Little voices meet to chat

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HUNDREDS of Sheffield schoolchildren gathered in the Peace Gardens to smash the Guinness World Record for the largest conversation held across multiple venues.

The strains of ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ could be heard echoing through the city centre as children from schools and nurseries simultaneously joined in the national Chatterbox Challenge.

Children taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge  in the Peace Gardens

Children taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge in the Peace Gardens

“We’re celebrating communication in young people and encouraging them to be bold and brave when it comes to speaking and singing,” said Council Leader Paul Scriven, who joined in the record-breaking attempt. “My gym-going is obviously paying off as I was able to touch my toes, too!”

It took five minutes of continuous singing, but the record – inspired by children’s communications charity I Can – was smashed.

“We want every child in the city articulate and literate by the age of 11 and challenges like these are a great way to kickstart that,” said Coun Colin Ross, Sheffield Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services.

The challenge coincides with the National Year of Communication and events are already planned, including talking picnics and a sound sculpture in the Winter Garden of thousands of children’s voices talking about what they like about Sheffield.

Children taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge  in the Peace Gardens

Children taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge in the Peace Gardens

“The council has been driving up achievements across the city,” said Coun Ross. “GCSE results are steadily climbing, moving Sheffield up the national league tables, but we’re keen to do more. Investing time in children at this stage is crucial.”

Parents and children taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge  in the Peace Gardens

Parents and children taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge in the Peace Gardens

Schoolchidlren  taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge  in the Peace Gardens

Schoolchidlren taking part in the Chatterbox Challenge in the Peace Gardens