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

Maths: ‘The Twelve Days Of Christmas’

Find out how this traditional festive song can help to consolidate number and sequence recognition, counting forwards and backwards, practising prepositions and also learning a variety of action words.

Communication and language: Dear Santa

The emphasis is on fun as children engage with this classic picture book penned by Rod Campbell. Support them to join in with festive refrains and extend their vocabulary with new nouns and adjectives.

Literacy: Sounding it out

Encourage children to use their senses to describe the animals and the noises they make in the book Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? and observe how this helps them to develop their phonological awareness and early reading.

Physical development: Hands on with eco painting

Making your own eco-friendly paint may work out a little more expensive than the ordinary kind but it is a process that children will enjoy and appreciate as something that is precious rather than disposable.

Parent: Reading for the fun of it

Continuing her series on building the foundations for literacy, Annette Rawstrone looks at ways to focus on the joy of books without creating pressure.

Understanding the world: Swirl by swirl

Give children time to explore patterns in nature and develop their ability to appreciate and identify shape and design. Learning is maximised when it is led by children as part of in the moment planning, explains Jenni Clarke.

PSED: Trees for life!

National Tree Week, which runs from 28 November to 6 December, is a great opportunity to discuss the importance of trees. Support children to identify different varieties, express their own ideas and listen sensitively to others.

Latest Features

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.

November book round-up

There is a strong possibility that more parents will be home-schooling their children following lock-down which makes Anna Dusseau's handbook, reviewed here, timely publication.

FOCUS: Bringing Literacy to Life

Since introducing REAL in 2015, Tinsley Meadows Primary school in Sheffield has strengthened its events and home visits to support key aspects of early literacy. Teacher David Yates explains exactly how these work and explains why it is so important to maintain the momentum.

EYFS reforms: Specific areas of learning

This second in a four-part series focuses on the Specific areas of learning, flagging up new points for reflection and providing a practical guide to support every day best practice in your setting.

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