Whitstable became my home 14 years ago after relocating from South East London for life by the sea. The change of location brought about a change of career for me. Having trained as chef in the late 1980s and, having worked in various establishments in London, I was ready for a change. I decided to apply for a job in a local secondary school as a learning support assistant; before long I realised that supporting children with SEND was far more rewarding than any catering position I had ever had, although just as hard work!

I was very fortunate to be trained, by our local speech and language therapists, as a speech and language key worker in the secondary school I worked in. This gave me the knowledge and skills I needed to be able to help support identified children who had SLCN and to carry out the interventions set by the therapists.

After 11 years working in a school, it was with some apprehension that I began my role as Help Desk Assistant with Speech Link Multimedia Ltd. 9 months ago. As the newest member of the Speech Link Team there has been a lot to learn. Fortunately, I already have a good understanding of what the programme has to offer from using Junior Language Link at my previous school. I know first hand how valuable it is in supporting children with speech and language delay.

Working with the Speech Link Team is great, everyone is so friendly and supportive and everyone who works here has a real passion for our speech and language programmes. I love my new role – it allows me to stay in contact with schools using our speech and language resources, AND it means that I don’t have to do playground duty in the rain ever again!

One of my greatest achievements was climbing Ben Nevis in 2015. I love travelling, cooking and reading. The addition of Archie the Wonder Dog to our family means there is always an excuse to walk along the sea front – whatever the weather!

Claire will be one of the team that you will speak to if you call the Help Desk or wish to purchase one of our resources from our online shop!

FREE resource

On the back cover of this issue we are giving away a free resource – the Station Board Game – which is similar in style to games from our Creative Board Games pack. Please use with your language groups either as a resource to consolidate the skill you are working on or, as a reward after a group session.

There are deliberately few instructions with our Creative Board Games. This allows you to use them as a platform to reinforce different skills that you are working on. You, and the children, will be able to devise your own set of rules in order to play.

We have had several requests for more ideas to be included in the games so that playing time is not lost while you are generating ideas. We have listened and have produced a leaflet of game ideas for our Creative Board Games pack. We hope you enjoy using our Station Board Game. It would be great to hear back from you as to how useful you found the ‘game ideas’. Please let us know how YOU play the game – we will print our favourite ideas in our next issue of The Link magazine.

Buy the Creative Board Games Pack from our Range of Printed Classroom Resources

If you like our free resource, look at our Creative Board Games pack online. 6 colourful A3 board games, dice and counters. Use to reinforce skills learned in speech and language work. Combine with Pocket Packs or play your games as a reward to encourage collaboration and imagination. Buy Online at www.speechlink.info

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