I am supporting Voice Box, an annual joke-telling competition designed by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) to build schoolchildren’s communication skills. This year’s competition is being run in partnership with NAHT (National Association of Head Teachers).
Over 10% of children start school with some form of language disorder. Undetected or unmet speech, language and communication problems can lead to low levels of literacy, poor educational attainment, poorer mental health and wellbeing and, in turn, difficulties finding employment, and life chances.
Mainstream and specialist primary schools across England and Scotland are invited to bring laughter into their classrooms this autumn by taking part in the competition. Schools should hold their joke-telling contests between October and November and then submit their pupil’s funniest joke to the RCSLT by 30 November for a chance to go through to a grand final at Westminster, London, in 2019.
The pupil with the ultimate winning joke will receive an iPad mini, while two runners-up will each receive national book tokens.
The RCSLT has developed a toolkit with useful resources, ideas and a nomination form for schools to download via http://www.givingvoiceuk.org/voice-box/voice-box-england-scotland/
RCSLT CEO, Kamini Gadhok MBE, says: “The aim of the Voice Box competition is to remind people that all children need support to build their communication skills and confidence and some need additional specialist help to speak and understand what is being said to them.
“Communication is a fundamental skill and has the most profound and positive impact on our lives – from our social and emotional development to our behaviour, learning and educational attainment, employment prospects and life chances. It impacts on how we interact with other people, how we understand them and, in turn, how we are understood.”
I think this is a brilliant idea and a great opportunity for the students of Bolton South East to express themselves and become more articulate members of our wonderful community. I can’t wait to hear the winning joke!