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Early Years Setting of the Year named at Shine a Light Awards 2017

The Shine a Light Awards are a national awards scheme celebrating the innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication – congratulations to this year’s winner, The Foundation Unit.

Judges included chair of PACEY Jane Comeau, director of the Communication Trust Octavia Holland, international comedian, writer and speaker Francesca Martinez, Christopher Hall, director of clinical assessment at Pearson.

The Foundation Unit were presented with their award at a ceremony in London last week, in recognition of their continued commitment to developing pupils’ communication skills. The ceremony was hosted by singer and theatre star Gareth Gates.

The setting’s commitment to develop children’s communication skills to ensure every child is given the best start, was recognised by the award’s judges.

Part of this commitment involves a buddying scheme, where children of different cultures and home languages are partnered together to help develop each other’s language. As soon as a child arrives at the setting, they assess each child to establish their level of speech, language and communication and then use this information to determine the direction and support needed.

There are also lots of communication-friendly spaces in the setting, including a mud kitchen and areas for digging and den-making.

For children who require targeted support, specific targets are set and delivered on a one-to-one basis or in a small group, and for children needing specialist interventions, the unit works collaboratively with external professionals such as speech and language therapists, paediatricians and family support workers to ensure these targets are met.

PACEY values the opportunity to contribute to events such as this and always wants to celebrate amazing achievements within the childcare sector. Thank you to those who organised the awards and congratulations to all the winners!