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Writing in Early Years

It all begins by making our mark! As soon as our youngest learners have mastered the skill of hand-eye coordination, we encourage them to make marks in all kinds of different environments: mud, sand, paint, on chalk boards and even on the walls. They can do this with any writing tool, including their hands. The messier, the better!
Once we are confident making marks and talking about what we are doing we then start to explore the ‘Pre-Writing Symbols’. These are developed in Pre-School and mastered by the time the children move to Reception. This is when the children start to write ‘secret messages’. To an outsider, this may look like the children are using lines, circles and swirls but through writing these secret messages the children will gain the confidence that they are able to write. It is essential that we praise and encourage the children to write these secret messages to build their confidence and self-belief when writing.
Once this skill is embedded and their confidence is growing, we focus on applying our phonics knowledge whilst thinking about the correct way to form letters. In Reception, we develop children’s handwriting skills following the ‘Little Wandle Letters & Sounds Revised’ phonics scheme. Little Wandle provides our children with fun formation phrases and appealing mnemonics to scaffold correct letter formation habits in the early stages of writing. We embed these formation phrases and mnemonics through many areas of our Reception curriculum.
When we are ready to write real words, we start by hearing and writing the initial sound in words, then move on to writing CVC words and ending the year with the target of writing sentences. When writing sentences, it is really important that we remember to start with a capital letter, separate our words with finger spaces, put our letters on the line and remember a full stop at the end. We use this simple reminder to help us remember everything we need to make a super sentence.
When supporting your child with writing, encourage them to write all of the sounds that they can hear in each word and use a sound mat if they can’t remember what the sound looks like when it is written.

Here you can see all the sounds we learn in Reception which your child will refer to when writing.

We also teach ‘tricky words’ which are words that cannot be sounded out and contain an alternative spelling strategy that we haven’t yet learnt.

Click the link button below to find out more about Phonics at Franche, as well as more information on Early Years Reading.
Click on the link below to find out more about how you can help your child develop their fine motor functions, to help them with learning handwriting.