If you have a little one under five, join in the fun for I Talk Focus Week!

Little boy reading on tree stump

This week across the borough, the early years team are running events to celebrate I Talk Focus Week!

The team are working in partnership with the libraries team for some coordinated events (story times/rhyme times) and encouraging schools, early years settings, and other partner agencies to get involved. 

By sharing stories and reading, there are huge benefits for children's learning and development. Events throughout the week hope to introduce children to new words and have a positive impact on vocabulary development which is known to be fundamental in children’s learning and development.

Storytelling and reading supports early brain development; ability to focus, concentrate, develop social skills and communication skills. Whilst promoting imagination and curiosity; the basis for creativity and writing.

We look forward to seeing children and families, settings, childminders, and schools, all take part in the reading den competition.

To enter, build a reading den and snuggle up with a book! Take a photo of the den and email it to: EarlyYears@slough.gov.uk If you enter you are giving permission for the photo to be used by SBC on our website/social media.

A great reason to visit your local library with your child, join in a story time and borrow a book!

Events for the week:

  • a parent workshop in Observatory shopping centre (outside Primark) focused on building reading dens at home and key benefits for sharing stories (Thursday 23 May 10am-2pm) run by the Early Years Team
  • story times at the libraries, including a special signed story time run by the Libraries team and Miguel Franco
  • QR code for parents/families and settings to scan to share their children's favourite picture book to create Slough’s top ten – can be found on Facebook
  • reading dens competition which we hope you will all engage in, and encourage your families to make one at home too, especially with half term coming up
  • children’s centres will be building a reading den in their main entrance foyer as well as in their rooms/outside space for families using the centre
  • the family hub team will be promoting the I Talk week with families and a range of partners
  • And make sure you are tuning in on Friday 24 May at 9am to Asian Star Radio, when Aimee McElwee, Head Teacher at Baylis Court Nursery School, will be on the radio being interviewed about the benefits of sharing stories and reading books with young children.

Linking with the event in the Observatory Shopping Centre - The GET Bookshop will be open. Their concept is to provide donated books to their customers free of charge, and donations of books are always gratefully received.  

During the week we are posting more information about reading and early language on the Slough Early Years Facebook page so make sure you follow us!

Cllr Puja Bedi, lead member for education and children’s services, said: “This is a great opportunity to have a Slough-wide event to highlight the positive impact and benefits of sharing books, stories, and rhymes with our youngest children. Many partner organisations such as libraries, children’s centres and the GET Bookshop have signed up to deliver engaging activities throughout the week.

“I am particularly proud of the way Slough has come together to promote such an important topic. I hope that teachers, practitioners, families, and children have a fabulous time exploring new words and creating wonderful memories in their reading dens.”

Published: 21 May 2024