At Delves, children learn to write in the EYFS through a combination of adult-directed activities and child-initiated play. For example, they might play at going shopping and ‘write’ their own shopping list.
Alongside play, teachers will encourage children to begin to write through more formal activities. For example, they might sequence and label events from a story or write an invitation to a fairy tale ball.
Learning to write is a gradual process. At first, children’s writing is just mark-making, but as time passes and they begin new letters and sounds during their phonic lessons they’ll begin to make letter shapes, often starting with the letters in their name. The next step most children make is to begin to write cvc words but they often just write down the most obvious sounds in a word – so, for instance, ‘cat’ might be ‘c t’ – but as their phonics learning progresses, they’ll write with more accuracy. Through adult-directed activities, they will gain confidence to write cvc words, ccvc words, captions and will begin to write simple sentences from left to right on the page. We like to encourage writing by providing many indoor and outdoor opportunities for writing, giving children a purpose for their writing and by creating a welcoming writing area which children can go to if they want to write with and on a variety of materials. By the end of Reception, most children will be able to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.
Throughout a child's writing journey at Delves Infant and Nursery School the children use the 'Talk 4 Write' approach. This approach was developed by Pi Corbett, an English specialist, to support children's writing skills. Click on the following link to find out more information https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej-UHjxmHC8
The approach is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn. It enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. We call the three stages of writing imitate, innovate and invent.
In Reception we use Write Dance an exciting music and dance approach to develop the skills needed for writing. It is a method that provides movement opportunities so children can develop the physical skills needed to develop their handwriting skills. The movement is driven by the music and the underlying principle is enjoyment to build confidence.
The music and the dance is used to guide and aid children’s imagination and language development, so the pieces of music, with the corresponding movements, are structured into ‘narrative’ themes that can be developed as stories or these can be enjoyed as separate and ‘stand-alone’ sessions.
Rhythm is closely linked to rhyme and children are encouraged to use their voices to describe the actions as they move and dance. Mark-making and ‘movement drawings’ ensure that the children progress from whole body dance moves to fine- motor movements with fluency and speed. This provides the crucial learning environment, the most appropriate resources and the most motivating and stimulating programme to support and develop mature physical skills more quickly.