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Case Study A - Delayed Communication


Background

Child A attends an inner city primary school in the North of England where the children attending the school are of mixed social backgrounds.  Child A suffered with issues around delayed communication, in particular struggling to communicate effectively with both staff members and peers. As speech and language is a cornerstone of early learning this was significantly impacting on the ability to reach expected levels by the end of EYFS.

Challenge

The school were keen to improve their Speech and Language skills and in turn, gain a better understanding of Child A’s needs to support their learning in the classroom, with the aim of raising them to the expected levels in the Early Years goals.

Solution

Before the activities are presented out of the Jabberjacks box, the children must listen to and learn the ‘Jabberjacks’ song and by following these rules the box will open and the children can start playing. Through the use of props in open ended activities the children are encouraged to come up with new ideas and thoughts about how the props could be used. Regular praise and recognition for these ideas is imparted each week across the various activities to build on this and encourage them to come up with even more ideas, making linkages to previous weeks.  The puppets interact with the children and the children feel emboldened to talk to the characters, sharing their thoughts and emotions, enhancing their use of vocabulary. The confidence the activities inspire within the children enables the school to quickly gain an insight into what interests the children and how they can best learn.

Results

Child A learned the Jabberjacks song very quickly so the box could be opened. Child A likes to follow rules, regularly emphasising through hand gestures that all the children had to sing the song together and this proved very useful back in the classroom to aid learning. Child A’s relationship with the puppets early on was noteworthy. Child A spoke directly to the puppets, finding it easier to express emotions to the puppet rather than an adult e.g. Jo Jo you are awesome. Over time, Child A was able to transfer this learning and as the sessions progressed began communicating more with peers, encouraging them to join in too. Child A soon realised that the session leader was looking for children to use their imagination and the resources in unique ways and could often be found tugging at the leader’s arm to share their ideas e.g. pretending the feathers were rabbit ears, having been introduced to the rabbit puppet in a previous week.  Without doubt, Child A learned to listen throughout the sessions and more importantly, was able to communicate these learnings by sharing linkages between current activities and one from a previous week.

Most importantly, Child A has since reached expected levels in the Early Years goals.

Testimonial

“Jabberjacks has had an amazing impact on Child A. It encouraged him to use his imagination and the way he approached play. It also supported his social interaction with his peers. In the classroom environment, he started to play with other children rather than alongside them. At times, staff even observed him lead play. The open-ended resources used in the sessions allowed Child A to think for himself and become more independent.”  Child A’s Reception class teacher


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