Talk for Boys at Wawne School


Wawne Primary School in the East Riding of Yorkshire engage their foundation stage boys with the chatta Talk for Boys project.

It was all about super powers at Wawne School when the chatta team visited to engage foundation stage boys in the Superheroes: Talk for boys projects. Georgina Lawson (Class Teacher) has utilised the interests of the children to plan an engaging half term of superhero based activity. The chatta talk for boys activities complemented this work perfectly acting as a superb drive for encouraging communication, oral rehearsal and working memory.

The session began with the creation of our own superhero, this involved the boys designing a superhero and creating unique powers for him. The superhero was immortalised in a chat (an audio-visual resource created using the unique chatta app.) The boys described and explained his skills and powers. Through oral recall of the powers and gifts, Chris Williams exercised the children’s’ working memories. The results were fantastic.

Chris Williams, founder of chatta explained why the activity was successful. “The boys had so many incredible ideas, and because they had invented their own heroes they became world experts immediately. The chatta approach allows children in the development of clear and confident speaking. Each of the boys described their superhero vividly. The biggest indicator of future success in writing is the ability to speak fluently.”

In addition to supporting skills in oracy and communication, the chatta approach has a significant impact on working memory. But why is this important? Researchers have identified the  “transient information effect” as a loss of learning which occurs due to information disappearing before a learner has had adequate processing time. Our working memory enables us to hold on to information for long enough for us to be able to adequately process it. The chatta approach acts as a working memory booster by supporting visualisation, visual memory and the chunking of information into small pieces, as well as making clear links to spoken language.

Once the boys had created a virtual superhero, it was time to assign each other superpowers!  This was completed with the use of fun and stimulating props which prompted the group to imagine and create exciting super human powers. The boys were asked in turn to record an explanation about the unique powers held within each prop.  This was captured using chatta’s app  and each child was encouraged to use the chat to recall the powers.  The conclusion of the activity saw each of the boys recall specific information without the use of pictures or clues, demonstration the development of strong recall and memory skills. Comments such as “yeees!” and “I did it!”  denoted a real sense of achievement.

Chris explained his views on the use of technology in the classroom. “Recent reports in the news have expressed concern that tablet technology and smartphone use can delay children’s language development. As with everything, it all comes down to how tools are used. The boys at Wawne Primary School succeeded in using more advanced and detailed language,and the technology helped them achieve higher standards.”