This month, in our ongoing feature highlighting the work of members of the UK education suppliers’ trade body BESA, we hear from SPEECH LINK MULTIMEDIA LTD, who have an exciting opportunity for reception teachers; and multi award-winning touch type software provider KAZ TYPE.

Exciting opportunity for teachers to become involved in research and FREE speech and language

resources for your school! Working within education, we all have a responsibility to develop and improve teaching practice in order to ensure positive outcomes for learners. It can, however, be challenging to apply the evidence base from clinical research into ‘real-world’ settings. There is currently a 17-year gap or ‘time-lag’ between research and practice, with only half of the evidence base actually getting into practice. This has led to a comparison being made between evidence and fine wine sitting in a cellar, just to be looked at – but wine is really only useful if it is drunk! In addition, not only are changes to teaching practices not always evidenced-based, they are usually process or strategy driven, rather than made by putting people (teaching staff and pupils) at the centre of the change. It is best practice to include stakeholders in research to improve services, and within education this should include education staff. As well as the benefits for developing evidence-based practice,

there are lots of benefits for teaching staff in being involved in research. Firstly, you have access to new technology, products or knowledge more quickly to apply to your own teaching practice. Your own knowledge, skills and experience are invaluable and can be added to the research base to hone the purposes, processes and priorities within the research. Joint working with education staff improves researchers’ understanding of your profession and the context that you are working within, supporting the applicability of the research findings into clinical practice. You have the potential to influence the final product and are contributing to helping children and teaching staff to be better supported in the future. At Speech Link Multimedia Ltd, we produce online support

packages which provide standardised assessment and targeted interventions to support pupils with SLCN. Evidence is at the core of all our work and we want to ensure that our packages impact the outcomes for children and school staff. As part of product development, we rigorously evaluate all aspects of our packages to ensure that they are making a significant difference to children’s speech, language and communication skills, as well as practitioner’s confidence and classroom practice. We have an exciting opportunity for teaching staff to get

involved with a research study that we are conducting. We are improving our Infant Language Link screening assessment for children in Year R to make it quicker, without losing accuracy. We need some volunteer schools, that have not subscribed to Infant Language Link before, to help with this process. As a thank you, we will send your school a bundle of printed speech and language resources worth over £300 and a £50 voucher which can be used against any of our support packages.

uFor more details and to register your interest please visit


How a fundamental skill can help prepare our children for

FE, the workplace and life With assignments having to be submitted in typed format and computers prominent in practically every workplace, is it now essential to equip students with the fundamental skill of touch typing? ‘Keyboard skills are an

absolutely critical twenty first century skill’, says Alan Tsui, Academic Enrichment Programmed Leader at Willow Brook Primary School Academy in East London. He included KAZ Type’s touch typing software within his program to help take his school from ‘in Special Measures’ to one of the top performing schools in London. Though the Department of Education encourages touch typing as

part of digital literacy skills, it does not deem it compulsory for the curriculum like many other countries. It is for this reason that forward thinking schools are taking the

initiative and including teaching the skill into the school week, either during lesson time or offered at lunchtime or after school clubs. Finding a typing program which is affordable and suitable for both

mainstream students, as well as students with special educational needs is key and that is why Simon Luxford-Moore, eLearning Coordinator at ESMS in Edinburgh chose KAZ. ‘I was drawn to KAZ because they offer a neurodiverse version. I tend to work on the basis that if I can cater for that child with dyslexia or ASD, everybody will benefit’. Although a British company, KAZ is used in schools all around the

world. All their education licences include both their mainstream edition and their SEN/Dyslexia edition as a free option. Their multi-sensory program uses a unique Accelerated Learning

teaching method. Incorporating both 'muscle memory' and 'brain balance', it engages the major senses of sight, sound and touch simultaneously, radically enhancing memory retention and recall - which is why they are so effective. Their SEN/Dyslexia option was developed with advice and guidance

from the Dyslexia Research Trust and teaches typing skills whilst minimising visual disturbances by means of a unique preference screen, tailoring the course to each student for maximum visibility comfort. It is suitable for students with one or a combination of the following neurological differences: dyslexia, dyspraxia, dysgraphia, ADHD, ASD and Tourette's, amongst others. The program has proven so effective that it has been shortlisted as a

finalist for several academic awards: BETT 2019, Teach Primary 2019 and Teach Secondary 2019. In today’s world of computers and technology, teaching students the

invaluable ‘life skill’ of touch typing offers them a new and powerful medium for learning and communicating and gives them a huge advantage, preparing then for further education, the working environment and life. ‘For this generation there are so many advantages to being able to

touch type and I am delighted we have been able to get them started with KAZ Typing Tutor,’ says Mr Vivian, head of IT at Aysgarth Prep School in North Yorkshire.

uTo learn more and read case studies from schools: https://kaz-

uFor further information contact: January 2020

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