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A whole new perspective

This month, we are emphasising the importance of Communication and Language as one of the seven key learning areas of the EYFS. Speech, language, and communication are fundamental areas of development for children, playing a significant role throughout their lives. These skills allow children to interpret their surroundings, express basic needs and emotions, engage in conversation, learn and think, forge connections with others, solve problems, and much more.
When we talk about communication, we refer to many aspects of speech and language development. This includes the number of words a child speaks, how they articulate the words, what they say, what they understand and how well they listen. Additionally, communication can encompass nonverbal cues such as gestures like waving, and social skills such as maintaining eye contact and taking turns.
From birth, children begin to encounter and understand various emotions, both in themselves and others. However, it takes time for them to acquire the necessary skills to engage with these feelings in a constructive way. Without the proper language and communication tools, young children can become frustrated when attempting to express their emotions, leading to “toddler tantrums”. At nursery, we organise our learning environment so that communication and language can flourish. We have areas for role-play and exploration, supporting different types of play such as independent, small group and larger group play.

We sing many nursery rhymes and repetitive songs daily, which act as an excellent vehicle for building vocabulary and encouraging simple actions. We read voraciously, using pictures to stimulate discussions. We play games, dig in the garden, do physical activity together – all of which promote turn taking, social interaction and attention and listening skills.
Children communicate in the most fascinating ways, and if we pause and pay attention for long enough, we often find they present the world to us from a whole new and refreshing perspective.