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What is Language and Play (LAP) / Number and Play (NAP)?

Communication, language, literacy, numeracy, and play – these are the foundations for successful learning which form the basis of the LAP and NAP programmes.  These programmes were developed in Wales as part of the campaign to improve the language skills of young children and to ensure that they are ready for school. As an element of the Welsh Government’s strategy to improve basic skills, the LAP and NAP programmes are recognised as an effective way of increasing attainment amongst children and of encouraging parents with regard to further learning. The programmes highlight the opportunities available to parents/carers in relation to supporting the development of their children aged 0-3 years.

Both programmes were developed as a response by Basic Skills Cymru to research and to fears that children are not as ready to learn when they begin school, especially the concerns of Headteachers regarding the talking and listening skills of young children as they begin school.  The programmes support and expand the work of the early years’ sector and form an important part of the Flying Start programme. 

At whom are the programmes aimed?
  • The funding for these programmes is directed towards Communities First and Flying Start areas, along with other disadvantaged areas in Wales, where many parents/carers have poor literacy, numeracy, and language skills and lack  qualifications.
  •  LAP funding is targeted at socially deprived areas. It gives parents and carers a chance to gain confidence and take advantage of these opportunities in everyday situations and practices in order to support the development of their child. LAP explores the ways in which infants and children learn through play and through direct experiences. 
Who provides programmes? 

Any professionals in the early years sector can provide such a programme e.g. health visitors, playgroup leaders, support workers for families and health care workers, school staff etc.  Schools continue to be targeted concerning the use of the programme  as a transfer programme.  

Many schools are committed and offer LAP to families and children during the term before they begin their full time education.

Meetings in the three county areas are still held so that problems, ideas, and good practice can be shared.   

We continue to work with Flying Start, particularly at schools in the eight specific areas.

During last term we (the LAP team) collaborated with the Family Programmes team.  Before one of the Family Programmes team contacts the Headteacher to arrange suitable dates, I contact the schools first to ensure that they are interested in taking part. 


Among the schools using the programme as a Transfer Programme are: -

Saron, Pen-y-groes, Parc-yr-hun, Teilo Sant, Cross Hands, Ysgol y Castell, Gors-las, Y Felin, Richmond Park, Dafen, Ysgol Gymraeg Rhydaman, Brynsaron,Brynsierfel, Burry Port Infs, Dewi Sant, Whitland, Lakefield, Llangunnor, Myrddin, Pembrey, Tŷ-croes, Y Dderwen, Y Ddwylan, Llanllwni, St. Mary’s Carmarthen, Llanddarog, Y Bedol, Trimsaran, Maes y Morfa, Llandybïe, Drefach, Dafen, Y Bryn, Meithrinfa Rhydaman.


Resources to support the programme

Various resources were developed to support the process of providing programmes e.g. song books, files that are colourful and attractive to families, certificates etc.

Leaders distribute various appropriate resources e.g. the songs ‘Hickory, Dickory, Dock’, ‘Three blind mice’, ‘One, two, three, four, five’, ‘One, two, buckle my shoe’,  ‘Two little dickie birds’, ‘One finger one thumb keep moving’ etc.


One, two,
Buckle my shoe;
Three, four,
Knock at the door;
Five, six,
Pick up sticks;
Seven, eight,
Lay them straight:
Nine, ten,
A big fat hen;

Hickory, dickory, dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
The clock struck one,
The mouse ran down,
Hickory, dickory, dock

Three blind mice. Three blind mice.
See how they run. See how they run.
They all ran after the farmer's wife,
Who cut off their tails with a carving knife,
Did you ever see such a sight in your life,
As three blind mice

One, two, three, four, five,
Once I caught a fish alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then I let it go again.
Why did you let it go?
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite?
This little finger on my right.

Two little dickie birds,
Sitting on a wall;
One named Peter,
One named Paul.
Fly away Peter!
Fly away Paul!
Come back Peter!
Come back Paul!

One finger, one thumb
keep moving.
One finger, one thumb
keep moving.
We all stay merry and bright.



There are also LAP posters available to advertise the sessions. 

LAP poster.doc

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