Talk is the halfway house between thinking and writing.
What is Chatta?
Chatta is a teaching approach which links images with language. It was developed following extensive work in hundreds of schools and with thousands of teachers and pupils. Chatta is used by teachers as a whole-class teaching resource with pupils aged 3 to 18, and also by teaching assistants as an intervention resource. Parents are central to Chatta and as well as being able to support learning with the Chatta resources they also use the Chatta app to make Chatta stories at home.
Chatta combines software, professional development and classroom resources and the unique, simple and powerful approach leads to impact in:
- Early Years Communication, Language and Literacy.
- Speaking skills, Oracy and Writing for pupils of all ages.
- Removing barriers to learning for pupils with additional needs, including autism and dyslexia.
- Teaching English as an additional language.
- Closing gaps in attainment for disadvantaged pupils.
What is Chatta? A 2-minute introduction.
The Problems Chatta Solves
Children’s use of spoken language at the age of 5 is the single greatest indicator of progress in reading and writing. Around a third of children at age 5 are behind expected levels of attainment in spoken language. As an increasingly technology dependent society people are communicating more but actually talking less.
Chatta has been designed to increase the quality and quantity of parent/child interaction and it leads to more opportunities for sharing stories and family conversation. Almost 50% of young parents prefer to communcate through social media than through talking.
Children learn to speak through interactions, shared stories, books and songs. Experiences link to modelled language from adults. Chatta makes this effortless in two ways. The first is through stories and learning activities shared with families by schools. The second is through providing parents with the Chatta software and regular activiity ideas to enjoy with their children at home.
Whilst Chatta is very effective in the early years classroom, the powerful whole-class teaching approach helps students of all ages quickly gain skill and confidence is speaking articulately and at length in any subject area. Chatta gives children and young people the confidence to speak to any audience with sustained impact on writing, vocabulary and long-term memory.
Chatta uses technology to promote interaction and conversation and challenges the damaging impact of digital distraction in a high-impact way which schools and families embrace.
How Chatta Works
Teachers use the Chatta approach at school with their pupils. Chatta can take place every day or every week and fits in with all existing plans and schemes without adding to workload. In the classroom, teachers use Chatta to achieve strong progress and success for pupils (aged 3 and over) in language, communication and literacy. A whole class Chatta activity can take from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the lesson.
Both images and spoken words combine to make an audio-visual resource which helps scaffold pupils’ thinking, speaking and writing whilst strengthening vocabulary and memory. The audio-visual resource created in the lesson can be shared with families, and pupils are encouraged to explain and discuss their learning. Families quickly enjoy the answer to the question “What did you learn about today?” In addition, families use the Chatta software with their children at home.
Family engagement in learning is proven to be a significant indicator of a child’s success at school, and coupled with the powerful Chatta approach the impact is powerful. Chatta’s design is research-informed and combines a number of proven methods including dual-coding, metacognition, cognitive load theory and the cognitive theory of multimdiia learning.
The diagram below and accompanying video illustrate how learning begins with meaningful context either from an activity or curriculum area. Images and modelled language scaffold the learning both in terms of content and language. Pupils are given opportunities to rehearse, reflect on and improve their spoken language, in a similar way to how written work can be redrafted. The result of this simple process is that pupils are thinking, speaking and writing in sentences. The link to memory enables them to effortlessly construct their own sentences.
Recognised by Creative England as one of the most exciting, innovative and disruptive creative companies in England for 2018
Teach Early Years Awards 2018
Chatta is delighted to be a winner in the Teach Early Years Awards for 2018 in the Communication, Language and Literacy Category
Chatta has been selected as one of the 100 inspiring innovations that are changing the face of education today.
Large scale impact on early language with over 500 families.
June 2019 data from a 2 year project in Hull has seen the percentage of children achieving or exceeding age-related expectations in speaking increase from 49% to 69% across a postcode district. 83% of the 542 children in this area achieved or exceeded age-related expectations in speaking. This is significantly above the national average.
Children working with Chatta made 40% greater progress in a controlled trial.
A year long study of the impact of Chatta undertaken by Dr Victoria Carr of the Ignite Teaching School Alliance, Cheshire. The outcome of this small scale study found that children accessing Chatta made approximately 40% greater progress in both speaking and understanding than children in a control group, without Chatta.
In addition to a growing portfolio of impact data schools report ‘phenomenal’ and ‘unprecedented’ impact on both speaking and writing (especially with the number of children exceeding expectations and writing at greater depth) and many parents describe Chatta as ‘powerful’ and ‘life-changing.’
Working together to make a difference
We are currently involved in the development of research projects with a number of universities and activitely seek further evaluation of Chatta and its impact on:
Early Language Development
Additional Language Acquisition
Progress for students with autism
Progress for students with dyslexia
We evaluate the impact of Chatta in every school we work with, particularly in relation to pupil progress, parental engagement and professional development.
Working With Chatta
We work with primary, secondary and special schools as well as local authorities and multi-academy trusts. We always discuss the development challenges and priorities with school leaders, working together to introduce a Chatta solution which always includes training (online or in-school), software and teaching resources, as well as family access to Chatta software and activities.
We have 5 modules available and most schools begin their Chatta journey with 1 or 2 of:
- Oracy/Writing across the Curriculm
- English as an Additional Language
- Special Educational Needs
- Chatta Club (Closing gaps in attainment for disadvantaged children)
Prices are available to school leaders and advisors on request. There are discounts for multi-school projects and longer term commitment,
Every school working with Chatta has a designated ‘Chatta Champion’ and has access to full helpdesk support and a half-termly impact review.
We are only able to work with schools where Chatta is aligned with the priorities of the school’s development plan.
Chatta for Families
Families of children attending schools and nurseries which use Chatta have full and free access to Chatta’s award-winning software and activities. Each week new activity ideas are shared with families.
If parents/carers of children not attending schools/nurseries working with Chatta, the subscription cost is £5/month.
The easiest way for parents/carers to start seeing the impact of Chatta with their children is to join the Facebook group ‘Chatta Matters.’