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Literacy in the Early Years
The literacy curriculum is divided into two strands. These are:
In the EYFS we support children’s reading development by:
talking with each other matching games and activities sharing stories and talking about them every day acting stories out in role play and small world games puppets and toys related to stories
using words and symbols in our environment, and talking about signs and symbols children see in the environment a wide range of books available in continuous provision phonics sessions whole class and small group reading activities lending library books for children to share at home sending reading books home to practise
In the EYFS we support children’s writing development by:
strengthening our arms and shoulders through climbing, digging, dancing and lots of other activities
developing our ‘fine’ motor skills (using fingers) through weaving, threading, manipulating playdoh, using tools such as scissors planned movement activities to develop muscle tone and vocabulary needed for writing (straight, curved, top, bottom, left, right, loops, circles etc) activities to develop the control and pressure needed to use a pencil or pen practising writing letters using correct formation planned phonics activities in groups to develop careful listening, awareness of rhyme and alliteration, letter recognition, identifying the sounds in words (segmenting), putting letters together to form words (blending), and writing practise planned writing activities as a whole class and in groups covering sentence writing, different kinds of writing (labels, lists, invitations, instructions, stories etc)
opportunities to practise writing skills through continuous provision on a daily basis
The literacy Early Learning Goals for the end of Reception state that;
Reading "Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read."
Writing "Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible."
Ways to help at home
There are lots of things you can do to help your child’s literacy skills from a very early age. You could:
complete simple jigsaws and puzzles together
encourage your child to spot familiar signs and logos, such as McDonald’s or Asda
talk about what you are doing together, and encourage your child to use sentences and appropriate words
get your child a library card and borrow books to share together. Children enjoy cuddling up and listening to stories long before they understand the words
visit the park and encourage your child to climb, swing and use their shoulders and arms when they play
provide crayons and large pieces of paper for your child to make marks, draw and ‘write’
play board games (this will help your child with maths and social skills as well as literacy)