The missing piece of the jigsaw: 'Let's interact' Learning to Talk, Talking to Learn

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Munroe, Ellen
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Educational Level
ISCED Level 0 Early childhood education
ISCED Level 1 Primary education
Geographical Setting
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Background: The purpose of the study was to improve the communication, language, and literacy skills of young learners in three different settings through the use of CPD approaches such as Owling, the Four 'S's, Listening Groups, and Narrative Groups. The strategies used led to a more pupil-led curriculum, increased individual vocabulary, and improved focus and concentration during small group teaching sessions. This was reflected in the increase in children's FSP scores and NC assessment results.

Aims: The main aim of the project was to provide a clear pathway to support pupils who are working below expected developmental norms in CLL, using practical strategies to improve their learning in a positive way.

Methods: The participants included teachers, support staff, headteachers, LA advisers, parents, and the senior leadership team. They worked together to implement the 'Owling' strategy, Listening groups, and Narrative approach to improve pupils' communication, language, and literacy skills, as well as their personal, social, and emotional development. This had a significant impact on pupil learning, with an increase in the number of children transferring into Foundation 2 at Point 4 or above on the Profile in Language for Communication and Thinking, and an increase in FSP scores at both the end of F1 and F2. In Key Stage 1, the Narrative approach has impacted the last two years' NC assessment results, with more children achieving level 3s and 2c. The methods used included 'Owling' techniques, Listening Groups, Narrative approach, British Picture Vocabulary scale, Foundation Stage Profile, Assessment for Learning, and Rhyme time. These were used to support individual children in 'Learning to Talk and Talking to Learn'.

Findings: The project provided a pathway to support pupils below expected developmental norms in CLL, with evidence showing a significant number of pupils working within expected age related levels in PSME and Language for Communication and Thinking. Teachers and TAs developed a different approach to teaching and pupils' learning, with the project becoming a whole school initiative. The support of the headteacher and Senior management team was crucial to the success of the project.

Implications: The findings of the project suggest that using strategies such as 'Owling', Listening Groups, and Narrative approach can have a positive impact on pupil learning, teaching, and school organisation and leadership. These strategies empower adults to teach in a positive way, looking at individual child's understanding and linguistic development, and can help raise progress and learning to expected levels.
Keywords (free text)
Infant education , Communication, language and literacy , Personal, social and emotional development
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