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Early Communication, Language and Literacy



At St Katherine's we have a communication and language rich environment, with lots of opportunities for verbal and non-verbal communication. As children develop communication, speaking and listening skills, they are building the foundations for literacy and learning. Plus they are learning key skills like how to express themselves and make friends. At St Katherine’s we give the children plenty of opportunities to have conversations and communicate with us and to hear us modelling language and introducing new words. We provide them with lots of engaging activities that fascinate, challenge and excite them. We also make sure that they hear and say new words often to strengthen the connections in their brains and to keep building their vocabulary.

Books and storytelling


Sharing books and reading is the best way to encourage young children to develop a love of books and to open them up to a world of possibilities and wonder.

At St Katherine's fiction and non-fiction books are everywhere, as they are such an important part of early learning. Books and stories are shared on a daily basis, inside and outside and we also do lots of storytelling, story scribing and acting out of different stories.

These are Pie Corbett’s recommended books for parents to read with their children in the nursery class. These are books that the children will become familiar with at St Katherine's. They are firm favourites in our book areas and we read them often with the children.




In the Nursery we start the year with lots of lovely stories, games, rhymes and songs to help promote the children’s listening and concentration skills. Once they have developed these skills we introduce fun, interactive games and activities.


Phase One activities are arranged under the following seven aspects.

■ Aspect 1: General sound discrimination – environmental sounds

■ Aspect 2: General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds

■ Aspect 3: General sound discrimination – body percussion

■ Aspect 4: Rhythm and rhyme

■ Aspect 5: Alliteration

■ Aspect 6: Voice sounds

■ Aspect 7: Oral blending and segmenting


Each aspect is divided into three strands.


■ Tuning into sounds (auditory discrimination)

■ Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing)

■ Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).


Activities within the seven aspects are designed to help children:


1. listen attentively;

2. enlarge their vocabulary;

3. speak confidently to adults and other children;

4. discriminate phonemes;

5. reproduce audibly the phonemes they hear, in order, all through the word;

6. use sound-talk to segment words into phonemes.