Children across the county will show just what communication means to them later this month, when their artwork goes on public display.
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Speech and language therapists from Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) have organised the Climbing the Communication Pyramid art exhibition to encourage children at Norfolk’s schools and nurseries to think about how communication is more than words.
Eight schools and nurseries have signed up to the initiative, which will see local children’s artwork on display during the half term break. People will be able to see the artwork at The Forum, in Norwich, on February 17 and 18 (9am-5pm) and at The Green Britain Centre, in Swaffham, on February 19-21 (10am-4pm).
The county’s schools and nurseries have been encouraged to work with their children to discuss different elements of communication, and to then submit some pieces of artwork which represent those aspects.
The pyramid concept aims to show children how communication develops through a number of stages, from Social Interaction through to Attention, Looking, and Listening, Understanding, Talking, and Speech Sounds. Elements of these stages include body language, tone of voice, joining in, asking questions, explaining ideas, and speaking clearly.
Jenni Stone, a Speech and Language Therapist from NCH&C, has helped to organise the event and commented: “Before children start talking, they need to master the foundation skills of social interaction and paying attention. These skills, found at the bottom of the communication pyramid, help more complex skills, such as clear speech, to develop later on.
“Of course, if children have difficulty with one area of communication, they may have difficulty developing skills from higher up the pyramid, so it is important that children, as well as their parents and staff at their school or nursery, understand how things like body language, tone of voice, and being able to understand what other people are saying all fit into overall communication skills.”
The event follows last year’s ‘Getting Through’ art exhibition, which was held in Norwich and encouraged children to think about what makes for successful communication.
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