Speech and Language
‘The foundation of all communication is human language and although it’s easily taken for granted, it’s the most complex skill we will ever learn.’ The Communication Trust, a Generation Adrift.
Almost everything we do involves speech, language and communication. Everyday tasks, having a conversation, making friends, sorting out problems and having fun all rely on our ability to communicate. Crucially, speech, language and communication are also essential skills for enabling children and young people to learn. Being able to say what you want and to understand what others are saying are the most important skills we need in life. Yet many people take communication for granted.
At Paulton Infant School we are dedicated to ensuring that all our pupils develop strong speech and language skills that enable them to communicate effectively, articulate their emotions, build friendships and become lifelong learners.
Speech, language and communication skills are the building blocks for learning. We aim to provide children with opportunities to develop their communication skills across all curriculum areas. Our teaching staff plan creatively to stimulate dialogue in their classrooms, using effective tools to develop children’s Higher Order Thinking and questioning skills. We strive for them all to become strong communicators, not only learning these skills in the classroom but through play and interacting with peers and supportive adults in every aspect of the school day. We also work closely with supporting agencies to provide appropriate intervention for children with additional speech, language and communication needs.
We are proud that at Paulton Infant School our staff work collaboratively to encourage every child to use their voice to share their ideas and opinions, use questioning to deepen their understanding and develop ideas, demonstrate their polite manners and build supportive relationships. Through developing strong communication skills they can become fierce learners, exploring the world around them in a safe and secure environment where their opinions and ideas are treasured and valued.
Support for Parents and Carers:
Activities to encourage rich language development and dialogue at home:
Take a look at this video clip to help your child develop a wider vocabulary:
Model the language you wish to hear! Speaking clearly and correcting any misconceptions, always rewarding your child’s efforts.
Use stem sentences, e.g. ‘please may I have…’ ‘I am feeling unhappy/sad/cross because…’
Encourage children to articulate their feelings and emotions.
Sing together: nursery rhymes and songs help children to tune in to sounds and rhythms by repetition.
Share stories: Reading together, retell stories or changing the storyline or characters.
Role playing based on the contexts of familiar stories.
Encourage your child to listen carefully at story time, introducing new vocabulary and sentence structure and promoting enjoyment of reading.
Discuss the meaning of words you see around you, especially unfamiliar words, e.g. reading road signs, menus etc.
Praise your child for asking questions, welcome them and find/discuss the answers together.
See the links below for suggested activities that you can do at home to support Speech and Language development with your children.
Useful Information & Further Support
Publications from the Communication Trust:
Universally Speaking (birth to 5): This publication provides information about what helps children learn to talk and listen, whether they are on the right track and what to do if you have concerns.
Primary Milestones Poster:
A poster identifying the milestones in communication development from age 4-11 years. At our school we are introducing this poster as an assessment tool when monitoring children’s progress and development in Speech and Language.
Useful Speech, Language and Communication websites: