St Patrick's R C Primary School

Learn. Grow. Shine.

Communication and Language Development

The development of children’s spoken language underpins all seven areas of learning and development. Children’s back-and-forth interactions from an early
age form the foundations for language and cognitive development. The number and quality of the conversations they have with adults and peers throughout
the day in a language-rich environment is crucial. By commenting on what children are interested in or doing, and echoing back what they say with new
vocabulary added, practitioners will build children's language effectively. Reading frequently to children, and engaging them actively in stories, non-fiction,
rhymes and poems, and then providing them with extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts, will give children the
opportunity to thrive. Through conversation, story-telling and role play, where children share their ideas with support and modelling from their teacher,
and sensitive questioning that invites them to elaborate, children become comfortable using a rich range of vocabulary and language structures.

Key Skills and Learning Linked to Communication and Language

Listening Attention and Understanding:

Listening – listen to others 1:1/in groups/whole class, in familiar and
new situations, during conversations or activities, listen to stories
with enjoyment and interest.
Attention – maintain attention in different contexts, attend to other
people (adults, peers) both familiar and unfamiliar. Show attention
and interest in stories read to them in whole class and small group
Respond – with relevant comments, questions of their own or
actions when listening to stories, to instructions and when engaged
in play activities e.g. role play/creative expression. Interact with and
respond to others in a range of situations including small group
interactions, whole class discussions and during play. Engage in
purposeful conversations with others during play, in response to
stories or questions, daily routine, etc.
Demonstrate Understanding – follow instructions, requests, and
ideas in a range of contexts and situations. Ask and answer
questions in different contexts including in response to stories, ask
questions to check understanding.
• Respond to and answer questions – ‘where’ ‘how’ and ‘why’
questions about self and own experiences; ‘how’ and ‘why’ in
response to stories and events; answer questions in response to
thoughts, ideas, predications, speculation, provocations in different
contexts and situations, including their play.


Speaking – speak clearly, speak in full sentences, use sentences that give
many details, express ideas about feelings and experiences.
• Vocabulary –
use an increasing range of vocabulary appropriately,
understand the meaning of new words and use appropriately in discussions
and conversation.
• Communication –
communicate freely with different people, engage in
conversations taking into account the listener, and take turns to listen and
to speak in different contexts including small group, whole class and 1-1
discussions. Talk about and discuss familiar events or characters in stories.
• Questioning –
ask and answer questions in different contexts including
group activities, during their play, daily routine, personal conversations with
others etc.
• Uses Tenses –
past, present and future – in conversations with peers/adults
about themselves and their experiences, activities, ideas and events. Begin
to use conjunctions to extend ideas.
• Reasoning –
talk about, explain and give reasons for actions, events and
activities linked to their experiences, stories, or other contexts. Offer
explanations for why things might happen.
• Clarify Thinking –
use talk to connect ideas, and share their thinking in
different contexts.
• Narrative –
use language of stories, rhymes, poems and non-fiction to
imagine and recreate ideas in different contexts and offer explanations for
why things happen