Communication and Language
As stated in the EYFS framework 2021, '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'.
Play is the most important part of our day here at nursery and the interactions staff have with children are vital in promoting spoken language and building vocabulary. Group and story times are built into the day and these focus on using every opportunity for speaking and listening. Staff understand that the ability to listen well underpins all other learning. Key workers are able to promote good spoken language within these times and do this through songs, rhymes and stories . These times often focus on the development of new vocabulary linked to stories and staff encourage children to then use these in their play.
Children are encouraged to speak in sentences and use correct grammar, and modelling back language is key in supporting children to develop in this way. Time is given to quality interactions between staff and child as well as peer to peer though structuring the day with the majority of time given to play. Staff are skilled at asking open questions to promote rich language and time to think and respond.
We know Makaton supports children with their language and understanding development. Therefore, we teach signs for a particular topic every half term. These signs are shared with parents so they can practice using these signs at home. Signs are encouraged to be used throughout group times and provision times. This gives all children the opportunity to communicate their wants, needs and interests with adults and other children.
Throughout the year, there are Makaton courses for parents to attend. To find out more information about upcoming courses, click here to visit our parent courses page.
To find out more information about Makaton, click here to visit the Makaton website.
To view our current Makaton signs, which are on the newsletters, click here.
Around the Nursery you will see a number of visuals being used to support our children with their communication and understanding. A visual timetable is used by every key worker to show the children what is happening in the day. This helps children understand the routine of the day as well as what is happening now and next.
All practitioners have visuals on their lanyards to help communicate particular instructions to children. Children can also use them to communicate their needs to the adults.
WELLCOMM is a speech and language assessment. The assessment is carried out by our children's key workers at different points of the year. It highlights any additional support that may be required.
The results from the assessments help identify areas they can focus on with the children. WELLCOMM results are shared with parents and if required, speech referrals can then be made for additional support from Stockport's Speech and Language Therapists.
We worked really closely with the Startwell team where we hold regular Team Around the Early Years meetings. During these meetings, we discuss with our link Health Visitor, any additional support children and families may be requiring. To find out more information about our TAEY team, click here.
If you have a concern regarding your child's developmental needs, please contact your key worker or our SENDCO, Claire Scott. If required, additional support can be put in place and referrals can be made to outside agencies. We liaise closely with our SEND consultant, Anne Smith, who regularly visits the Nursery to offer guidance on any additional support we can offer our children.
Communication Friendly Setting
We are pleased to announce that we are a Communication Friendly Setting! Staff at Reddish Vale Nursery School have completed training in relation to Speech and Language Support for 3-5s. This training enabled the team to explore the importance of communication within our Nursery and develop our practice in terms of interaction with all our children.
We ensure our provision caters for a variety of communication needs, including quieter spaces, chatty spaces and well resourced activities to promote and enrich vocabulary.
Sustained shared thinking
The Nursery is participating in a project led by Di Chilvers (advisory consultant in early childhood education) where adults are developing their skills to ask meaningful, interesting and aspirational questions. These are used to sustain children’s thinking, help them become reflective and support meta -cognition. Adults understand the use of possibility questions e.g. What do you think…… and How could we……?