Communication at Foundation Stage


Communication is central to the whole curriculum. Pupils should be able to communicate so they can:

  • develop as individuals;
  • express themselves socially, emotionally and physically;
  • engage with others; and
  • contribute as members of society.

Teachers should give pupils opportunities to engage with and demonstrate communication skills. They should also have opportunities to transfer their knowledge about communication concepts and skills to real life and meaningful contexts across the curriculum.

The modes of communication include:

  • Talking and Listening;
  • Reading; and
  • Writing.

Effective communication also includes non-verbal modes, wider literacy and using multimedia and ICT that may combine different modes.

Teachers can encourage pupils to become effective communicators by using a range of techniques, forms and media to convey information and ideas creatively and appropriately.

See Assessment at Foundation Stage for more details.


For more information on Communication contact:

Lyn Lynch
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2607

Janice MacArthur
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2631


Developmental Stages in Learning

The Developmental Stages in Learning are non-statutory and support Foundation Stage teachers when assessing the Cross-Curricular Skills.

They provide a continuum that allows schools to take a holistic approach to developing and assessing the Cross-Curricular Skills. The Developmental Stages in Learning grids show the progression or steps that pupils may take to reach Level 1 of the Levels of Progression.

See the Developmental Stages in Learning for more detailed advice and guidance.

The Levels of Progression for Communication at Key Stage 1 and 2 are set out in can-do statements. These show the continuum of skills that pupils should be able to demonstrate so they can build the literacy skills needed for functioning effectively in life and the world of work.

Online Courses, Video Library and Exemplification Library

To access the Foundation Stage online course and Video Library, go to CCEA Training, log in with your C2k details and select the Foundation Stage online course.

Our Foundation Stage online course covers the Developmental Stages in Learning and shows how pupils may progress to Level 1 of the Levels of Progression.

The Exemplification Library and Video Library for Foundation Stage contain samples of pupil work and videos from Northern Ireland classrooms.

Our Tracking Progression online course, available in the Foundation Stage Portal, shows the work of pupils from two schools and the range of ability in each class: high, middle and low. The teachers have used the Developmental Stages in Learning for the Cross-Curricular Skills as the framework.

Interactive Levels of Progression Interactive Levels of Progression

CCEA has created a new interactive resource for the Communication Levels of Progression including all Key Stages: SEN, Foundation Stage and Key Stages 1, 2 & 3. It brings together the levels of progression, the expansions documents and the ready reckoners in one easy to navigate system.

The resource is designed to fully support progression. Teachers can choose a mode, select a requirement and have a choice to either move between the full range of levels from the Q skills through to level 7, or select specific levels as a focus. In addition, teachers are able to view related tasks and exemplification linked to the requirement they have selected.