We believe that one of the crucial roles of the Early Years practitioner in supporting young writers within a literacy-rich environment.
We create a literacy-rich environment both indoors and out which covers the following elements:
- environmental print: letters and words
- opportunities for children to read independently and for adults to read with children
- books and literacy areas
- early writing
- resources for phonics teaching
The practitioner's role is to foster boys' and girls' willingness to write. However, even if a high-quality literate environment has been created, which reflects children's interests and ignites their desire to write, this in itself will not be enough to support all children in becoming enthusiastic and confident writers.
We have developed a programme in our continuous provision and focused adult lead activities with the intention of teaching children the important basic elements. Early literacy is embedded in our practice and is seamlessly threaded through everything we do. It is not just delivered in one way for example through letters and sounds sessions.
Language and literacy are the cornerstone to learning
Our practitioners understand that good communication skills are critical to children's success and they ensure effective communication whilst interacting with children, during free play, focused and adult led activities, fostering communication skills by modelling, listening and speaking to children. And through fun interactions develop sustained shared thinking.
We feel that the golden threads to early literacy are having a consistent, systematic, multi-sensory and high expectations approach.
Our effective planning, focused teaching and key group sessions ensure that children are regularly assessed for learning and progression.
The robust strategies/ systems we use as building blocks to nurture Early Literacy skills and development are:
- Letters and sounds - a phonics resource. We focus and deliver activities from Phase One. This phase falls largely within the Communication, Language and Literacy area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
- Fun Time - our structured small social communication sessions. These sessions support children to develop speaking and listening skills and developing social skills, such as turn taking and waiting. (These sessions are delivered with our Two to Three-year olds as one of the first steps to literacy)
- Disco Dough - this involves exercises for fingers to music using dough. It improves both fine motor control and gross motor skills. It involves exercises for the fingers to improve fine motor control and gross motor skills.
- Squiggly whilst you Wiggle (Early Writing) - a pedagogy for giving children the motor, observation and imaginative skills to read and write.
- Early Movers (Early writing) - activities that involve movement to develop a child's agility, balance and co-ordination.