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‘#Hello my name is…’

ECS Year 1 part-time students, as part of their Child Development module, are investigating the Acquisition of Language and Communication Skills in the Early Years. 

In connection with this they have been introduced to the ‘#Hello my name is…’ campaign which was created by Dr Kate Granger, a registrar who had terminal cancer.  She started the campaign in August 2013 after she became frustrated with the number of staff who failed to introduce themselves to her when she was an inpatient.  Dr Granger asked frontline NHS staff to make a pledge to introduce themselves in future to their patients.  She used social media to help kick start the campaign and created the hashtag ‘# Hello my name is…’.

Introductions are vitally important in education also.  Introductions are about making a human connection between one human being and another.  They are about having relationships that can build trust and provide truly person-centred and child-centred compassionate care.  Reminding all staff to introduce themselves advocates that a confident introduction is the first step to providing compassionate care so that children and their parents will feel relaxed and at ease in early years settings.  A growing body of evidence from early childhood education and care contexts suggests that infants’ experiences in out-of-home settings provide various language learning opportunities which influence subsequent development.  When supported by attentive and responsive educators, young children have been shown to actively contribute verbally and non-verbally in their communicative interactions with educators (White, Peter and Redder 2015).  Language acquisition in early childhood educational contexts shows that relationship building - starting with introductions, getting to know children’s interests, with rich and informal conversations between children and their teachers - both stimulate and have a positive impact on the language development of children (Puskas 2016).

Sadly, Dr Granger passed away at the age of 34 on 23 July 2016.  Her campaign for more personalised introductions and care has been supported all over the world with over 1.8 billion impressions since its conception.  Kate herself travelled to Northern Ireland to personally support the launch of the N.I. Regional #Hello my name is campaign, which was launched jointly with the Public Health Agency in November 2014.   Her husband Chris Pointon is now a keynote speaker and inspiring Tedx talker, spreading the #Hello my name is…campaign at universities, hospitals, trusts and conferences across the world as part of the global campaign. 

College Early Childhood Studies lecturer Dr Brenda McKay-Redmond feels that: “ This is a good opportunity to introduce the ‘#Hello my name is…’ campaign into the classroom where Year 1 part time students get to know each other and I also can learn all their names.  Language development and language-learning opportunities are embedded in an array of situational, relationship based and personal situations.  The ECS students can then go into their early years settings and know how potentially effective language is in guiding young children’s verbal communications, and it can all start with #Hello my name is…”

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