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Recent Events

2016 and 2017
Workshops are now being run termly as part of INSET training for local councils and their Early Years Practitioners; please contact Sharon if you would like to receive this training for your staff also.

This year's workshops are already in demand! Sharon was in Shrewsbury in late January where she ran an evening workshop for 14 Early Years Practitioners in their own nursery. In March, a course was run for another nursery in the Milton Keynes area. Sharon was in Telford in April and again in May, and is looking forward to Edinburgh in October! Hope to see you there, or please contact Sharon if you would like her to run a workshop in your local patch :)

Courses were run throughout the year and included venues in Edinburgh, Shropshire and Hertfordshire. Most recently Sharon was invited to a Children's Centre setting in Hertfordshire to run a workshop for the Preschool Learning Alliance. All of those who attended the course, completed written evaluations to say that the information received was 'very beneficial' to their Early Years roles. These roles included SENCo, team leaders, EY practitioners and Senior Coordinator (Children's Centre). Comments included:

"Found training very interesting. Loved new ideas and ways to engage children"

"I am already thinking of who this will be fantastic for and am excited to introduce it to the children"

May 2014
The first workshop of the year was run in Telford, Shropshire. The course was fully booked; attendees included an Early Years Coordinator, Nursery Teacher, Preschool and Nursery Assistants, Preschool and Nursery Supervisors, an Inclusion Mentor, Level 3 Keyworkers, a Teaching Assistant and the Deputy Manager of a nursery.

Comments received at the end of the training, included:
" Listening and Attention are a major part of the EYFSP as children cannot achieve a 'Good Level of Development' at the end of the key stage without it. Today has given me a bank of ideas to work with children who need to improve their skills"
"Very beneficial"
"Was very informative and full of great ideas, useful on a daily basis"
"Enjoyed this training very much"

December 2013
Four further workshops have been run this year, in London, Cardiff, Shropshire and Edinburgh.
Comments about the training included:

"it was very useful to actually practise running the group"
"really enjoyed writing our own plan in a group"
"good as a precursor to language groups"
"I'm very much looking forward to trying it out"
"It is a lovely format to use and I think I could adapt it for older children"

June 2013
Three workshops have been run so far this year, in Bristol, Birmingham and Telford. Of the 31 Early Years, Special Needs and Speech and Language Therapy staff trained, 24 reported that the course had been 'very beneficial' to their roles, and 7 felt it had been 'beneficial' (other choices on the scale were 'not beneficial' and 'a little beneficial'). Comments received included:
"well run, excellent resources"
"an approach that has worked and has some evidence behind it"
"this has been great as a refresher of attention and listening as I have not worked with Early Years for a couple of years"
"(the workshop is) good value for money"
"I'm looking forward to putting these groups into place"
"it was great as you could see how it could be adapted for a special school"
"this is brilliant for our SEN children"
"a really well run course as we had a balance of theory, demonstration and having a go"
18th December 2012
 A workshop was run for the Communication Intervention Team (ComIT) based in Cwmbran, Wales, a team consisting of Specialist Teaching Assistants and Speech and Language Therapists. Of nine members of the team who attended, four fed back that the course had been 'beneficial' to their role, and five said 'very beneficial'. All nine attendees felt that the workshop ould change their practice, including running Attention and Listening in the Early Years groups, passing on the training to help others to run the groups, and adapting groups already being run to include the new ideas. Comments included:
  • "really enjoyed the training today; feel I got a lot of good ideas from it"
  • "will ensure the team use the ideas to develop our attention and listening work"
  • "using songs and themes is a really good idea for young children"
  • "there are some lovely activity ideas"
13th November 2012
 A workshop in London was fully booked with Speech and Language Therapists and Early Years Professionals taking part; all except one delegate ('a little beneficial') rated the course as either 'beneficial' or 'very beneficial' to their roles at work, and all except one ('not presently part of my role to run groups but hope to in the future') felt that the training would change their practiceComments received included:
  • "I found it really useful to see the groups being demonstrated"
  • "an enjoyable and informative workshop"
  • "I will suggest that some of the practitioners in (our) nurseries will attend the training"
  • "I could use this with my childminding network"
  • "I felt the workshop was very useful and functional"
25th June 2012: Sharon delivered a workshop to 7 Speech and Language Therapists and 3 Early Years Professionals at a setting in Crewe, Cheshire. Evaluation of the training was very positive with 7 delegates reporting that it would be 'very beneficial' to their roles at work, 2 saying that it would be 'beneficial', and 1 saying 'a little beneficial'. All except one delegate felt that the information and workshops received would be sufficient to allow them to run an Attention and Listening in the Early Years group themselves; the one delegate felt that she would have benefitted from more chance to practice running the group.
Comments received included:
  • 'Given me some great ideas and practical activities'
  • 'The activities will be very helpful for many children...who have difficulty accessing other groups due to attention and listening difficulties'
  • 'It will be a fantastic help with my work supporting children with communication and language delay'
  • 'The information and tips have been fab!'
  • 'The hands on approach...and sharing ideas with other professionals, was extremely useful'
  • 'looking forward to setting it up in schools'
  • 'I appreciated the relaxed, receptive approach to training'
30th May 2012: Sharon and her colleague, Marie, delivered two consecutive Attention and Listening in the Early Years (aka 'Listen with Lucy') workshops for Telford and Wrekin Council. Delegates included Early Years and Childcare Consultants, Teaching Assistants, Early Intervention Qualified Teachers, Teachers, Nursery Nurses, Nursery Managers, Nursery Officers, NNEBs, Childcare Centre, Pre-School and Toddler Supervisors and Childminders.
Due to the level of demand, a further workshop has been booked by the council for later in the year.
Evaluation: All 28 staff trained, reported that the training had been either 'beneficial' or 'very beneficial' to their roles at work. Comments received, included:-
  •  'this will be really useful for me supporting EY settings'
  • 'I am a real fan of Listen with Lucy (Attention and Listening in the Early Years) and am keen to promote it as I feel the benefits to all are great'
  • 'It was helpful to have group discussions as a team to think of different ideas to engage the children in listening and attention skills'
  • 'excellent; will definitely use (this programme)'
  • 'thoroughly enjoyable course; will recommend to others'



26th January 2011: Sharon Garforth, who developed 'Attention and Listening in the Early Years' gave an hours' free presentation about the programme to the Midlands Speech and Language Therapist Assistants' Special Interest Group in Birmingham. The presentation included some background on how the programme was developed, as well as a demonstration of how to run the group (see photos below). The presentation was just a taster session, and attendees who wished to learn more, were encouraged to book onto the full course (see link to 'New Courses for 2011' above left).

15th February 2011: Sharon delivered training in the form of an 'Attention and Listening in the Early Years' workshop to 12 Early Years Senior Support staff in the London area (see photos below), including a Speech and Language Therapist / ECAT consultant, an Advisory Teacher for Speech and Language, a Behaviour Advisory Teacher, an Educational Psychologist and a number of Early Years SEN Advisory Teachers.


The training was well received, with results taken from the 11 evaluation forms completed at the end of the day, showing that 7 trainees felt that the training would be 'very beneficial' to their role, and 10 trainees felt that the information received on the day would change their practice. Comments received, included:


  • "sits very well within the Early Years Foundation Stage framework linking with speaking and listening, and letters and sounds"
  • "a good programme to use in (Speech and Language Therapy) clinic with children who have delayed communication skills; I can see it being used within the traditional language group model...a fantastic resource for Speech and Language Therapy Assistants"
  • "Really useful to use in Early Years settings"
  • "very useful as already packaged with sessions planned"
  • "very enjoyable day, always nice to learn through practical strategies and planning"
  • "found the activity of creating own theme/group session very useful"
  • "it has made me think of other ways in which to help children in the fundamental skills of attention and listening"
11th October 2010
An 'Attention and Listening in the Early Years' workshop was held in Shropshire. Most of the attendees were Nursery Practitioners; a Birth to Three Officer also attended. In response to an evaluation questionnaire at the end of the workshop:
  • All of the attendees reported that the training had been 'useful', 50% said that 'all of the course' had been useful, and 50% cited the 'practical ideas' as being particularly useful
  • When asked how beneficial the course would be to their roles, 50% said 'very beneficial', 25% said 'beneficial', and 25% said 'quite beneficial'
  • All of the attendees stated that the workshop would change their practice
  • 75% of attendees said that the training received would be sufficient to enable them to run an 'Attention and Listening in the Early Years' group; 25% said  that 'maybe' the training would be sufficient
  • All comments were positive, and included:
    • "Really informative and really enjoyed the way it was presented to us"
    • "The ideas ... are interesting and will be good to share with colleagues" 
    • "An enjoyable course"