A major focus has been placed on speaking and listening in the Early years and there was already a focus in my school anyway due to the area that the children come from. On entry into Nursery some children cannot even say or respond with one word answers, so sequencing a string of 2 or 3 words can become a problem.
We are lucky however that we have a great forest on a school ground with lots of potential and opportunity (Reception class are having forest school sessions outside next half term). However, this year we have been doing welly walks. These involve exactly what they sound like, every couple of week Reception children wack on their wellies and come rain or shine we do a welly walk and talk about the natural objects and surroundings.
Our welly walks can involve number hunts, shape hunts, list making of what we can see, leaf printing or just simple observations and discoveries of our natural surroundings in the forest. The children love these sessions and my TA and I get so much from it too.
The enjoyment and learning that takes place is phenomenal from such a simple and obvious idea. The vocabulary the children have and use and the awareness of the natural environment is very impressive. The walks have created discussions on our environment in comparison to other environments, different talks about the seasons and state of the objects in the forest and who/what else uses the forest.