Communication and Language

Within this Area of Learning there are 3 Aspects

LEARNING OBJECTIVES 30-50 month band


Listening and Attention

– Listens to others one to one or in small groups, when conversation interests them.
– Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.
– Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories.
– Focusing attention – still listen or do, but can shift own attention.
– Is able to follow directions (if not intently focused on own choice of activity).


– Understands use of objects e.g “What do we use to cut things?’
– Shows understanding of prepositions such as ‘under’, ‘on‘, ‘top’, ‘behind’ by carrying out an action or selecting correct picture.
– Responds to simple instructions, e.g. to get or put away an object.
– Beginning to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.


– Beginning to use more complex sentences to link thoughts (e.g.using and, because).
– Can retell a simple past event in correct order (e.g. went down slide, hurt finger).
– Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, recall and relive past experiences.
– Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks e.g. who, what, when, how.
– Uses a range of tenses (e.g. play, playing, will play, played).
– Uses intonation, rhythm and phrasing to make the meaning clear to others.
– Uses vocabulary focused on objects and people that are of particular importance to them.
– Builds up vocabulary that reflects the breadth of their experiences.
– Uses talk in pretending that objects stand for something else in play, e,g, ‘This box is my castle’.

At Uplands Infant School Communication and Language are an integral part of Teaching and Learning across the entire curriculum. Opportunities for children to experience a rich language environment is planned for and provided. Using home language is actively encouraged alongside which good English is modelled. We use Key Worker Group times to develop specific vocabulary, to develop concentration and attentive listening skills and provide activities that are planned to enable children feel able to express themselves effectively with confidence. Bilingual staff are employed who will regularly support children with different language needs. Wherever possible stories, songs and rhymes that reflect our children’s cultures mould the curriculum we deliver.

Listening skills are taught explicitly during the 1st half of the Autumn term so children understand what it is to listen. All staff model what it is to be a good listener by listening to and valuing children’s responses. During the 2nd half  of the Autumn term we use a selection of Lola the listening Leopard activities  to promote specific good listening and concentration skills during Key Worker Group times.


This is developed further through activities taken from Phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds document.

In Foundation 1 out primary focus is on Phase 1. Activities focus around Environmental sounds, Instrumental Sounds and Body Percussion with elements of Voice Sounds. This supports us to develop children’s listening skills through encouraging them to tune into sounds around them, opportunities to talk about and describe sounds are also planned for. We use stories with sound words such as Peace at Last, Polar Polar Bear What do You Hear and songs such as Old McDonald .

Peace at Last

Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear

Parents information to Phase 1 phonics can be found here

Ideas for you to try at home can be found below:


Listening to and singing songs and nursery rhymes and listening to stories play a crucial part in the development of language, thus for Foundation 1 at Uplands Infant School they are woven into our daily routines. Strategies such song boards and singing sacks are used to support focussed songs of the week e.g 5 Little Ducks, Autumn leaves are falling down and story of the week.

Areas within the environment are developed to support listening to stories and songs and cosy quiet dens are created for children who wish to share and chat quietly with their friends.









We use stories such as those mentioned above and Owl Babies, Come on Daisy and Going on a Bear Hunt to give children opportunities to join in with repetitive parts of a story.


Please keep an eye out on the parents notice board for our song and story focus.

Language skills are fostered through many ways which include providing real life experiences, stimulating play opportunities and interesting objects and artefacts stemming from children’s interests and experiences but increasingly widening these to promote further opportunities for teaching and learning new vocabulary. We will aim to have a visit from dog owners who may walk their dogs in the park and extend this further to learning about caring for animals in the home. Opportunities to role play this through our home corner will be created.

Skilled staff use many non verbal methods of communication to support the spoken words, we listen carefully to children’s spoken words and broaden what is said by modelling the correct forms of spoken language, expanding and reinforcing children’s ability to use sentences and introduce new words through children’s play. There is a focus on naming and describing park play equipment, park animals, language focused on aspects of Phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds scheme and the changes that are happening around us in the outdoor environment such as autumn.

The autumn season with its many celebrations and festivals will also become a foci for speaking and listening activities e.g recounting and sharing an experiences such as Eid, Diwali, Bonfire Night and Christmas, ending in an end of year party.

Talk sofa is an initiative introduced to promote structured talk time. Activities will promote talking through providing stimulating and interesting artefacts e.g artefacts from different cultures and communities, technological toys, bones, unusual fruit and vegetables, popcorn/ candy floss making machine.


Parents’ guides to speaking and listening activities can be found here.
Many songs to support speaking can be found here.

For those children who may require a little extra support in developing these skills our highly skilled staff deliver Fun Time sessions for small groups of children at least twice a week. These children benefit greatly from this early years intervention to development their confidence, speaking and listening skills.

Fun Time Handbook