Communication and language development

Communication and language is one of the seven areas of the early years foundation stage and is used to assess children's ability to speak, pay attention, listen and understand. Children do this in range of ways including, listening to stories, responding appropriately to what people say, by articulating and expressing their feelings and developing their own narratives and connecting ideas or events.

Below you will find a range of practical articles and expert features that cover communication and language development to help you develop these skills and overcome challenges you might encounter. For more information on the EYFS you can download latest version of the statutory framework here.

Latest Practical

Understanding the world: To the lighthouse

Mr Grinling is probably one of the most famous lighthouse keepers in the world, brought to life by Ronda Armitage in her series of classic children's books. There are lots of ways to use them to explore peoples' occupations and life-styles.

Literacy: Our daily bread

Real Bread Week (22-28 February), is designed to encourage people to bake their own bread or support local bakeries. It provides a great opportunity to immerse children in all things bread-related, with story books and growing activities.

Physical development: From top to toe

Use a picture book such as Head Shoulders Knees and Toes as an invitation for children to have fun testing and exploring their physical capabilities independently, and only get involved in their play when they signal you to do so.

PSED: Take a deep breath

While children have a natural ‘mindfulness’ this can be developed to help them sustain focus and self-awareness. In the first of a new series, Judith Harries provides a practical guide to breathing techniques which promote well-being.

Communication and language: For the chop

Karen Hart kicks off a series linking cooking to language skills and other areas of development. These activities unleash children's creativity while giving them the confidence to experiment with new vocabulary.

Latest Features

Creating a language-rich environment: So much to talk about

It's always good to re-visit and reflect on how the different areas of your provision are being used to support language and communication. Claire Hewson suggests ways to maximise the potential for conversations around the setting using staff as your most precious resource.

Communication and language: Develop your own approach

Sometimes children need extra help to support their communication and language skills. While this does not necessarily mean there is a long-term difficulty, a little extra support from a key person – in partnership with parents – will enable them to thrive.

EYFS reforms: In praise of creativity

The new EAD Early Learning Goals invite practitioners to optimise children's creativity through oral, aural, cultural and aesthetic expression – thereby enhancing their holistic well-being.

Interview: The show must go on!

As a performance storyteller for children of all ages, Craig Jenkins had to shift his performances online when coronavirus struck. He tells Karen Hart how these sessions swiftly sold out and how this has fuelled his plans for the future.

Speech, language and communication: ‘Creating a Buzz’

James Hempsall reports on important lessons learned from establishing speech, language and communication project Talk Derby. Funded by DfE Opportunity Areas, it has laid the foundations for an ongoing strategy which fuels networking and training, supported by local authority involvement.

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