Explain the Skills Needed to Communicate with Children and Young People.

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You have been elected to be communication champion for your school. At the next staff meeting you are asked to explain the skills that staff need in order to communicate effectively with children and young people. Use the table below to record your thoughts and consider what each skill means in practice.

Skill needed to communicate effectively with children and young peopleIn practice this means.... •Find opportunities to speak to children.

Give eye contact and actively listen.

Use body language and facial expressions, and be approachable.

React and comment on what they are saying.

Be interested, responding and questioning to maintain conversation.Give children sufficient opportunities to talk and express themselves as they may lack confidence when speaking to adults.

Often children feel that you are not listening if you do not give them eye contact, make sure that if they are talking you give them your attention.

When speaking to small children get down to their level, smile nod and make appreciative noises to assure them that you are interested in what they have to say.

Repeat back to the child to ensure your understanding, this way you can correct incorrect language without them feeling like they are wrong. Also comment on their statement so they feel you are interested in what they have said.

It is important for children to experience the norms of holding a conversation so they can build up their understanding of how it works. Encourage them to ask questions and suggest ideas.
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