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Field House Infant School and Nursery

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Speaking and Listening

At Field House, we are passionate about developing the children's ability to listen, pay attention and speak.  These are the building blocks of literacy. That is why we place oracy as the heart of everything we do.  


To ensure these vital skills develop, we ensure:


  • Regular opportunities for embedding speaking and listening across the curriculum, with talking an integral part of the learning process.
  • Effective modelling of speaking and listening in day-to-day interactions.
  • Exciting, first-hand experiences within termly topics.
  • Communication friendly environments.
  • Visual resources to increase independence and reduce anxiety.
  • Quality questioning to involve all.
  • Allowing processing and thinking time and insistence on answering.
  • Repeating, modelling, recasting and extending children's utterances to improve structure, clarity and detail.
  • Explicit and systematic teaching of vocabulary through identification of tiered words for each topic/subject.
  • Termly opportunities to perform to larger audiences e.g. assemblies, concerts.
  • .Delivery of specific interventions for those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
  • Involvement of specialist support services for children with SLCN and delivery of SALT plans.


The progression summary below shows you how the children will develop their speaking and listening skills across the year groups.

  • Listen to stories and sounds
  • Develop listening and attention
  • Understand and develop vocabulary
  • Begin to understand, answer and use questions
  • Learn new words and use them when communicating
  • Extend vocabulary and explore the meaning of sounds and new words
  • Use language to recreate roles and experiences
  • Use talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking ideas, feelings and events
  • Develop own narratives
  • Answer a range of questions in response to stories and events
  • Take turns to speak with others
  • Start and join in with groups conversations
  • Listen to others, listening and responding to ideas expressed
  • Initiate conversation
  • Speak clearly, conveying simple meanings to a range of listeners
  • Talk about matters of immediate interest, list and describe events, retell favourite stories
  • Begin to use longer or more complicated details within speech to extend ideas / accounts
  • Give details that are important and will influence the listener
  • Follow 2-3 part instructions
  • Understand and answer 'how', 'what' and 'why' questions
  • Take turns to talk, listening and responding to two-way conversations and groups
  • Listen carefully and respond with increasing appropriateness to what others say
  • Ask lots of questions to find out specific information
  • Begin to recognise and value the opinions of others
  • Use speech that is clearly understood by others
  • Show confidence in talking, particularly with topics of interest
  • Show awareness of the needs of the listener by including relevant detail
  • Use a growing vocabulary to develop and explain ideas
  • Use more complicated grammar including using conjunctions to link ideas/phrases
  • Describe own experience in detail and in the correct order
  • Retell stories with important key components in place
  • Understand complex 2-3 part instructions including more abstract/imagination situations
  • Understand key points
  • Ask lots of questions to find out specific information
  • Respond appropriately to answers to questions
  • Infer what new words mean by context