Giving children the best start in life

What's Your chatta Story?

Thinking of joining chatta? Here's what primary schools, nurseries, children's centres, childminders and advisors think.

Primary Schools

I have just had Kenzie’s One Plan meeting and he is doing so well with his speech and language targets. The Speech Therapist is delighted with his progress and the class teacher said Chatta has made such a big impact on Kenzie because he can play it back and hear what he is saying so Kenzie can identify what he isn’t saying correctly this  helps him to make corrections which he is very motivated to want to do. The approach is really helping children to be better communicators and it has been life changing for Kenzie, as he is so much happier now than this time last year as he can communicate clearly what he wants to say and he can interact much better with the other children in his class. Mum was extremely proud, tears were welling up. 

Gabrille Deed
SENCO / Lyons Hall Primary School

In summary, it is clear from this study that chatta has a marked impact on speech and language development in children considered able and average in this area and also those for whom a specific speech, language and communication issue had been identified. There is evidence of favourable results with regard to chatta being an extremely effective discrete intervention for children in the EYFS and/or with SLCN. This study demonstrates promising support for chatta as a discrete intervention. On this basis, we would recommend further study into the widespread use of chatta in the EYFS and with children with SLCN.

National Teaching School Partner Alliance
Year Long Independent Controlled Trial

chatta is an approach that we are using inside and outside the classroom to reinforce our focus on speaking and listening. The approach has very quickly become central to our practice and what we do in lessons. Teachers are extremely positive about it as part of wider learning support in the classroom.

Andrew Smith
Executive Head, Lyons Hall, Essex

Nurseries

Chatta is a great way of documenting children’s language and sharing it with parents and others. I’ve seen some fascinating images and heard the children retelling stories, talking about their play, and expressing their ideas. To hear a 4 year old who arrived in England only a few months ago being able to retell a story she had been listening to was pretty inspiring!

Andrew Shimmin
Headteacher / McMillan Nursery School

I attended a chatta training course with a colleague. When the day had finished we both felt so inspired. We couldn’t stop coming up with ideas. The first step was training the staff. I used the online videos and resources to run a training session for all of the practitioners. The staff recognise the effectiveness and value of chatta immediately. Everything is so simple. The link between experiences, pictures and language is very powerful. The staff cannot believe how simple things are and we are noticing big improvements in the quality of language used by the children, and actually the staff too. Every child has a chatta profile and we are sharing chats with parents. The response from parents has been amazing. They love learning about what their children are doing and being able to join in with the spoken voice recordings that are part of the chats. The parents are replying to the chats too, they are sharing their experiences and comments with the staff. It’s very powerful and I can see how it all fits together to support spoken language. chatta is just brilliant!

Gemma Grace
Nursery Manager / Little Acorns Nursery

Children's Centres

I have never before seen such an impact on children’s engagement and progress in language. chatta improves the well-being and progress of all young children and helps families give their children the very best start.

Angela Long
Children’s Centre Practitioner

The children are really enjoying chatta. The children were so excited about their profiles and engaged in conversations or babbling away to themselves. The parents have been excited too. I had an interested conversation with one 2 weeks ago – we we’re discussing her son’s speech, she stated that he was able to say a few words very clearly and others he attempts but not quite there yet. One of the words she said he says clearly is “mine” – I observed him saying this and recorded a chatta moment.

I agreed that it was clear he was attempting to say “mine” (He made a “maaa” noise coupled with a hand outstretched signalling that he wanted the item, whenever a child was playing with the plastic cookies he was playing with) but I gently pointed out that the speech was not as clearly formed as mum had thought.

We had a really positive conversation about this. She stated that as his mother, understandably she is able to know what he is saying even when it is unrecognisable to others. She felt proud of this but stated that it was nice to hear his voice back as it would prompt her to mimic back what he was saying more. When he said “maa” for example after this moment, we then said in the session “That’s right, that is yours. Mine.” in an effort to help him develop his speech.

I will be attempting to make a story sequence with chatta soon – I will take a book that I will read during a session and photograph different pages/images and record my voice reading them – then as I read the story/ let the child play my voice – I will try capture any of their speech. I will aim to pick a book that I know most of the children know well – such as the ‘Gruffalo’.

Children's Centre
Hull, East Yorkshire

Childminders

The potential for parental engagement is enormous. This, coupled with the fact that we are helping to make children’s learning visible, will in turn will ultimately improve their outcomes.

Kim Esnard
Childminder Mentor & Training

I started using chatta with the children I look after following a training session delivered by Chris Williams. I am currently using chatta with a boy called Stanley. I regularly use chatta to reflect on the activities of the day and model language for him linked to images. Stanley likes looking back at the images and is very keen to listen back and repeat ‘chats’ we make. He loves hearing his own voice! His mother, Jo, is saving all of the chats I share with her.

Margaret Lonsdale

Parents

The little girl I look after is almost 3 years old and I have heard more language from her in the last few weeks by using chatta than she has ever used in independent play. Chatta is a fantastic tool; it is current, interesting and children love it!

Karen Shaw
Respite, Foster Carer

Thank you so much for giving us a tool that can help my son move forward. I am speechless! Absolutely excited to see what he can achieve with this tool! All I can say is WOW! You have created something amazing. It’s so simple yet the results are instant! I can’t get my head around why nobody else has come up with this method of teaching.

Laura Stenton-Slater
Parent and Education Blogger, Sheffield

Advisors

Every child deserves the best start in life and this is a great project. As digital technology is reshaping our lives on a daily basis and the way we communicate, this new app for parents is an effective way to support their child’s learning and development. Chatta helps children become better communicators, readers, writers and thinkers, offering huge benefits for when they start primary school.

Phil Webster
Portfolio holder for learning, skills and safeguarding children / Hull City County Council

I can’t thank you enough for your training today. I haven’t been this excited about an intervention in a very long time and can’t wait to use it. I’m absolutely buzzing at the moment, can’t imagine how I’m going to sleep tonight!

Angela Shipley
SEN Support Services / Wakefield

Chris Williams recently held two training session for the East Riding local authority with a focus on “Accelerating early language development through technology” attended by delegates from early years schools and settings. The session presented a new and highly effective teaching approach and provided a range of practical and adaptable activities that will make an immediate impact in an EYFS classroom or setting, particularly on language and communication with activities to support progress in reading, writing and mathematics as well as PSED.
Feedback from delegates show how well this training was received and it will make a sustained impact on the learning and progress of young children in the East Riding.
“Excellent training, really well explained and such an innovative way of using technology to support language development!” “Theory and evidence of the approach was clearly explained. Chris very passionate and encouraging.” “It was very helpful to learn about chatta and the resources to develop communication and language to progress children to their best of ability.”

Marion Hastings
Early Years Improvement Officer (East Riding)

What first drew me to chatta was its unique approach to supporting children’s speech, language and communication skills. Reading about the impact of chatta on the website, I was immediately impressed with the depth of action research, case studies and testimonials from practitioners.

Practitioners spoke with passion, enthusiasm and excitement about chatta. The impact of chatta is clear: improved outcomes for children, increase parental engagement and the promotion of a shared ethos in supporting children’s speech, language and communication skills. Obviously this is down to Chris and David who are the driving force behind chatta. Their absolute dedication to their approach and vision is nothing short of amazing but they are both very clear of their main aim, which is improving the lives of all children. I have been really fortunate to be welcomed into the chatta family. They have shared their vision with me, listened to my ideas and have trusted me to become part of their team.

What I hope for Lincolnshire is that practitioners stay true to their belief of investing in their children’s futures and that they embrace chatta as an approach to empower children.

Jayne Carter
Early Years Consultant, Lincolnshire

High quality training based on the very best practice which supports all children. Our schools need chatta!

Cheryl Bowers
Senior Early Years Advisor, Hull

Children in Scotland are introducing chatta to their membership to share good practice and to give children the best possible start in life. chatta allows the sharing of knowledge and resources to support practitioners in achieving this.

Simon Massey
Head of Development, Children in Scotland

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