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Curriculum content

Class/subject teachers ensure that:

  • Speech and Language skills are incorporated in the school’s curriculum and reflected across all subjects.

  • Teaching and learning opportunities are appropriately differentiated to take into account language levels and that there are appropriate levels of intellectual challenge and support. 

  • Tasks are planned so that pupils are encouraged to talk through ideas with peers and adults.

  • The language demands of the subject area are adjusted, when necessary, in order to improve access through:

    • Identifying sequential skills that are explicitly linked to prior learning.

    • Identifying target vocabulary and using pre and/or post tutoring if needed.

    • Differentiating by task, outcome or teaching materials.

    • Opportunities for distributed practice and interleaved learning.

  • Language and communication skills are explicitly taught, for example:

    • Listening skills.

    • Participation in groups.

    • Turn taking.

    • Figurative speech, please see the book It's Raining Cats and Dogs.

    • Non-verbal communication.

  • Vocabulary is explicitly taught by the following methods:

    • Linking new vocabulary to prior learning.

    • Adults using new vocabulary.

    • Using pictures/photos.

    • Using definitions.

    • Using actions.

    • Using synonyms.

    • Using direct instruction.

    • Recognising when new vocabulary is used by the children

Word Aware: Teaching Vocabulary across the day, across the curriculum is a good resource to use as a framework for teaching vocabulary in the classroom.  For information on the 3 tiers of vocabulary see the Mable website and for whole school approach to teaching vocabulary see the National Literacy Trust website

Other resources for teaching vocabulary include: 

Time to Talk is a programme for 4-6 year old and can be used in the whole class, in groups or individually with children to develop language skills.

Talk for Writing is a recommended writing programme for in the classroom.

Language for Learning, Language for Thinking and Language for Writing are also an evidence-based language curriculum to use in the classroom that use Direct Instruction.

Please refer to the Communication Trust website for more ideas for a communication curriculum.



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