Home and away

Flewitt, Rosie (2005). Home and away. Nursery World(12 May 200) pp. 26–27.


This practitioner-oriented article discusses how the many changes introduced in the Early Years over recent years have been broadly welcomed as a move towards raising the overall quality of preschool provision, but they have also resulted in challenges for practitioners and for young children. Research has found that practitioners feel under increased pressure to provide evidence of curriculum delivery, to help children achieve higher scores in early years assessment and to focus on children’s ability to communicate their understandings through the ‘assessable’ communicative mode of talk. Whilst the development of communication and language skills is a key area of young children’s learning, too high a priority given to spoken language may be detracting from the diversity of ways that children communicate through talking and playing, through movement and all their senses. Drawing on data from an ESRC-funded project, the article illustrates how the 3-year-old children studied were competent and experienced communicators in their own homes, yet these skills did not always transfer smoothly into preschool settings. The article concludes with suggestions on how practitioners can ease children's transition from home to preschool.

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