Literacy development

Literacy: With a ‘spring’ in your step

The fifth article in this series, exploring traditional nursery rhymes as a resource and inspiration for activities, focuses on literacy. These include: repeating simple rhymes, recognising and reading CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words, using writing frames and enjoying spring rhymes.

Soups and stews

There is nothing like a bowl of soup or stew to warm you up on a cold day and it is even more enjoyable if you have created the dish yourself. In this article, we will explore how to create tasty and enjoyable meals from seasonal vegetables.

Literacy: The most magnificent women…

International Women's Day falls annually on March 8th and is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political successes of women. This article looks at some of the books published recently to inform and educate children about the achievements of many magnificent women and suggests ideas for related literacy activities.

Literacy: Here be dragons!

Here we stimulate children's natural affinity for storytelling with a range of dragon-themed ideas. These powerful creatures have fired our collective imaginations since time immemorial. A dragon story promises an epic, thrilling and magical adventure into the land of myths and dreams.

Literacy: Mischievous wind

Wind is a magical force that we can feel but not see. It is an inspiration for descriptive words, stories and poems, opening up rich literacy learning opportunities.

Profile: Howling success!

Karen Hart talks to children's author Kat Patrick and finds out how her latest picture book is all about encouraging young girls to not be afraid to express their feelings – as loudly as possible!

Literacy: Make reading fun

The books of Dr Seuss are a fantastic springboard for children to practise repeating refrains and having a go at reading and writing rhymes and missing words. It's all about having ‘lots of good fun that is funny’.

Literacy: Disgustingly good!

Turn to a new page for cooking by linking children's favourite stories to the preparation of tasty treats. One favourite is bound to be The Disgusting Sandwich, says Karen Hart.

Literacy: Lasting impression

Picture books are a mainstay of every setting and also one of the more eco-friendly resources available to us. Hilary White provides a guide to taking children through the steps of choosing and buying books online, and learning to care for what arrives.

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.

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