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Listening, attention and understanding is one of the two aspects of communication and language, one of the three prime areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Children are expected to reach the early learning goal at the end of the EYFS in the reception year at primary school.

All staff need to be confident of their role in developing children’s understanding of this area of learning and development, whatever the age of the children they work with. It is important to remember that different approaches are appropriate for different ages of children and different children will progress in their understanding at different rates.

Aims and outcomes

Participants will:

  • know the early learning goal in relation to listening, attention and understanding
  • understand how to interact with children to support their capabilities and skills in listening and paying attention
  • know what resources will support children in this area of learning and how to create an effective learning environment
  • gain confidence in planning for this aspect of communication and language for children of different ages and stages.

Unit contents

  • Step 1 Introduction (5–10 minutes)
  • Step 2 Ideas to support the goal (10–15 minutes)
  • Step 3 Plan an activity (5–10 minutes)

Unit content

Unit 1: Communication and Language - Listening, attention and understanding