Bright Beginnings honoured with 2017 Shine A Light award

Bright Beginnings has been highly commended in the Early Years Setting of the Year category at an awards ceremony in London for its continued commitment to developing its pupil's communication skills.


The 2017 Shine a Light Awards, run by Pearson in partnership with The Communication Trust, took place on 23rd March 2017 and were hosted by singer and theatre star Gareth Gates.

The 2017 Shine a Light Awards is a national awards scheme that celebrates innovative work and excellent practice in supporting children and young people’s communication development.

Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre, the Centre for staff and students of the University, puts its children’s communication skills and abilities at the forefront of its work. The Centre has taken the time and financial investment to train its practitioners so that children grow and learn in a rich language environment.

As Bright Beginnings is home to a number of different nationalities and languages, it has researched which languages are spoken in their setting and created a showcase area. They have purchased £300’s worth of books and other resources and worked with families from abroad who donated books in their native languages that they could duplicate. The space is now used as a lending library but also as a reading area for families and the Centre’s practitioners borrow the resources to enhance their circle times when singing and reading.

With different resources to hand, communication-friendly areas, dedicated support and close relationships with parents, it is not surprising that the Centre boasts great results, with the vast majority of its children either at or above age-expected levels.

Angela Hynes, Communications Manager at Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre said: "We are absolutely delighted to be highly commended finalists for Early Years Setting of the Year! Such a fantastic achievement that celebrates the continuous hard work of our practitioners who, everyday strive to make a difference in a child's life through working together, play, learning, development and communication" 

Gareth Gates, host of the 2017 Shine a Light Awards, said: “The dedication of Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre is outstanding. Being able to communicate with confidence is often taken for granted but for many it is an everyday struggle. I have found my stutter crippling at times but I have learnt ways to manage my difficulties with the support of others.

“It is heart-warming to know that other children and young people across England are getting the support they need to develop and achieve goals that may not have been possible otherwise. Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre should be extremely proud of its award.”

Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre have explored and trained in different aspects of communication development across all age groups, including Makaton, communication workshops focusing on Speech Sounds Development, intensive interaction workshops to support communication for special educational needs (SEN) children, and supporting and challenging learners in Early Years Training.

Their SEN and Early Years Foundation coordinators work closely with all practitioners, completing observations of children’s achievements, tracking reports and creating an effective monitoring system that ensures every child gets the right support according to their knowledge, abilities and needs.

Chris Hall, Director of Clinical Assessment at Pearson, said: “Congratulations to Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre for its highly commended achievement. The support that has been put in place, the investment in staff training and the dedication to providing an engaging setting for a cultural community is fantastic.

“This is the fifth year we have run the Awards and we remain blown away by the standard of applications. They give an amazing insight into the unsung work that is taking place across the country to improve the speech, language and communication skills of children and young people.”

Octavia Holland, Director of The Communication Trust, said: “Congratulations to Bright Beginnings Childcare Centre and everyone who triumphed at the Shine a Light Awards. They have shown what can be achieved when expertise, enthusiasm and dedication is given to children and young people who struggle to communicate. These Awards highlight the very best practice that is taking place in settings across the country. We would like to say a huge thank you to Pearson for their long-standing support.”

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