Speech, Language and Communication Progression Tool - Age
What is the Age 3 Speech, Language and Communication
The age 3 Progression Tool is part of a set of Speech, Language
and Communication Progression Tools designed to help identify how
children and young people are progressing with their speech,
language and communication skills at key ages.
We know some children can have speech, language and
communication needs (SLCN) that can impact on their ability to
listen, understand and express themselves. However, it's not always
easy to judge how well a child is progressing with these skills;
children may have good skills in one area whilst struggling in
The age 3 Progression Tool aims to support early years
practitioners to identify children who may be struggling to develop
their speech, language and communication skills. It can also be
used to track progression of these skills over time or following
The age 3 Tool is based on theoretical information on typical
language development and also the Universally Speaking
booklets. It aims to provide a relatively quick way of determining
where children are against where they should be for their age and
provide more information about how these vital skills are
This Tool is not a diagnostic tool and does not in any way
replace the detailed speech, language and communication assessment
by a speech and language therapist that some children will need.
However, it will provide information to help you decide whether
individual children would benefit from a targeted intervention or
whether they need specialist assessment and support.
Please click here to
view our 'How to Use the Progression Tools' video.
Please click here to download more frequently asked
Please click here to download a 'Top Tips' sheet to
help you use the Tool.
How were the Tools developed?
The Progression Tools were developed by specialists in speech,
language and communication in collaboration with mainstream
teachers, teaching assistants, SENCOs and school leadership teams,
as well as early years practitioners and speech and language
therapists. This Tool has been tested out in a number of early
years settings, on a range of children.
The feedback we have received has been invaluable in shaping the
Who should use them?
The Tools are for non speech and language specialists who
regularly work with children, including a range of early years
practitioners. We recommend careful reading of the instructions and
familiarisation with the Tool before using it directly with
When should I use them?
Some settings have used the tool across whole groups of children
to help them understand the level of speech, language and
communication skills across year groups. Others have trialled them
with specific children or groups of children who have either gone
on to have a targeted intervention or have been referred on to
speech and language therapy.
On each child's scoring form, there is space for you to repeat
the tool at a later date (repeating the tool is optional and can be
used to monitor progress or following an intervention). We would
recommend waiting at least a term before repeating the tool with
the same child.
Linking to the English Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
One of the prime areas in the English EYFS is communication and
language. This Tool provides an opportunity to identify whether
children are developing in line with their age in this area. In
addition, elements of this Tool provide an understanding of how
children are developing in the area of personal, social and
emotional development and underlying skills for literacy.
What do the Tools look like and how do I order?
There are 8 Progression Tools, which highlight children and
young people's language skills at the following key ages of
development: 3, 4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-10 in early years
and primary school, and 11-12, 13-14 and 16-18 in
secondary school. They are based on research with clear information
about expected milestones.
This Progression Tool is intended for children aged 3-4. The
development described is that which is typical of a child who has
just turned 3 years old. If you are working with an able child who
is nearly 4 years old, you may want to consider looking at how they
get on with the 4 year old Progression Tool.
The age 3 Tool contains a colour reference booklet with
instructions on how to use it, questions to ask the children,
guidance on how to observe their behaviour and methods to track
their results. Each Tool also contains additional black and white
versions of the question and observation sections, as well as the
scoring tables. You can photocopy these additional sheets for as
many children you wish to use the Tool with. You will use these
sheets to write down and score their answers, as well as to input
Please click here to order your copy at a price of
£29.99 plus postage and packaging.
For more information about the primary Tools, please click here.
For more information about the secondary Tools, please
If you have any enquiries about the Progression Tools please
contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.