This event examines language development in the early years – including the policies, approaches, and environments designed to close the language attainment gap.
Children’s language development in the first few years of life can have a profound impact on their later educational attainment throughout school and into adulthood. The foundations we lay in the early years are therefore crucial to realising the Scottish Government’s ambition of closing the poverty-related attainment gap.
Join us for this highly interactive event as we examine the policies around language development in the early years, ask what progress is being made in closing the language attainment gap, and explore examples of good practice that can benefit your work and organisation.
09:30 Registration and Refreshments
09:55 Welcome and Introduction from the Chair
Session 1: Closing the Language Attainment Gap
- Policy context around language development in the early years, including the rationale for the expansion of early learning and childcare entitlement to 1140 hours
- Translating policy into practice – overcoming challenges
10:00 Opening Address
10:15 Questions and Discussion with senior policymaker
10:30 Senior Speaker
10:50 Sue Palmer, Independent Writer and Education Consultant; Chair, Upstart Scotland
11:10 Questions and Discussion
11:20 Refreshments and Networking
Session 2: Supporting Language Development in Practice
- Examples of practical activities to support language development
- Supporting children with complex support needs
- Working with families to create positive home learning environments
11:40 Senior Speaker
12:00 Alison Gooding, Speech and Language Therapist, East Ayrshire Early Years Team
12:20 Questions and Discussion
12:30 Lunch and Networking
Session 3: Next Steps for Supporting Language Development in the Early Years
13:20 Interactive Discussion
Delegates will be divided into small groups to discuss what can be learned from the morning presentations for their own work and organisations. Discussions will be led by a question set to each table.
14:00 Panel Discussion
Topics for discussion include:
- Creating the right environment for language development
- Encouraging collaboration between speech and language therapists and early years practitioners
- Ensuring all early years settings are involved in multi-agency networks to enhance language development
Dr Lynne Duncan, Director, Language and Learning Lab
14:50 Summary and Closing Remarks
15:00 Close of Event