“My child’s speech has greatly improved since starting the course. Everyone has noticed. She has really enjoyed coming and playing eachweek. She is always excited. Thank you all.”

Please ask at the school office or talk to one of the school Communication Champions if you would like a referral for support to be made. We will happily refer younger brothers and sisters of children at the school.

If your child in school has difficulties with their speech, language and communication, please talk to their class teacher or the SENCO, Miss Maceachern.

Some children will receive extra support in school from one of our trained teaching assistants.

Some children may need to be referred to a Speech and Language therapist for further support. The school will work alongside parents to make this referral if necessary.

Our Communication Champions can deliver basic training, designed by The Communication Trust and provide access to an online training package.  We are happy to discuss any aspect of our work with those who are interested. Please contact the school – 01603 425186 or email .

Other schools and settings are also very welcome to join the North Norwich Communication Hub (NNCH) network. Please visit our Hub website to find out more.