Every Child A Talker (ECAT)

As an ECAT (Every Child A Talker) school, we recognise the importance of early Speech and Language acquisition and therefore we are part of the West Berkshire ECAT network.

ECAT is based on three core aims. These are:

1. To identify and support all children who may be 'at risk of delay';

2. To develop the knowledge and skills of all of the practitioners who work within the school;

3. To help parents to understand the stages of development of speech and language skills and how they can encourage their child's development.

On this page you will find our regularly updated, talking tips, advice and guidance on supporting your child to become a confident and capable chatterbox as well as links to advice and further support.

How Does Communication Develop?

A child's speech, language and communication skills will develop in stages. Although each child's development can be slightly different, children are expected to develop specific skills by a certain age.

If you are concerned about your child’s development in relation to their communication please talk to us, you can also use the I CAN Age and Stage website to find out what is considered developmentally appropriate for your child.

We use a tree to represent how communication develops from the foundations of language (the roots of the tree) to the use of clear speech sounds (the leaves at the top of the tree).

Without secure roots the tree will struggle to develop. We know that without a range of good early communication experiences, children may not develop the core skills for later communication success.


Did you know...

In the UK, over 1 million children and young people (that’s 2 to 3 in every UK classroom) have some form of long term and persistent speech, language and communication difficulty. This can affect them early, severely and for life.

In areas of poverty, over 50% of children are starting school with delayed communication skills. Their speech may be unclear, vocabulary is smaller, sentences are shorter and they are able to understand only simple instructions. Many of these children can catch up with the right support.

A poll undertaken by I CAN showed that only 43% of parents of 0 - 5 years olds were able to correctly identify the stages of communication.

The Bercow Review of Services for Children and Young people with Speech, Language and Communication Needs (2008) found that 77% of parents who responded did not get the information and support they needed when they needed it.

Shared reading as young as 8 months of age is strongly associated with the child's use of spoken language at 12 and 18 months of age.

Looking back at 15 year olds' educational attainments, it was found that children who were read to by their parents during the first years of school showed markedly higher scores.

The most important influences on children's early development are those that come from home.

More information on how you can support your child’s speech and language development can be found on the Talking Point website and details of how you can access speech and language clinics can be found on the CYPIT website

Please consider how you greet your Children at the end of the school day. They are excited to see you and share what they have learnt. communication works best when you give someone your genuine attention.

Please Show them you are interested - Hang up before you pick up!


Speech and Language - Useful links

For more information and advice relating to stammering

Children’s communication charity

Charity to increase literacy levels

Information and advice to help your child develop communication skills