Literacy development involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.
- Reading skills: Children will be supported to develop a love of books and be able to talk about them. Staff read regularly to children, in groups and individually; a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books is shared with them. Phonics activities take place regularly e.g. listening activities, songs, rhymes and having fun with language. Children will learn to blend and segment words, which will support them to become independent readers and writers. Books can be borrowed every night to share at home with families.
- Writing: Children will be encouraged to write, and all their efforts will be valued. Staff find imaginative ways to encourage and support this e.g. making tickets for the car wash, shopping lists of ingredients before baking, writing cards for friends and family. The phonics teaching the children have had will support this early writing.
How can parents and carers help?
- The most effective way to help a child to learn to read is simply to read aloud to them regularly and often.
- The learning of nursery rhymes helps them to notice the sounds in words and the tunes help them to remember the words.
- Read stories regularly to your child, they will want to hear their favourites over and over again and will soon know them off by heart, reprimanding you if you miss out parts or change the order!
- The books that are best are books your children like! You will soon discover which they are!
- Join your local library, it is free and a wonderful source of good quality literature!
- Before they can learn to write children must learn to control a pencil and form the shapes they want, so don’t try to teach your child to write letters until they have had lots of drawing experience.
- Free drawing enables them to explore shapes, gain confidence and develop the right muscles for writing. Your child will start by making marks that look like scribble. This is a very important first stage to develop good pencil grip and control. The children will enjoy working with a variety of implements – pencils, crayons, chalks, felt-tips, paints, etc. Show them how to hold a pencil correctly.
- Show them how to hold a pencil correctly.
- Gradually your child will start to draw shapes that look more like letters, often starting with the letters in their own name. If your child is showing an interest in writing letters use a capital letter for the start of their name and then lower case letters for the rest of their name.
- Make sure your child sees you writing, so that they know writing has a purpose.
- Get them to take a short shopping list to the shops with you and cross off the items as you put them in the basket.
- Encourage your child to do their own emergent writing. They may start by writing initial and dominant sounds from the words; this is normal, praise all of their efforts and be very proud of your child
- If your child is left-handed don’t do anything to alter this. It really doesn’t matter and it’s wrong to force a child to change.