Happy Talk works in primary schools across Cork City. The Happy Talk Junior Infant Programme involves supporting the Junior Infant teachers, wider staff, the children and their parents.
Coaching and training is at the core of the Happy Talk model. Happy Talk is based on the hypothesis that coaching staff and parents will have an impact on the overall language and learning outcomes for children.
The process generally begins with a parent session, where parents are guided through language development strategies and activities. The parents are encouraged to engage proactively in the session, by making resources such as rhyming dices or monster boxes that they will use in the classroom with their child. The parents then enter the classroom with the SLT and participate in the session with the SLT coaching the teacher, SNA or parent as they run activities with a group of children. During the week the children continue to work on the activities with their teacher.
Happy Talk also supports teachers by inviting them to take part in training and continued professional development. All schools take part in the Happy Talk Communication Champions, which includes one workshop each term. School staff are also invited to take part in training and workshops.