Early Years Teaching Talking Initiative

Torfaen LA has prioritised the early identification of special or educational needs in young children through the Teaching Talking initiative. Teaching Talking is a screening and intervention programme for children with speech and language difficulties. Currently, it is being used in Torfaen’s early years settings and in nursery and reception age children in primary schools.

Teaching Talking has recognised value in:

  • Providing a detailed progression of the development of a child’s spoken language;
  • Emphasising the importance of spoken language in the development of reading and writing;
  • Making links between language and the development of personal, social and cognitive skills.

Torfaen nurseries and primary schools make use of Teaching Talking in the regular screening (twice yearly) and monitoring of the progress of young children (nursery and reception age). The Communication Intervention Team (ComIT) supports nurseries and schools in all aspects of Teaching Talking and has capacity to provide exemplar teaching groups and direct work on a time limited basis.

Teaching Talking is a tiered process in which all children are screened, appropriate response taken, and outcomes monitored over time. This weighty emphasis on the early identification of young children with speech and language difficulties or delay, is in line with the findings of the Bercow Report (2008, p.3) which states:

"The ability to communicate is an essential life skill for all children and young people in the twenty-first century. It is at the core of all social interaction. With effective communication skills, children can engage and thrive. Without them, children will struggle to learn, achieve, make friends and interact with the world around them."

Teaching Talking helps to ensure that children with special needs are picked up at an early age within education settings and that appropriate remediation provision is put in place. With parents knowledge and consent, teaching staff may make use of Teaching Talking screening and intervention records to notify the LA of concerns about a child’s SEN/AN.

Additional Support

The Local Authority has an early years process that is designed to ensure the early identification of children who may have special educational needs, and to assist in ensuring that identified children are appropriately supported on entry into Nursery.

Information regarding pre-school children who may have additional needs come from a variety of sources. The Health Service provides the majority of the information but information is also received from parents, social care and meetings where a number of different agencies are involved such as the Child Development Team.

Information received is considered on a monthly basis and when appropriate, the Educational Psychologist responsible for early years will arrange to visit. The Educational Psychologist is then in a position to provide advice, along with advice from other services, to the Additional Needs Panel as to whether additional support may be required when the child enters nursery. This ensures appropriate support is in place when the child starts nursery.

Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Inclusion Service

Tel: 01495 766929 or 01495 766968

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