How our setting uses the environment to provide effective support for speech, language and communicating. As adults caring for children it is important to support and encourage them in their speech, language and communication skills. As babies they begin with cooing at about 6 weeks and then move onto babbling at about 6 months. At about 9 months this progresses so you can begin to differentiate different languages and children begin to interact with adults. During these stages we use exaggerated facial expressions and point to things and begin to use simple words to label things. We simplify our language to suit their needs. At about 12 months babies start using words and by 18 months have about 10 words or so. As they move towards 2 years old they start to put words together to form sentences.
And the biggest development is between 2 and 3 when it can be hard to keep up with them as new words are learnt every day and real speech starts to begin. Around now as adults we start to simplify less and start to help enrich a child’s vocabulary. Between 3 and 4 longer sentences are formed and children start to socialise and interact with each other although grammatical mistakes will often be made. By 5 or 6 the basic skills of speech language and communication are mastered. At the Kings School we have children entering our setting with all sorts of different levels of S.L.C. some will be quite proficient while some may need extra support. Being able to communicate and be able to use and understand speech will assist a child’s overall development. For a Childs cognitive learning being able to understand the teacher and to see something new and label it and say what is happening aids their understanding and memory.
Emotionally being able to share thoughts and feelings, to be able to say when they are happy or not and to know when someone else is unhappy. It will also impact on their behaviour. There may be less outbursts and upsets if they can express themselves and clearly understand instructions and any rules given. Friendships are vital to a child’s development and if they can interact with each other they can develop social skills which will carry through to adult hood and assist future development. At the Kings School we try to make sure we are providing a supportive environment to encourage the children’s S.L.C. needs. Many factors can affect this including; The physical environment. The child needs an interesting environment so they are kept stimulated and have something to talk about.
We have a different letter each week to help us to plan activities so they are ever changing. To encourage the children to talk about that letter. To discuss the Characters and introduce new words and sounds and get them thinking about sounds. We make sure that we keep an eye on the noise levels and that although it’s fine to be loud sometimes it is also important to have quiet times and spaces. Like the book corner to hear stories and be able to discuss them. Also learning to be quiet when someone else is talking. Especially the teacher. That it is important everyone is heard. That when instructions are given they are clearly heard and understood. Staff roles and responsibilities. It’s important that no child’s slips under the radar and that the quiet ones who are no trouble and self sufficient are also noticed. That is why we have a Keyworker system and that each child has an appointed adult who has responsibility for that child and their development, including their speech and language and communication.
Also sometimes when the staff carry out duties we get the children involved in helping, like tidying up especially after lunch. The children get a chance to interact one on one with an adult. Training needs and opportunities. When the chance arises we will engage in training for specific aspects of our work. Recently most of us undertook some training in the use of Makaton. The views of the child We are always interested in what the child wants. We ask them what stories they like or what activities they like to do. They can choose what toys to get out. The other day some of them saw some soil and requested to make mud. This was a great (if messy) activity that had plenty of opportunity for discussion and interaction with an adult. Involvement of carers. We are always encouraging parents and carers to get involved most of our staff are parent volunteers. We have a couple who are Speech therapists and are willing to help us and parents to assist the children in their development.
As Early year teachers we are always implementing the NEW 7 areas of learning, within each of these there are always ways of supporting S.L.C. Communication and Language Once a week we do show and tell. This is a perfect opportunity to encourage children in their SLC they are given the opportunity to share with each other about an item of their choice. They also learn how to listen to their friends. The adults give support by asking questions and using appropriate words to increase vocabulary. This also includes any form of mat time or assembly where the children have to listen to us and begin to learn when to be quiet. They also get the opportunity to pray which is good for their confidence in speaking out loud in front of their peers. Whatever their level of speech they will all pray at some point which is great. Physical Development This can be outside or inside so different levels of speech can be involved. Recently we did an activity where a story was read to the children, then they were encouraged to come outside and build an obstacle course to re-enact the story.
Throughout this they were talking to us and hearing words from us about movement. Like up, down, under, through. They had to convey to us what they wanted. Also have listened to the story and understood it. Also sometimes at snack time and lunch time we take the opportunity to discuss healthy eating and how exercise is important. Personal, social and emotional development Children are always encouraged to share things with us and other children. If a child is upset by another child we try to engage them in talking about it and how each other were feeling. And to apologise to each other. We often split children into groups for things to encourage interaction with children they don’t usually play with and get them to talk to each other. Literacy We are always reading books to the children and encouraging interaction within this getting them to talk about the story and discuss it.
We have the Alphabet Kingdom characters who are always introducing the children to new words and sounds. We try to use that sound all week to make sure children are hearing it and using it. Mathematics We will use maths activities to teach children words relating to it. Numbers, shapes etc. Getting children to count out loud playing games that involve numbers or shapes. Always talking to them though any activity. Also in this category for instance a child may be role playing shops and we would then encourage them in talking about money and the use of correct terms Understanding the world This could be as simple as being involved in the children’s games especially role play.
If they are being doctors or nurses. We can encourage their SLC skills by using appropriate words and talking about things these people do. WE are also in the process of developing a wall display about the world and people we know in different parts of it. We can use this to talk about other languages and teach the children new words and get them to talk about their experiences of other countries. Expressive arts and Design When we are being creative there is always plenty of opportunity for talking about what we are doing. Getting them to share ideas with us and to use language associated with the activity. Into this area also comes music and singing. Which is great for SLC? Whenever we are singing we use Makaton which helps those who need it join in with us, and teaches the children the signs which they can then use to communicate with others.