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Communication and Language (CL)

Communication and language is a foundation life skill.

Listening and attention

Listening is a form of communication. It is a vital skill for children that involves hearing, interpreting and constructing meanings.

Children need to develop listening skills to help them to participate in daily routines, develop more forms of communication with others and be part of wider decision making processes.

At nursery, we will help your child to develop these listening skills by modelling listening and attention, and encourage them to use these skills in a range of situations.
Small language groups, communication groups and other appropriate intervention groups such as music or boys group, give those children in the early stages of listening more intensive opportunities to develop the skill.

At home, you could share stories and rhymes with your children, model thoughtful listening and responding, and encourage them to follow some simple instructions.


The early years are a critical period for children’s speech, language and communication which in turn underpin many of the other areas of children’s development.

Being able to speak clearly and process speech sounds, to understand others, to express ideas and interact with others are fundamental building blocks for a child’s development.

At nursery, the value of speech is threaded throughout the practice. Staff will model high quality speech to children; asking inquisitive questions, commenting on the interesting things that children do and reading and singing a whole range of books, rhymes and songs.

Some children may need extra support with their language development whilst they are at nursery; this may be due to having English as an additional language, a speech delay or disorder. We run a number of Box Clever groups and communication groups daily to help these children. There may also be some children who need alternative communication strategies throughout the session; such as picture cards, big macs and visual timetables which the nursery supports them with.

At home, create an atmosphere that is talk friendly. Talk to your child as much as you can about what you notice, what you are doing, and what they are doing. It is vital that you value their talk back; give them time to respond to you, be positive about their talk and encourage them to talk as much as you can.