Literacy development

Literacy: Our daily bread

Real Bread Week (22-28 February), is designed to encourage people to bake their own bread or support local bakeries. It provides a great opportunity to immerse children in all things bread-related, with story books and growing activities.

Literacy: Cold calling

Where Snowflakes Fall by Claire Freedman is a picture book that explores the beauty of the polar regions and is perfect for inspiring children to create role-play scenarios that will lay the foundation for early writing.

Communication and language: Develop your own approach

Sometimes children need extra help to support their communication and language skills. While this does not necessarily mean there is a long-term difficulty, a little extra support from a key person – in partnership with parents – will enable them to thrive.

Interview: The show must go on!

As a performance storyteller for children of all ages, Craig Jenkins had to shift his performances online when coronavirus struck. He tells Karen Hart how these sessions swiftly sold out and how this has fuelled his plans for the future.

Literacy: Sounding it out

Encourage children to use their senses to describe the animals and the noises they make in the book Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? and observe how this helps them to develop their phonological awareness and early reading.

Parent: Reading for the fun of it

Continuing her series on building the foundations for literacy, Annette Rawstrone looks at ways to focus on the joy of books without creating pressure.

November book round-up

There is a strong possibility that more parents will be home-schooling their children following lock-down which makes Anna Dusseau's handbook, reviewed here, timely publication.

FOCUS: Bringing Literacy to Life

Since introducing REAL in 2015, Tinsley Meadows Primary school in Sheffield has strengthened its events and home visits to support key aspects of early literacy. Teacher David Yates explains exactly how these work and explains why it is so important to maintain the momentum.

Literacy: Create a story map

Laying the foundations for reading is about more than helping children to begin to match and recognise letters. It's all about showing that books are fun, are for sharing and are full of ways to make play more exciting.

Literacy: Diddles and dums

The books of classic author Kes Gray provide a fantastic springboard for devising rhyming games which help children to identify vowels and CVC words.

New discoveries in classic picture books

Judith Harries’ series on classic picture books over the last 12 months has built into a fantastic resource for practitioners and parents, focusing on a range of authors and their individual styles.

While we can’t hug…

Following on from his bestselling book The Hug, author Eoin McLaughlin has written this genuine book for our time, talking to young children about social distancing. Find out more about how to share this book!

Literacy: On a clear day

One positive of lockdown is that the atmosphere is noticeably clearer. Make a date with Clean Air Day on 8 October to explore the importance of reducing air pollution.

Professional read: Stay on the page

Alex Quigley explores the key issues underpinning his latest professional book, Closing the Reading Gap. In it he focuses on how to identify where children are struggling and provides practical strategies to support their reading progress.

Literacy: Tongue twisters

Experiment with alliteration as a way to build children's confidence in phonic knowledge of letters and extend their ability to identify and write simple words.

Get baking!

Prepare for Easter by involving children in some simple baking activities that will also develop their maths and literacy skills.

Reading: Let the story unfold

The best reading experiences at school can stay with children, and be treasured, for a very long time. Sally Player describes how she delivers rich literacy opportunities for her Reception class every day.

Literacy: Embrace the planet

Activities linked to the natural environment and its wildlife will encourage children to source information from reference books, record facts in writing and use different formats such as captions, labels and speech bubbles.

Find the right words

With proposed changes to the EYFS profile placing greater emphasis on progress in reading, Sally Player looks at how high quality reading experiences can be delivered in Reception classes.

Literacy: Wake up to spring

The Very Hungry Hedgehog is a spring story with a message about sharing. Claire Hewson suggests ways to use the experiences it describes to extend children's vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Literacy: ‘My family story’

Jenni Clarke kicks off a series exploring ‘in the moment planning’, outlining how this approach to children's learning can be harnessed effectively. Here she provides scenarios for using picture books as a key resource to support a ‘my family’ theme.

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