Key stage 3

Key Facts and Figures


days of school were missed for most children as a result of COVID-19.


of all children have Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)


of 7-14year olds with behaviour problems have a language difficulty.


of all children at risk of exclusion from school have SLCN.


Between the ages of 11-14, children’s speech, language and communication development becomes more gradual and increasingly sophisticated. You may notice that children begin using conjunctions such as ‘however’ and ‘meanwhile’ to form longer sentences, start to express complex thoughts and ideas, and change topic mid-conversation.

It’s around this age that children also begin to experiment with sarcasm as a form of humour and use slang terms when talking to friends. By age 14, most children are able to grasp idiomatic expressions such as ‘don’t put all your eggs in one basket’, hold conversations with adults, and engage with language in a more playful way.

bi borough training resources


As children begin to experiment with more complex ideas it’s important to give them freedom to express themselves in conversation. Have patience if they seem to take longer getting to the point, and be supportive if they struggle to stay on topic. Encourage them to talk without feeling pressured by using simple conversation openers such as asking about their weekend, and ensure you give them the space to speak freely without interrupting or asking too many questions.

Help & support

If you’re concerned about a child’s speech, language and communication development, or simply seeking some support, there are a number of helpful organisations you can contact. Ones we recommend include: The Communication Trust (a database of commonly used intervention programmes and their evidence), ICAN(a communication charity providing information and support) and AFASIC (a parent-led initiative offering objective advice).

General training


Discover our range of free online speech, language and communication resources offering tips and resources you can easily apply with children at school.

Child outdoors playing


Training those who work with children in a professional capacity is a key part of the speech and language therapy work we undertake within the Bi-borough Children’s If your role requires regular contact with children find out how our training can help you to communicate more effectively with babies through to teenager.