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Involves encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials (books, poems, and other written materials) to ignite their interest.  It is divided into two strands.



Ideas for parents and carers

  • Share stories and rhymes every day to promote a love of books.
  • Visit the local library; it’s free to join and often has story telling sessions.
  • Your child will have favourite stories and books which they want you to read over and over again!  this is important to develop knowledge about how stories are structured and to begin to recognise familiar words.
  • Enjoy and explore information books.
  • Explore rhythm and sounds by playing musical instruments, this could be as simple as using a spoon as a drum stick to beat out a sound on a pan! You an use this to tap out the rhythm of syllables.
  • Play listening games indoors and outdoors.
  • Talk about  familiar signs, logos and labels in the environment such as names of shops or food labels. Your child will recognise the shape of the word even before they can identify letters.
  • Encourage your child to draw, and paint marks on paper.
  • Children need to develop muscle strength and co-ordination before they are ready to hold a pencil correctly.  This can be done through activities such as sweeping up leaves or mixing cake batter.
  • Let your child make and explore marks and shapes with pencils, pens and chalks. This is the early stages of writing. Always be positive about and value the marks they make in order to build confidence and encourage a desire to practise.
  • When your child shows an interest and is ready they will begin to draw shapes that begin to look like letters. These are usually letters from their name. Please show your child how to write their name using an upper case letter for the initial and lower case for the rest of their name.
  • If your child sees you writing they begin to understand that writing is purposeful.