Key stage 4

Facts and figures


of young people referred for mental health service have communication difficulties.


of young people accessing the youth justice service present with SLCN (speech, language and communication needs).


more likely to be unemployed for a longer period of time if you have DLD.


of long-term unemployed men have SLCN.


By KS4 children have learned the key principles of adult language and are continuing to hone their verbal ability through academic learning and interpersonal interaction. You may notice children at this age become a more engaging storyteller, have improved listening skills and aren’t afraid to ask for clarification on topics they don’t understand.

KS4 children are also able to follow more complex instructions, adapt their register depending on who they’re talking to, and use language to emotionally regulate. It’s natural at this age for children to become more forthcoming with their feelings and to share personal anecdotes without being prompted.

bi borough training resources


By KS4, language becomes a vital tool for academic attainment, emotional regulation and forming interpersonal relationships. While children now have the core foundations of language in place, you can continue to refine their speech, language and communication development by introducing increasingly complex words into their vocabulary. The best way to achieve this is through everyday conversation. Just be mindful to always explain each new word to ensure they understand its meaning.

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 Services. 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.