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Literacy (LIT)

Literacy skills provide a child with the building blocks necessary for reading and writing and learning more generally.

Reading

Being exposed to range of print throughout their early years will help children to develop their listening, speaking and reading skills.

Initially children will begin to show attention to songs, rhymes and stories. They will then show interest in the print and illustrations, and want to enjoy them. Gradually children use this knowledge of texts to retell stories, create their own stories and enjoy more and more different types of stories, songs and rhythms.

In nursery we use the Letters and Sounds program to help children to develop the pre-phonics skills that will help them to read words when they are developmentally ready. This helps children to develop their listening skills through the exploration of sound, develop rhyme and alliteration and basic blending and segmenting skills.

Alongside this, we foster a core book approach to help children to expose children to varied vocabulary and help them to enjoy books. We share each core book daily for around 2-3 weeks to immerse the children in repeated language patterns and sometimes link them to provision in the nursery.

Some children may find it more difficult to listen to a story from a book; so we provide them with a range of sensory stories and props to help them experience story telling.
At home, you can share stories with your child every day; reading them from a book, retelling them from your memory or making them up. Encourage children to listen carefully, look closely at illustrations and join in or make up their own stories.

Writing

Making marks is a form of physical expression for children from a very young age; this is preparation for children to become confident writers as they develop.
Children will initially explore paints, pens and chalks to create marks on lots of different surfaces, and in lots of different positions. Expression through these forms of media continues throughout the early years, but children begin to show a preference for a dominant hand, and begin to make more intricate marks. These marks will carry meaning for the children. As children continue to develop, they may start to link their knowledge of letters in print and represent these in their marks; gradually building towards more formed marks and letters.

In nursery, we provide all children with a range of materials to explore their mark making throughout the provision; from paints and chalks large scale on the floor to pencils and pens on small scale paper. A print rich environment alongside lots of encouragement to try, helps children to be confident mark makers and develop at their own pace.

At home, you can help children to love writing. Encourage them to write for a purpose, whether this is a shopping list with you, or a letter to someone special. Value the ‘scribbles’ that the children initially create, and over time they will begin to become interested in the letters that are in their name or that they see you write and will try to recreate them.