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Interactions Matter: Supporting children's communication, language and vocabulary development whilst extending their play

In my experience, nothing has a greater impact on the quality of a setting and the outcomes for children than the calibre of adult interactions. Yet, improving the way adults interact with children remains the hardest aspect of practice to change, because of its ambiguous and deeply personal nature.

This course allows no room for ambiguity! Participants will be taken through a very clear and comprehensive journey, presented with warmth and humour, where the features and stages of a high-quality interaction will be unpicked, exemplified and captured in an easy to remember format.

This day will begin by drawing upon key research around children’s communication, language and vocabulary development, and will move on to considering the implications for practice. The vital role of attuned adults who engage in respectful, authentic, back and forth interactions which truly extend children’s language and learning will be thoroughly explored, as will the pitfalls and potential barriers.

Practical strategies to positively shape the way practitioners interact with children will be provided throughout, as well as tools to support practitioners in self-evaluating and improving their practice in this area.

During this session, you will:

  • Hear recent research findings about the most impactful way to support children's developing vocabulary.
  • Explore the key elements that lead to high quality interactions which genuinely extend children’s thinking, language and learning.
  • Receive a supportive tool to take away, that will enable you to evaluate the quality of day to day practice in this area.
  • See and discuss various video footage of real interactions which exemplify the key points raised.
  • Differentiate between interactions that boost children’s language and learning and those that are less impactful.
  • Review the role of questioning in interactions with children and consider what types of questions are most effective


Target audience: nursery and reception practitioners, EYFS leaders, senior leaders, teaching assistants, childminders

Dates:  Wednesday 23rd November 2022

Times: 10am – 3pm

Individual ticket: £60 per delegate
Whole school/setting pass: £240 for up to 10 delegates in one school or setting to attend

Free to members of The Place to Learn, my online EYs professional
learning platform. 

Already a member of The Place to Learn? Registration steps will be sent to your email

About Me

33 years ago I started work as a pre-school assistant in Norfolk and went on to teach and lead in London schools. I worked as an early years advisor for Lewisham local authority in London and went on to strategically lead the service. I now work nationally and internationally as a trainer, conference speaker and consultant.

I’ve spent the majority of my career working with leaders and managers in schools and settings, providing them with the support and challenge needed to effectively lead and sustain improvements in play-based learning.

As well as supporting at local authority and leadership level, I spend a significant proportion of my time working directly with practitioners in schools, day-care and pre-schools. This hands-on, current experience is key to ensuring that I retain a deep understanding of the reality, challenges and rewards of working with young children and their families. My work involves sharing what I have learnt about play and the difference it can make to children’s outcomes, and helping schools and settings to ensure that children are enabled to learn in as joyful, inspiring and memorable ways as possible.

In response to Covid, I created an EYS online professional learning platform called ‘The Place to Learn’. This is a subscription-based service which provides excellent value, on demand access to my entire collection of training courses for whole teams. Specific modules or whole courses are also now available to purchase separately for both individuals and teams.

To find out more please go to or email [email protected]


  • Please note only people booked onto the sessions can attend and are permitted to view the recordings.
  • Pay by invoice is available for organisations only and not for individuals.
  • Pay by Credit/Debit Card/Paypal is the preferred payment method.

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