Observation: Speech and language
Class Teacher, Primary School, Kingstanding, Birmingham
Bethany is in Reception with a sister in Year 1 with whom she would only speak outside of school. Since starting in Nursery Bethany has been an elective mute, not participating in activities without encouragement - and using hand signs to communicate her needs.
In December Bethany had time in the new DMP room with her sister. As she moved she began talking about the movements she was doing, making comments to her sister and peers. Her sister left, but Bethany continued talking in an excited way with her peers.
Bethany speaks freely in the DMP room. No speaking has yet occurred in the classroom.
‘His confidence has also grown. He now volunteers information in class discussions and talks more to his friends.”
Kyle is in Year 2 and finds communicating and concentrating hard. He uses the DMP room for thee sessions a week - first session in the morning - before going back for his numeracy lesson. Since using the movement area his teacher has noticed a big improvement in his concentration. He is ready to learn when he comes back to the class and enjoys his learning. His confidence has also grown. He now volunteers information in class discussions and talks more to his friends.
Hammad is six years old and in Year 1. He is quiet in class and struggles to communicate and express his emotions to his class teacher; but after his session in the DMP room, Hammad goes back to his classroom very eager to talk to his teacher about what he has been doing.
This has helped him to gain confidence to talk in small group situations and class discussion. Hammad now finds it easier to communicate with his teacher.
When we first began to research DMP many early years practitioners came back to our regular meetings with stories of children beginning to sound, or speak, in the movement play area. At first we thought it was a coincidence, but when the observations kept coming we realised that there is a strong link between moving and sounding/speaking for many children.
Here are three really interesting examples from that early research.