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HELLO improvement framework: Helping nurseries improve their language and literacy provision

Added 09 Jun 2016

The Helping Early Language and Literacy Outcomes (HELLO) improvement framework is a quality improvement tool for early years settings who want to improve their communication, language and literacy provision.

The self-evaluation framework provides prompts, critical questions and resources to help settings identify their strengths and areas for development. The framework examines the following three key areas:

  • partnerships with parents
  • skilled practitioners
  • enabling environments 

The HELLO framework helps you gather evidence and turn it into an action plan. The process also supports further reflection, so settings can evaluate the impact of any improvements they make. The self-evaluation can be completed as a whole team exercise or undertaken by a senior lead or manager.

How it was developed

The framework was developed from a programme that the National Literacy Trust ran with five early years teaching schools and two local authority early years teams. We jointly developed the HELLO improvement framework and tested it fully with 74 early years settings across England between April 2015 and March 2016. 

Best practice examples are available here and show how nurseries have used the HELLO framework to improve their language and literacy provision, and also used it to complement the Infant Toddler Environment Rating Scale (ITERS) and the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS).

During the programme, we explored the role and value of technology to support communication, language and literacy development in the early years. We created guidance and tools to help nurseries think thoroughly about how technology can support talk, reading and wider early years outcomes. See our digital technology and early years page for more information, videos and resources.

Our website www.literacyapps.org can also help early years practitioners and parents find the best apps to support language and literacy development. If you choose to use apps with your child, it is important to be aware that there is still no definitive research about the impact of using screens on developing brains. Please use your own judgement to consider what is reasonable screen time and app use, and encourage children to have a balance of activities across their day.