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Communication and Language

Communication and Language

EYFS Statutory Educational Programme

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.


The 'checkpoints' for 3-4 year olds (pre-school year) are as follows;


Around the age of 3

  • Can the child shift from one task to another if you fully obtain their attention, for example, by using their name?

Around the age of 4

  • Is the child using sentences of four to six words – “I want to play with cars” or “What’s that thing called?”?
  • Can the child use sentences joined up with words like ‘because’, ‘or’, ‘and’? For example: “I like ice cream because it makes my tongue shiver”.
  • Is the child using the future and past tense: “I am going to the park” and “I went to the shop”?
  • Can the child answer simple ‘why’ questions?


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, storytelling 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.