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Communication and Language

Communication and Language

At Woodthorpe Primary School, we see communication and language as a very important aspect of child development; we know that speech and language skills are a key indicator in children’s lifelong outcomes. In EYFS we pride ourselves on providing playful, language-rich environments with opportunities to learn new words and hands-on experiences to encourage learning and provide a context for new words to be explored.

Children in EYFS take part in a daily ‘Poetry Basket’ session which offers a fun way to explore the sounds and patterns of words. Poems with actions and repetition help children listen to the structure of spoken language and explore new words.

Reading stories aloud and sharing books is an important part of every day in EYFS. This supports children to develop language and understand new concepts. It strengthens their language skills and widens their vocabulary.

WellComm

Every term in Early Years we assess children’s Communication and Language skills using a screening tool called WellComm. This helps us to see where children may be in need of some extra support with their listening and understanding or speaking and wider communication. Sometimes children will have more specific things to work on or we look at developing an area of Communication and Language as a whole class. Individual and group interventions are delivered by our EYFS team throughout the week.

We promote children’s speech, language and communication as a top priority when communicating with parents and carers. This begins at our ‘Welcome to Nursery’ and ‘Welcome to Reception’ meetings at the beginning of the year. We frequently provide advice, support and resources to help parents and carers support their children’s speech, language and communication skills.

In EYFS, we work closely with a specialist speech and language professional to seek advice, support and guidance on practice, provision and any individual concerns arising, especially as identified via WellComm screening.

Communication Friendly Setting

Woodthorpe Primary School is working towards being an accredited Communication Friendly Setting – we hope that this will be acknowledged by Elklan in the spring term 2024. This means that understanding the speech, language and communication needs of all our children is embedded into classroom practice. Staff are equipped with the knowledge, skills and strategies to create a setting that enhances and develops children’s communication, creating a rich learning environment for all and supporting children who have communication needs.

Useful links

Please find below links to some websites you might find useful for ideas and tips on how to support your child’s communication and language at home:

Ages and stages (guide to speech and language development)

Tiny happy people (lots of activity suggestions for supporting language development)

Speech and Language UK (lots of helpful advice sheets with strategies for developing speech, language and communication)

York & Scarborough Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust webpage (advice sheets specific to particular areas of speech, language and communication e.g. early language development, stammering, selective mutism etc)

Parent/carer support groups

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