A major new study looking at the language skills of reception class children found that many of the youngest children had not yet acquired the language skills needed to access the curriculum. Those born between May and August were twice as likely as their older peers to be identified by teachers as having both language difficulties and behaviour problems, increasing their risk of falling behind. This has led researchers to recommend amending the Early Years curriculum to put less emphasis on academic targets and concentrate more on the development of essential language skills.
The SCALES (Surrey Communication and Language Study) – a project led by Professor Courtenay Norbury at Royal Holloway, University of London, is the first population study of language ability and risk of language impairment at school entry age in the UK. You can read more about the research on the the SCALES website.