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Literacy development 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 (environmental print, books, poems and other written materials) to ignite their interest.

Literacy is split into three aspects:

-  Comprehension

- Word Reading

- Writing

with the following Early Learning Goals:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary.
  • Anticipate (where appropriate) key events in stories.
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role play.
  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs.
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending.
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.
  • Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.
  • Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters.
  • Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others

In the EYFS a systematic synthetic approach is used as a basis for teaching phonics as recommended by the South Gloucestershire English Hub. We teach from a six-phase teaching programme designed to help practitioners and teachers teach children how the alphabet and sounds can be learnt for reading and spelling. Children learn how to use the letter sounds to read and write words. Using a structured approach to phonics has provided a secure foundation for reading and writing. 

Before the children begin to learn to form letters it is essential to determine appropriate grip and flexibility of hand movement. The large pencils should be used first since they are more readily gripped by little fingers. Children will learn how to form letters as soon as they are able to control a pencil adequately. Time in Reception is spent in reinforcing the manipulative skills needed to form each cursive letter singularly.

All classes will have a range of appropriate fiction and non-fiction books. Reading books are linked are all phonetically decodable and matched to the reading needs of each child. Children in Reception will be given a reading record along with a suitable book which will be completed and signed by a responsible adult (parent, guardian, grandparent etc.). This will continue throughout their school journey. Sound and word cards are also sent home weekly to consolidate phonics knowledge.