The aim of the Project READ website is to support collaboration between schools in our joint endeavour to improve reading outcomes for Derbyshire pupils. A huge 'Thank you!' to all who have contributed case studies. Use the case studies as a starting point to reflect on practice in your school with colleagues. Explore the 'Useful Links' tab for research, resources and continuous professional development (CPD) opportunities. The password to view the video clips is projectread

Every Child a Talker (ECaT) in the EYFS: effective adult-child interactions at Gorseybrigg Primary School

About our school

We are a small, single form entry school in Dronfield Woodhouse with a Foundation Stage Unit for Nursery and Reception children.  The majority of children enter our Nursery in-line with age-related expectations (ARE) and those who begin Nursery below ARE for ‘Communication and Language’ show good progress. 

At Gorseybrigg Primary School we aim to develop happy, enthusiastic and confident children with enquiring minds whilst providing them with the skills, attitudes and values which equip them for life.  We help children towards independence, promote high personal standards and develop their awareness of the needs of others. The educational experiences must allow the development of the whole child. Learning should follow the children’s needs and interests, incorporating the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum and the Early Learning Goals. All children should have equal access to all areas of the curriculum. In the Foundation Stage the children learn through experience, activity and purposeful play.

We have contributed four case studies to


These clips capture a series of conversations one morning in January with a commentary to highlight the strategies Sophie uses to encourage talk, exploration and play.


Filming took place during one morning session in January 2019.


The following commentary has been written by Ruth Crofts, Derbyshire Every Child a Talker (ECaT) Consultant and Speech and Language Therapist.

Clip 1: Modelling or recasting is when an adult repeats the child’s utterance whilst improving the structure, clarity or detail of the sentence.  Sophie uses modelling of the child’s utterances to sensitively improve grammar, offer a clearly spoken model, and to enrich the child’s sequence of thinking.

Clip 2: Sophie helps the children make connections with previous topics and learning by explicitly recalling their experiences “do you remember….”

Clip 3: Sophie uses the strategy of offering a limited choice to a child in order to help focus the child and scaffold the language needed.

Clip 4: Concepts are abstract and many children struggle to grasp the salient aspects of the concept unless anchored in experience and concrete examples.  Sophie uses experience, recall and acting out with the children to guide understanding of language and thinking.

Clip 5: Sophie uses multiple strategies in everyday learning and play to explicitly teach vocabulary.

Clip 6: Opportunities for joy and to find a reason to communicate can be created by gently suggesting that a child shares their new idea with a peer as demonstrated by Sophie in this clip.  

Clip 7: Balancing comments and questions to elicit the best interactions and learning is always a challenge.  Sophie takes small moments to effectively use a question or comment to follow or link to the child’s thinking.


All members of the EYFS team aim to encourage communication by using these strategies. The clips provide an insight into the impact: our children are enthusiastic, independent learners who are curious, playful and who enjoy finding out about the world together.

Next steps

Continue to develop this approach.


Sophie Kirkwood – Reception Teacher – Specialist Leader of Education for EYFS - Assistant Head Teacher

Tel: 01246 418508     Email:

Additional information

To find out more about the Derbyshire Every Child a Talker (ECaT) programme and about bespoke, in-school CPD opportunities to support spoken language skills, contact

1.Modelling-recasting. Password for all clips: projectread
2.Making connections_recall
3.Giving choices
4.Concepts through experience
6.Reason and joy to communicate
7.Comments and questions
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