Claire Davies and Jane Simpkins, School Improvement Officers for reading and writing, at the Yorkshire-based Waterton Trust, have recently seen the impact of Chatta in classrooms at Cherry Tree Academy.
This is what they said:
Strong emphasis on teacher modelling
‘Chatta helps with children’s progress in speaking and use of vocabulary. It provides structured opportunities for purposeful oracy work across all curriculum areas. There is a strong emphasis on teacher modelling of accurate sentence structure which leads to pupils’ oral rehearsal.’
Reducing cognitive overload
‘Chatta sessions provide a platform for developing rich vocabulary, with opportunities to use and apply new words in appropriate contexts. Partner work encourages children to rehearse and organise their ideas, listen and support one another to make improvements. The images reduce cognitive overload and provide clear scaffolds for sequencing, therefore children can focus on the speaking and use of vocabulary. The activities support progress in speaking from single words to phrases into full sentences.’
Maximises full participation
‘The structure maximises full participation, the repeated routines develop familiarity and children’s confidence increases. It’s a safe environment, where there is no pressure for children to speak out individually or record their voice. However, with regular practice, children are more willing to present to the rest of the class. When the children are ready to write, barriers to the content are removed because oral rehearsal is embedded and they can focus on their writing.
Reduces teacher workload
Chatta is extremely accessible and user-friendly. The extensive bank of images and Chatta templates reduces teacher workload when they are planning. The Chatta activity plan is easy to follow and provides a coherent structure for teachers. Chatta is a simple and effective structure for developing oracy to support reading and writing. Reluctant children with limited language and communication skills participate and the increase in confidence is palpable.
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