Speech and Language


The Speech, Language and Communication Team have created this new page to support communication across the school community.

Please find below useful strategies, links, and activities to support your child’s speech and language development. Look out for new activities and tips being posted.

Sophie Massey, SENCO

Sara-Jayne Sims, Speech and Language Lead


At St Michael’s Primary and Nursery School, we believe that children’s language and communication skills are essential life skills, the foundation for all learning and that it does not happen by accident.

  • Through communication skills we make friends, develop relationships, make our needs known
  • Beyond the school years, good communication skills are essential for developing resilience, teamwork, problem solving.
  • Communication skills are the foundation of all learning: in primary school nearly all learning involves some aspect of speech, language and communication.
  • It is important to have good language and communication skills in order to develop good literacy skills
  • The Curriculum across the UK promotes the importance of good speaking and listening skills in their own right, and to facilitate learning across all subjects.

A difficulty with any aspect of communication can have a significant impact on the developing child’s social skills and emotional understanding.

Difficulty with language puts children at risk of struggling with reading and writing, difficulties with behaviour and attainment.

We also believe that ….

Language development doesn’t happen by accident

Children need all adults, from the moment they are born all through their education at school and outside school to support their language and communication development and the more we know and understand about language and how it develops, the better position we’re in to help.

Supporting children’s language and communication is ‘everybody’s business’- It does take a village to support these essential skills.


At our school we:

  • Learn through play using language and interaction skills
  • Link literacy to language development, problem solving and all aspects of learning including processing information, imagination and memory.
  • Promote skills to make and maintain friendships, communicate and interact with others, encourage non-verbal communication, sharing and belonging, co-operation
  • Develop emotional development through teaching effective communication skills: label and talk about emotions, develop resilience and empathy.
  • Encourage the language of self-regulation to be able to follow rules, exercise self-control, understanding cause, effect and consequences
  • Listen to all children


If you have concerns about the speech, language or communication of your child/dren please get in touch with:





10 Top tips for talking with children


  1. Using the right level of language for each child and knowing how to build on their language skills is key –therefore it is so important to know how language develops.


Universally Speaking - The ages and stages of children’s communication development From birth to 5 years https://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/media/363847/tct_univspeak_0-5.pdf


  1. Listen to children when they are talking, face them and make eye contact, avoid distractions such as looking at a phone whilst talking at the same time. Call their name and make sure your child is looking towards you.


  1. Check that children understand the language used and instructions given – ask them to repeat back what they think you said or what they need to do.


  1. Ask open-ended questions (which are difficult to give a yes/no or one word answer) and ask children to elaborate on and explain their response. This helps develop strong communication skills.


  1. Talk about what children are interested in – let them talk first and let them lead the conversation.


  1. Use comments and prompts rather than questions, E.g. Say “what a tall tower” “it will be as tall as you” instead of “what are you building?”


  1. ‘Model’ good communication. Children learn from what they see and hear.


  1. Give children time to work out what you have said and what they want to say. Wait at least 10 seconds for children to formulate and give an answer.



  1. Have conversations about how people feel and how that affects what they do. This is important in order to learn social interaction skills.


10.Make time everyday to talk about what they are involved in, explain a game they are playing, making comments on a programme they are watching or a book they are reading.


Useful websites:





Useful documents and websites

Misunderstood - Supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

The Communication Trust www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk