Waltham Forest Schools represented at Mayor of London’s Talk Matters Project Launch

On Monday 4 March 2024, the five Waltham Forest schools selected to pilot the Mayor of London (MoL)’s Talk Matters attended the Launch Event at the Town Hall at Royal Docks. Hosted by Waltham Forest’s own Emma Leaver (Programme Manager – School Improvement), each school’s Oracy Champions and senior staff sponsors, gathered with 35 schools from across London to represent the eight boroughs participating in this programme.

Funded for two years, via MoL’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), Talk Matters aims to improve the oracy skills of students in Key Stage one, encouraging better speaking and listening skills in order to better communicate their needs within, and outside, the classroom. 

Each school receives funds for whole school oracy programme membership via Voice 21 and small group intervention kits and training by Speech and Language UK’s Talk Boost. Each school also receives a £10,000 wellbeing fund allowing each school, empowering school leaders to make choices in activities and resources that best benefit their school community. Each school’s wellbeing programme will find fun and meaningful ways to both engage parents and carers, as well as demonstrate to the wider community that all cultures and oracy in all languages is valued in Waltham Forest. In doing, Talk Matters long-term goal of increased attendance and attainment can be achieved by identifying and acting upon early intervention opportunities by equipping children with strong spoken communication skills.

The pilot schools for the 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 academic years are Buxton, Chase Lane, Henry Maynard, South Grove and The Winns. A further five schools will be offered places on the programme in the 2025-2026 academic year.