Early Intervention - Tolbooth - Stirling Council

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Early Intervention - Tolbooth - Stirling Council

Early InterventionA Celebration of Early LiteracyPromoting excellence in early education


ContentsForeword ....................................................................................................................................... page 2Introduction ................................................................................................................................... page 3The Early Literacy Strategy ........................................................................................................ page 8Strategy One – Creating a Literacy Environment ................................................................ page 9A Celebration of Early LiteracyStrategy Two – Supporting the Development of Children’s Reading............................. page 25Strategy Three – Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Writing................ page 41Strategy Four - Developing a Partnership Approach to Literacy ................................... page 59Bibliography.................................................................................................................................. page 72Acknowledgements.................................................................................................................... page 72A Celebration of Early Literacy 1


A Celebration of Early LiteracyForewordIn Stirling we are committed to supporting early literacy for all children.With theacquisition of literacy comes information, knowledge and the opportunity to become amore active citizen.“A Celebrationof Early Literacy” supports a strategy for early literacy development,elements of which have been developed by staff, parents and children involved in StirlingCouncil’s Early Intervention Initiative during the period August 1997 - June 2000.This document brings together our best practice in early literacy teaching and learning andincludes examples of effective strategies and approaches that have contributed to animprovement in early literacy skills. It is intended to support schools as they take forwardthis Authority’s Literacy for All Strategy. Staff are encouraged to explore, adopt and embedthese strategies in policy and practice where appropriate.It is my view that sharing the good practice contained in this document can have positiveoutcomes for children, parents and staff.Linda KinneyHead of Early Childhood, Play and Out of School Care: Children’s Services.2Early Intervention


Why Early Intervention?“The first few years of primary school are vital. Earlysuccess fosters a positive attitude to school and lays thefoundation for later achievement”.(SOEID 1998-99)Early Intervention is an essential element of Stirling Council’s commitment to raisingachievement and social inclusion. Government investment in Early Intervention,supplemented by funding from Stirling Council has enabled this Authority to take positiveaction to enhance children’s learning opportunities in the early years.Early Intervention is:●●helping children learn the key skills of literacy and numeracy and is thereby supportingthem to access all other aspects of the curriculum in the later stages of theireducation.helping to sustain motivation by ensuring appropriate support is given early.A Celebration of Early Literacy●●ensuring all children experience success.preventing the development of difficulties and is therefore an effective and economicuse of resources.Purpose of this document●●●to outline the key elements of this Authority’s model for Early Intervention.share and exchange examples of good practice that support the development of earlyliteracy skills.to offer recommendations for the development of approaches to early literacyteaching and learning based on findings from the Early Intervention Pilot Project.A Celebration of Early Literacy 3


A Celebration of Early LiteracyPrinciples and AimsThe principles underpinning the Early Intervention Initiative are:● each child is unique.● the whole child is important.● each child has dispositions to learn.● each child uses individual learning strategies.● each child develops and progresses at a different rate.● previous educators including parents and carers hold key information about significantachievements.● each child’s learning is enriched by the interactive process with other children, adultsand the environment.●each child learns best through real experiences.The key aims of the Initiative are:●●●●●●to build on current good practice.to involve a range of experienced staff.to promote self-esteem and respect.to promote working in partnership with parents, children and others.to promote programmes of learning within an appropriate context.to encourage high expectations.4Early Intervention


Approach“No single approach provides a panacea forearly literacy for all”.(EI Interim Report, 1999)Stirling has taken a holistic approach to Early Intervention, involving staff, parents, childrenand other agencies to form a broad strategy of intervention. Schools have been encouragedto focus on a range of approaches to improve early literacy and numeracy skills that reflectcurrent research and the principles of Early Education. Whole School Policies for EarlyIntervention are viewed as essential if gains resulting from Early Intervention are to besustained and built upon.Establishing a FrameworkA Celebration of Early LiteracyThe Key Components of the Early Intervention Framework are:●●●exposure to a culture of literacy.effective learning and teaching approaches.increased time spent on tasks and activities which promote Early Literacy.A Celebration of Early Literacy 5


A Celebration of Early LiteracySupporting the FrameworkStaff DevelopmentStirling’s approach to Early Intervention has placed great importance on staff developmentas it is recognised that “the teacher is more important than the method” (Interchange 50).Evidence from research on characteristics of effective staff development for early literacysuggests it should:● be well informed, based on current knowledge from research and what is regarded asgood practice.● be relevant to real needs as perceived by teachers and be accessible.● focus on key ideas about literacy development and wider implications for the school.● be usable and adaptable to local circumstances.● be supported by school management arrangements that facilitate both implementationof what has been learned and dissemination of it to other staff.All Early Intervention staff, including nursery nurses, teachers, support for learning staff andsenior managers should have access to a staff development programme which encouragesthe development of an action research approach to learning and teaching.The programmemay include:●●●●●●courses and seminars held centrally.access to outside speakers and researchers in the field of early literacy and numeracy.opportunities to share practice across schools and for teachers and nursery nurseswithin individual schools.additional research and reading material for staff.exchange visits to projects and schools in other areas.opportunities for schools to use a proportion of their staff development budget toallow flexibility in the choice of staff development approaches in order to meet schooland individual needs.Staff Development PackThis Development Pack focuses on key elements of the Early Intervention Initiative andsupports Professional Development and whole school approaches to literacy.Information contained in this pack has been cross-referenced in “A Celebration of EarlyLiteracy” and is indicated by the use of the symbol ❉6Early Intervention


NetworkingStaff should be encouraged to network within and across schools in order to:● share good practice.● discuss new ideas.● share experiences with individuals doing the same job in different schools.● take forward locally based staff development based on individual needs.Opportunities for networking include:● staff development sessions.● support networks, where staff meet with colleagues from other establishments.● nursery/primary liaison meetings when staff from different sectors share and exchangeinformation relating to best practice.A Celebration of Early LiteracyAdditional PersonnelThe appointment of additional personnel to support children’s early learning has proved tobe an important element of our Initiative.Wherever possible additional staff should beavailable to support an activity-based learning and teaching approach to early literacy.ResourcesIt may be appropriate to supplement the range of materials available to support earlyliteracy and activity-based learning e.g. magnetic boards and letters, materials to supportearly writing, construction materials, small world play, games and a wide variety of books.Support for LearningThe Access to Learning for All Policy is being implemented in all Stirling Council Schools.Support for Learning Area Network Teams are working with headteachers and staff inschools to ensure that policy implementation includes a consistent approach to StagedIntervention.Wherever possible schools should target support for learning staff in P1 andP2 as:“research evidence in general favours early intervention over laterremediation. If children are identified and intervention begins in the firstor second year at school there seems a greater chance of success thanis achieved by programmes designed for older pupils”.(Interchange 50)A Celebration of Early Literacy 7


A Celebration of Early LiteracyThe Early Literacy StrategyFour key strategies have been identifiedas contributing to an improvement in early literacy skills:●●●●Creating a Literacy Environment.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Reading.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Writing.Developing a Partnership Approach to Literacy.Strategy 1Creating a literacy environmentKey Elements● Reviewing models of classroomorganisation and management ofresources.● Developing an ethos of respect andsupport.● Creating print rich environments.● Establishing an enriched oral curriculum.● Creating attractive book areas● Developing literacy through play.● Increasing time spent on literacy tasks.Strategy 3Supporting the development of Children’sEarly WritingKey Elements● Identifying children’s previousexperiences of writing and writers.● Providing opportunities for childrento engage in writing activities.● Demonstrating the process of writing.● Using various stimuli for writing.● Developing spelling strategies.● Developing handwriting skills.● Celebrating and publishing children’swriting.Strategy 2Supporting the Development ofChildren’s Early ReadingKey Elements● Identifying children’s previousexperience of reading.● Providing opportunities for children toread and respond to books and stories.● Developing concepts of print.● Developing phonological awarenessprogrammes.● Developing phonics programmes.● Developing reading strategies.● Introducing high frequency words.● Developing shared readingopportunities.● Applying reading skills.Strategy 4Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyKey Elements● Children interacting and workingcollaboratively with other children.● Children working with other adults.● Staff working collaboratively.8Early Intervention


Strategy OneCreating a LiteracyEnvironmentCreating a Literacy EnvironmentKey Elements● Reviewing models of classroom organisation and management ofresources.● Developing an ethos of respect and support.1● Creating print rich environments.● Establishing an enriched oral curriculum.● Creating attractive book areas.● Developing literacy through play.● Increasing time spent on literacy tasks.A Celebration of Early Literacy9


Creating a Literacy Environment10Early Intervention


Creating a Literacy EnvironmentThe importance of ethos and environment in both the development of children’s earlylearning and in how they feel about their learning is widely understood. Our challenge is tocreate rich and dynamic literacy environments where children are stimulated to learnabout literacy in a variety of planned contexts. It is here that they can be encouraged toexplore and experiment, take risks and gain confidence whilst being supported andscaffolded by adults involved in their learning.Key ElementsReviewing models of classroom organisation andmanagement of resourcesOrganisation of the physical environment and resources, effective management of adultsand children’s time and developing systems that encourage independence and collaboration,help to ensure that children’s previous learning is built upon and that children continue tohave ownership of their own learning in a supportive and planned environment.Creating a Literacy EnvironmentReviewing models of classroom organisation and management of resources includes:●setting up classrooms to reflect some aspects of nursery organisation to support thetransition from nursery into P1 e.g.❖ creating familiar contexts such as role play areas, sand and water play, writing areas etc.❖ establishing familiar routines such as children accessing name labels to name their work,self-registration etc.❖ opportunities for children to take ownership of their own learning e.g. by followinga plan, do and review system (see example from practice).establishing familiaractivities eg. selfregistrationA Celebration of Early Literacy 11


Creating a Literacy EnvironmentReviewing models of classroom organisation andmanagement of resources continued●●●●clearly labelling and organising resources enabling children to identify and accessequipment independently as and when it is required.developing opportunities for teacher directed activities and child initiatedactivities e.g. balancing structured play with free play when children pursue their owninterests.recognising that children need opportunities to work in 1’s, 2’s and 3’s and largergroups and arranging the classroom to support this.developing strategies to support teachers to have quality teaching time e.g.❖ staff placing a symbol on the teaching table to indicate they are working with agroup or individuals.❖ deploying additional adults to work with children.❖ planning for children to have time for independent practise to allow skills to becomesecure and habituated.❖ establishing task/activity boards as a way of helping children to work on tasksindependently of staff.clearly labelling and organising resources❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section One: Session Two.12Early Intervention


Developing an ethos of respect and supportA supportive yet challenging environment enables children to take risks, to ‘have a go’ andto recognise their own and others’ strengths.This means valuing all children’s literacyefforts, giving positive feedback to encourage confidence, enthusiasm and motivation andsetting and sharing high yet realistic goals for children.Developing an ethos of respect and support includes:● encouraging children to develop and use a range of self-help strategies therebyencouraging independence e.g. consulting their peers,‘have a go spelling books’,referencing word lists during written work, continuing through the work programmeuntil adults are available etc.● encouraging children to use a problem solving approach to literacy learning e.g.using the read, cover, write and check spelling strategy, selecting from a range ofstrategies when encountering unfamiliar words such as rereading the sentence, usinganalogy, reading to the end of the sentence, using picture clues, contexts clues etc.Creating a Literacy Environment●●●●●developing opportunities for children to work collaboratively with their peers e.g.working collaboratively on computer programmes, group problem solving activities etc.developing an ethos where children are actively encouraged to take risks and to‘have a go’ at using their literacy skills e.g. encouraging the use of invented spelling,encouraging children to read unseen examples of print by using available cues andprevious knowledge, encouraging children to experiment with literacy resources etc.giving specific and positive feedback so that children can become aware of whatthey can do and the strategies they use successfully e.g.“I liked the way you looked atthe picture for clues when you were stuck on that word”.consulting with children for a variety of reasons e.g. classroom organisation,reviewing activities and resources available, selection of work for individual folios etc.developing open-ended activitieswith a variety of possible outcomes thatall children can successfully identify e.g.“Find ways to let Goldilocks know thatthe Three Bears are not happy with herbehaviour”.referencing word banksduring written workA Celebration of Early Literacy 13


Creating a Literacy EnvironmentCreating print rich environmentsA strong and richly modelled literacy environment where adults sensitively supportchildren’s learning helps children to begin to develop an awareness and strong visualmemory for letters and print.Creating print rich environments includes:●●developing an environment whereprint appears and is used as ateaching tool in context e.g.weather charts, alphabet charts, topicword banks, displays of children’swork, class books, environmentalprint, captions and labels etc.displaying and encouraging children to read books indifferent contextsadults and children demonstrating that print conveys a message e.g. reading andwriting labels, captions, messages, letters etc.●●●●●●●adults using print to support children’s reading and writing development e.g.during shared reading and writing sessions.displaying children’s writing at all stages of the writing process e.g. planning,draft, final copy etc.children and adults using notice boards to communicate in writing with others.displaying and talking about examples of environmental print e.g. signs,packaging, carrier bags, logos etc.using examples of environmental print to develop games e.g. sweet wrappersnap, matching cut-out logos with original packaging etc.developing activity charts/task management boards to be read daily.displaying child generatedmessages e.g. news items, messagesto classmates and staff etc.● displaying and encouraging children toread books in different contextse.g. books relating to transport in theconstruction area, recipe books in thehome corner and topic books in theinterest area etc.print in context eg. captions and labels❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section One: Session Two.14Early Intervention


Establishing an enriched oral curriculumDeveloping children’s oral abilities helps them to become confident and competentcommunicators with a range of people in a variety of settings. Developing real contexts forchildren to talk within and about and increasing opportunities for interaction betweenchildren and their peers and children and adults supports this.Establishing an enriched oral curriculum includes:● immersing children in the sounds of language,by sharing and repeatingstories, poems, rhymes, jingles, word games, singing games, songs and riddles.● children telling their own stories including news time and structured “show andtell” (see example from practice).● encouraging children to invent rhymes, riddles and poems.● playing with words e.g. making nonsense words and inventing their definitions,‘decapitating’ words which involves looking in the dictionary for words which are stillwords when the initial letter is removed e.g. t/rain, b/rake etc.Creating a Literacy Environment●●●●developing first hand experiences to encourage richer responses e.g. baking,shopping trips, working in the garden or helping to design a new outdoor area etc.providing opportunities for role play in a variety of contexts e.g. creating a classshop, a dragon’s cave, a bus etc.creating regular opportunities for children and adults to discuss stories e.g. invitingchildren to predict how a story might end, talking about what is happening in thestory, describing which events make particular parts of the story happy or sad etc.creating interactive displays tostimulate curiosity and discussion e.g.a variety of boxes of different shapesand sizes with interesting contents.●creating opportunities for children totalk in small groups in relaxedsecure settings to encourageconfidence and ease of interactione.g. children and adults responding tocreating interactive displays to stimulate curiosity and discussionstories in small groups.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack Reference Section Two: Session Twoand Section Two: Session Four.A Celebration of Early Literacy 15


Creating a Literacy EnvironmentCreating attractive book areasBeing a reader offers children the opportunity to engage in a life-long pleasurable activity.Carefully selecting the book stock offered, displaying them attractively in comfortable areasand providing opportunities for children to have daily access to books can encouragechildren to regularly read alone and with others.Creating attractive book areas involves:● developing an area within/outwith theclassroom that containscomfortable seating and a rangeof well displayed books, promptsand materials that can be used bychildren to respond to texts e.g.puppets, cut-out characters, flannelgraph materials etc.● carefully selecting and rotatingusing attractive displays to encourage children to readbook stock to include ‘old favourites’, texts to be read at an instructional level,familiar texts that children can read independently, work written and published bychildren, high quality fiction and non- fiction books, big books, pop-up books,lift-the-flap books, rhyming texts, poetry books, etc.●●encouraging children to select the classroom book stock from a centralstock to ensure the reading material is attractive to children and to raise awarenessof different criteria that may be used in book selection.including items aimed at encouraging children to read e.g. book posters,adverts, book reviews and stimulating book displays including author of the month,books relating to a topic, themed books such as “scary books” etc.●adults reading, modelling reading behaviour and sharing an interest inbooks in the book area.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section One: SessionTwo and Section Two: Session One.displaying prompts that can be usedby children to respond to texts16Early Intervention


Developing literacy through playPlay offers children realistic experiences in which literacy can be explored as a whole. Itallows adults to discover what children really know about writing and reading.Developing literacy through play includes developing a range of playopportunities in which:● children experiment with and use avariety of literacy related resourcesas part of their play because it is needede.g. in the café children can write andread menus, write orders in order books,record supplies needed in a supply book,read recipe books in the kitchen, read food labels when preparing food, writemessages in the telephone message book etc (see example from practice).● children use play as an opportunity to practise, consolidate and developtheir literacy learning e.g. using their phonic knowledge when writing to friends,using their knowledge of how to write lists when writing a shopping list for the toys’birthday party, practising their reading skills when reading the bus timetable beforesetting of on an imaginary trip etc.using plastic letters tobuild wordsCreating a Literacy Environment●●children plan, develop, rehearse and act out their own stories e.g. in the homecorner, when integrating small world play material in the sand etc.teacher devised and commercially produced games and puzzles are integrated intothe language programme to reinforce literacy learning e.g. common word andletter track games, alphabet games and jigsaws, bingo, picture and word snap, largeletter mats and tiles etc.●children determine how literacy should be used e.g. when setting up a junglehide, the children deciding they will need notebooks and pencils to write warningsigns and using guidebooks and maps to plan their trips.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section One: Session Three.using the white board to writeregular cvc wordsA Celebration of Early Literacy 17


Creating a Literacy EnvironmentDeveloping literacy through play continuedusing role play in the jungle hide to practise literacy skills -“Be quiet because there’s a lion and he is looking for hisdinner so be quiet be quiet”experimenting with writing in the bakers shop café18Early Intervention


Increasing time spent on literacy tasksA crucial factor in literacy acquisition is the amount of time children have to practise theirskills. Providing a high level of literacy stimulation allows increased time for children toengage in reading and other literacy activities.Increasing time spent on literacy tasks includes:● increasing parental support both athome and in school (for examples, seeStrategy 4, Developing a PartnershipApproach to Literacy).● creating opportunities for literacy skillsto be practised across thecurriculum.● developing opportunities for children to practise, consolidate and extendliteracy skills during structured play activities by including literacy related resourcesand developing literacy activities in context e.g. in the nursery rhyme cottage writingletters to the Giant, making invitations for Little Miss Muffet’s birthday party, writing ashopping list for Old Mother Hubbard, hunting the nursery rhyme etc.practising literacyskills during role play.‘Claire’s Cafe’opening timesCreating a Literacy Environment●●deploying additional staff and adults to engage with individuals and groups ofchildren in practical activities designed to consolidate learning.using everyday routines as opportunities to develop literacy including:❖ self-registration.❖ children recording lunch arrangements.❖ when lining up, reciting nursery rhymes, the alphabet etc.❖ when moving around the school, reading print on displays, looking for examples ofenvironmental print etc.❖ reading environmental print when walking in the local community.practising literacy skillsduring role playnoteleft in hide:“I am lost in the jungle.”phone numberA Celebration of Early Literacy19


Creating a Literacy EnvironmentWhat did we find?● By creating print rich environmentswhere adults demonstrated the useof print in a variety of contexts,children were helped to understandthe various purposes of print.● The establishment of an enriched oralcurriculum highlighted the potentialand importance in particular of talk.● By developing book areas, which were comfortable and attractive, and includedcushions and a wide range of quality texts, staff found that more children chose towork alone and with others in the area e.g. reading stories, sharing books, recordingtheir views about books, using puppets to retell stories etc.● As opportunities were developed for children to respond to stories, they increasinglytransferred knowledge of story plots, characterisation and setting to their own storywriting.●●●●As children were read to daily, they became familiar with a variety of texts whichincreased their motivation to read, stimulated regular rereading of favourite books andencouraged discussion of authors use of language.There is evidence to show that adults and children engaged in storytelling activities ina wider range of contexts e.g. role play areas developed as contexts in which storieswere retold and developed, children told stories in the book area, puppets were usedin various contexts to support children’s storytelling etc.Reviewing models of classroom organisation including the management of resourcesencouraged children to work independently and supported staff to sustain qualityteaching time with groups and individuals.Developing literacy contexts providedchildren with opportunities to spendmore time engaging in a range ofactivities and experiences in whichthey demonstrated, tried out,consolidated and developed literacyskills, knowledge and concepts.20Early Intervention


A detailed example from practice.Reviewing models of classroom organisation and management of resources.AimTo encourage children to take ownership of their own learning by introducing a plan, do,review system for play.Action● Describe the available choice of activities to the children.● Children plan orally or if appropriate, complete a planner.Example of plannerPlanningToday, I plan to go to ................................................................. . At ...........................................I am going to ........................................................................................................................................ .Creating a Literacy EnvironmentDoingWhen you have finished your planning, you can begin your activity.ReviewingDid you do what you planned to do?YesNoDid you enjoy what you did?YesNoWhat did you learn?I learned that ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... .What would you like to try the next time?Next time I would like to try .......................................................................................................... .Outcome●●●The potential for learning through play was highlighted.The children followed their interests and had the opportunity to identify their learning.The value of play and its importance was recognised by adults, parents and children.A Celebration of Early Literacy21


Creating a Literacy EnvironmentA detailed example from practice.Establishing an enriched oral curriculum.AimTo develop children’s talking skills in P2.Action● Introduce topics for show and tell.● Select four or five children to prepare a talk for each session.● Send notes home detailing the topic and ways in which the family can help children toprepare a short talk.Example of note to parentsShow and TellMy Favourite BookPlease can you help …………………… to find a book that he/she likes to read.…………………… will be asked to talk to the class about this book for a fewminutes.It would be very helpful if you could talk to …………………… aboutthe title, author, illustrator and the reasons why this is an ‘old favourite’.Thank you for your help.Outcome●●For most children, particularly the children who were least confident, the introductionof topics and having the opportunity to prepare ideas at home helped them toimprove in their ability to talk about their own experiences and feelings.Knowing the topics in advance, helped the children to contribute appropriately byasking relevant questions.22Early Intervention


A detailed example from practice.Developing literacy through play.AimTo offer children the opportunity to explore literacy as a whole in a relevant andmeaningful context e.g. Katie Morag Delivers the Mail.Action● Set up Katie Morag’s Post Office to include various literacy related resources e.g.posters, signs, labels, charts, leaflets, newspapers, books, comics, notebooks, orderbooks, display materials etc.● Encourage children to:❖ experiment with and design some of the resources detailed above.❖ design, write and produce Struay monthly.❖ use it as a prop in their play e.g. delivering and selling, buying and reading.❖ use tourist leaflets in the context of their role play.❖ write leaflets about Stirling using the leaflets as a model.❖ talk about and describe their play with others.Creating a Literacy EnvironmentOutcomeThe children:●●●explored literacy related resources in context.experimented with a range of different forms of writing for a variety of differentaudiences.demonstrated their current understanding of some of the purposes of literacy.A Celebration of Early Literacy 23


Creating a Literacy EnvironmentNotes..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................24Early Intervention


Strategy TwoSupporting theDevelopment ofChildren’s EarlyReadingKey Elements● Identifying children’s previous experience of reading.● Providing opportunities for children to read and respond to books and stories.● Developing concepts of print.● Developing phonological awareness programmes.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Reading●Developing phonics programmes.●Developing reading strategies.●Introducing high frequency words.●Developing shared reading opportunities.●Applying reading skills.A Celebration of Early Literacy 25


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Reading26Early Intervention


Supporting the Development ofChildren’s Early ReadingIt has been widely recognised that reading is a complex but unitary process. Nurturing thedisposition to be a reader whilst equipping children with the necessary reading skills isessential as this can ultimately determine whether a young child who can read becomes areader.Key ElementsIdentifying children’sprevious experiences of readingChildren encounter different literacy experiences in their homes and communities beforecoming to school and will therefore be at different places in the reading continuum.Identifying children’s previous experiences of reading includes:●●●●discussing children’s early reading experiences with parents/carers.gathering information about children’s early reading behaviours as identified inStarting Points and similar documentation.taking time to have conversations with children as they engage with print to findout what they know about reading e.g. concepts of print.noticing children’s early reading behaviours and attitudes towards reading in a varietyof contexts e.g. during storytime, when reading alone and when discussing books etc.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Reference Section One: Session TwoSupporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingA Celebration of Early Literacy 27


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingProviding opportunities for children to readand respond to books and storiesTime spent on stories is valuable in a number of respects: it extends imagination, it widensvocabulary, it increases children’s familiarity with a variety of grammatical and syntacticstructures, it increases awareness of story conventions and it encourages talk and problemsolving.There is also some evidence that it is experience with stories that is often thecrucial factor in children’s educational success.Providing opportunities for children to read and respond to books and stories includes:●●●●●●●planning regular story reading and/or story telling sessions.children creating, telling, retelling and dramatising favourite and well-knownstories using a variety of creative materials, drawings and models, small world play,puppets, prompts, magnetic board figures and objects from stories etc.encouraging children to integrate resources from one context to another tosupport their retelling or dramatising of stories e.g. taking goats from the farm to thebricks to retell the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff.encouraging children to engage with print by having reading material available inplay contexts.making time for children to share opinions with others about texts written/read athome.encouraging children to retell stories to one another or a storytelling ‘friend’e.g. a teddy bear or soft toy.using computer software based onbooks e.g.“Storybook TV Resources” –video and CD-ROM.●●introducing reading times at differenttimes in the day to enable children totake part in follow-up activities.using one or a number of books as thestarting point for a theme.●planning time for free, independentencouraging children to retell stories to one anotherreading e.g. E.R.I.C. time.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack Reference Section Two: Session One28Early Intervention


Planning a range of experiences to developchildren’s awareness of the concepts of printChildren need to understand the nature, purpose and value of print.Their knowledge ofbasic print concepts is a strong predictor of the ease with which they will learn to read. Itis therefore important that a wide range of activities are developed to support children asthey increase their understanding of significant concepts about print.Supporting children to increase their understanding of significant conceptsabout print includes:●●●●●helping children to develop theirunderstanding of how books areorganised by planning for children toregularly handle and enjoy books.adults using examples ofenvironmental print, notices,signs, labels posters and ICTsoftware to support children as theybegin to understand that words andpictures carry meaning, that in Englishprint is read from left to write etc.developing matching activities toencourage children to discriminatebetween pictures, letters and words.shared writing session when adultsdraw attention to concepts of printclass and group shared writing sessions when concepts of print are discussed andspecific vocabulary associated with print is used in context e.g. word, letters, spaces etc.class and group shared reading sessions when adults draw attention to concepts ofprint e.g. how books are organised, conventions of print, different types of print etc.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Reading●developing activities that help children to understand that oral language can bewritten down and letters and words are different e.g. children writing independentlyfor a variety of purposes.●developing opportunities for children to use the terms author, title, illustrator,front and back cover e.g. when making their own books.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section One: Session TwoA Celebration of Early Literacy 29


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingDeveloping phonological awareness programmesPhonological awareness is concerned with sounds rather than written symbols. Developingawareness of the sounds in spoken words, including sensitivity to rhyme and alliteration, isa vital component in the skills young children require for later reading success. It has beendemonstrated through various studies that phonological ability in young children is one ofthe biggest predictors of later reading ability.Phonological awareness programmes include activities to:● develop syllable blending skills e.g. adults says 2-4 syllable words one at a timeclearly breaking each word into its constituent syllables, children then say the wordcorrectly.● develop syllable segmentation skills e.g. adults says words of 1-4 syllables, childrenpush forward teddies or similar objects for each syllable in the word.● develop awareness of rhyme e.g.❖ reciting and acting out nursery rhymes and other rhymes in class and at home.❖ using big books, nursery rhyme tapes and rhyme posters.❖ making rhyme books, friezes and displays (see example from practice).● develop rhyme judgement skills e.g. children identify from a number of cards orobjects, those that rhyme.● develop rhyme generation skills e.g. children pick objects from a “feely” bag beforethinking of something else that rhymes with it.● develop onset awareness e.g. having displays of alliterative objects and pictures,making alliterative alphabet books using children’s names etc.● developing phoneme blending activities e.g. each child is given a set of pictures.The adult segments the name of one of the pictures into phonemes e.g. c-a-t. Thechildren select the correct picture.●developing phoneme segmentation skills e.g. children are shown a picture andasked to jump into a hoop for each phoneme heard.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack Section Two: Session Two30Early Intervention


Developing phonics programmesFor children to become proficient, fluent readers, it is crucial that they automatically andrapidly recognise letters, letter strings and words. Phonics instruction (the explicit teachingof sound- symbol relationships) helps children to do this.Phonics programmes include:●●opportunities for children tounderstand the purpose ofletters and how their knowledge ofphonics can be used when readingand writing e.g. during shared readingsessions adults asking children toidentify words that contain particularletters, during shared writing sessionsasking children to help with spelling,encouraging children to look forletters in books and other forms ofliterature, encouraging children towrite for various reasons etc.multi- sensory activities thatinvolve hearing, seeing, physicalmovements and prompts to memorysuch as story line and actions e.g.❖ tracing letters in the air, in sand, onpartner’s back etc.❖ making letters and words usingdough.❖ using mnemonics, pictorial aids andalliterative jingles.❖ teaching letter names, as theyprovide a constant amidst variables.❖ matching upper and lower caseletters using letter cards, magneticletters etc.❖ using magnetic letters, letter cardsand sometimes “Smartie” tops tobuild, cover, write and check cvc,cvcc and ccvc regular words, trickywords, rhyming words, commonwords, sentences and phrases.making words from smartie topsapplying knowledgeof phonics whenwriting independentlySupporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingA Celebration of Early Literacy 31


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingDeveloping phonics programmes continued● opportunities for children to use their knowledge of onset and rime to spell andread unfamiliar words e.g. encouraging a child who can read the word cat to use theirknowledge of the rime ‘at’ to read by analogy, mat and fat.● using games that support children as they revise and practise their phonic skills e.g.snap, bingo, alphabet mats, alliterative ‘feely’ bags containing objects that childrenidentify before saying another word that starts in the same way etc.● balancing whole class teaching sessions with differentiated group and individual activities.sample of shopping listchildren using upper and lower case letters to build wordsencouragingchildren to writefor various reasons❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack Section Two: Session Two32Early Intervention


Developing reading strategiesReaders, both skilled and inexperienced, have to monitor and integrate information frommany sources.They need to make links between what they know about written languageand apply this to new situations using problem solving strategies.Helping children to operate and integrate sources of information involves:● encouraging children to search for and use four kinds of information:❖ sense, meaningdoes it make sense?❖ visual cuesdoes that look right?❖ letters/ sounds expectedwhat can you hear?what would you expect to hear?❖ structure/ grammarcan we say it that way?● encouraging children to monitor and self-correct their own reading e.g. directingtheir attention to meaning, use of letter knowledge, rereading, predicting etc.● adults discussing and making explicit to children the strategies they areusing well e.g.“I noticed when you got stuck on that word you reread the sentence.That is a good strategy to use”.● adults observing the strategies children are using when reading to inform nextteaching steps.● modelling how the use of cues help when making predictions e.g. when reading abig book, covering up some words and asking the children to predict what word mightmake sense there and why.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Reading●modelling how readers use cues to confirm the accuracy of predictions e.g.looking at initial letters.●modelling how readers use additional cues to help them self-correct whenpredictions are inaccurate e.g. if inaccurate predictions have been made by using initialletters, readers may look at the end of the sentence and use meaning when rereadingthe sentence to check it’s sense.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section Two: Session TwoA Celebration of Early Literacy 33


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingIntroducing high frequency wordsHigh frequency words are the most important words for reading and writing in the Englishlanguage. Children must recognise them instantly for reading fluency and spell them rapidly forwriting. It is important therefore that, in order for common words to become part of a child’s sightvocabulary, interesting and fun activities are developed which help children to consolidate theirknowledge.Activities to support this instant recognition include:●●●●●●●●high frequency word games such as snap,pelmanism, bingo, jumping out words on analphabet mat etc.highlighting high frequency words indifferent contexts e.g. in big books/enlargedcopies of poems, in leaflets, during sharedreading sessions etc.incorporating high frequency words inclassroom labels and signs (using these asteaching tools).high frequency word of the week – over a week discovering how many times it can bewritten in a given time.word walls e.g. having a ‘Humpty Dumpty’ wall where as high frequency words areintroduced, they are then displayed on individual bricks.encouraging children to write high frequency words from memory e.g. look, cover,write, check.‘Reading Olympics’ which involves children practising common words at home, thengaining a certificate when successfully reading or spelling a given number of words (seeexample from practice).using magnetic letters to build highfrequency words and later encouragingchildren to make, read, cover, write andcheck the words.high frequency word of the week●●providing common word lists forreference (often secured to the table).common word spelling cards that areused independently by children e.g. look, say,cover, write, check.●children highlighting common words ingiven passages e.g. a newspaper article,pages from magazines etc.high frequency word cards which areused independently by children❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section Two: Session Two34Early Intervention


Developing shared reading opportunitiesShared reading is a powerful learning technique in which children are supported to readand enjoy material that they would not be able to tackle alone.Shared reading activities provide opportunities to:●●●●●●●demonstrate the skills and insights experienced readers bring to texts.engage children closely with the text both before and during the reading e.g.discussing titles, authors, illustrators, language choices, characters, setting, plot etc.focus closely on print e.g. words, letters and letter strings, word families, rhymingwords etc.discuss the use of punctuation in context e.g. capital letters, full stops, commas,speech marks, question marks and exclamation marks.share a variety of different kinds of texts with children e.g. fiction, non-fiction,poetry, rhymes etc.reread texts to and with the children so that they become well known.encourage children to join in as they become familiar with the texts.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack Session Two: Session ThreeSupporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingA Celebration of Early Literacy 35


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingProviding opportunities to apply reading skillsBalancing the complex interweaving of skills and experiences when learning to read isessential if we are to make a child who can read into an avid reader. It is essential thatchildren are offered a wide reading curriculum that supports the development ofconfidence and fluency and provides opportunities for readers to consolidate their skills, toreinforce their sight vocabulary and to increase their reading speed.Encouraging children to apply reading skills involves:●●●●developing opportunities for childrento regularly read for pleasureboth in school and at home e.gmaking books available in differentcontexts, developing lending librariesand storysack initiatives.developing paired readingschemes.planning for children to read toeach other regularly e.g. in smallgroups, reading their favourite story tothe class, reading their own writing toother classes etc.providing children with opportunities to reread familiar texts including having textsavailable for each ability group to read as part of their daily programme which they canread fluently e.g. a pick and mix box that contains books already read by children and aselection of graded books which can be read at an independent level.developing pairedreading skillssharing a book from the lending librarydeveloping opportunities for childrento regularly read for pleasure36Early Intervention


What did we find?● By taking time to find out what children knewabout reading, adults planned appropriateprogrammes that built on children’s interestsand prior knowledge.● Providing opportunities for children toexplore print, books and stories helped tobuild children’s confidence and willingness tohave a go in a relaxed yet supportiveenvironment.● Developing phonological awareness programmes that included segmentation of words andrhyming activities supported children’s early reading and writing skills.● Increasing the pace at which letters and letter strings were introduced helped children toquickly recognise letters, words and letter strings.● Using a variety of approaches to teach phonics ensured that children had a range of strategiesto use for reading and writing i.e. no scheme has all the answers!● By explicitly teaching reading strategies andencouraging children to describe thestrategies they used, children increased theirawareness of possible strategies and whenthey could be best used.● Adopting a range of approaches to teachinghigh frequency words helped to improvechildren’s reading fluency.● Children’s self-esteem and confidenceincreased when they had opportunities toregularly apply their reading skills in a varietyof contexts.reading logosSupporting the Development of Children’s Early Reading●Adopting an activity-based approach to earlyreading reduced the need to use worksheetsand workbooks!“Using a range of activities to teach phonics would seem to create‘noticing children’ from the outset, frequently and continually takingdelight in pointing out letters and sounds and words taught ina whole array of ways.” (P 2 Teacher)noticing lettersA Celebration of Early Literacy 37


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingA detailed example from practice.Introducing high frequency words.AimTo systematically introduce and consolidate the first 300 high frequency words.ActionDevelop Reading Olympics initiative:●●●●develop bronze booklets that list thefirst hundred high frequency words.develop silver booklets that list thenext hundred high frequency words.develop gold booklets that list thefinal hundred high frequency words.develop bronze, silver and gold awardcertificates.Introduce the initiative to the children:●●●the booklets, when used at home, will help in the recognition and spelling of commonwords using the look, cover, write, check method.spelling and reading the words correctly when writing and reading in school will beencouraged.bronze, silver and gold award certificates will be awarded by the headteacher onsuccessful reading or writing of the high frequency words at each level.Outcome●●The initiative motivated children tobecome competent readers and spellersof the first 300 high frequency words.The children were delighted to receivetheir certificates from the headteacher.38Early Intervention


A detailed example from practice.Developing Phonological Awareness Programmes.AimTo create a context in which children can work collaboratively to identify, practise, discuss,write and illustrate rhyming sentences.Action●●●●●Introduce the children to the Orchard Toys jigsaw,“Find the Rhyme”.Encourage children to work collaboratively to identify the 26 hidden rhymes.Provide children with blank rhyme books.Encourage children, to discuss in pairs, write and illustrate the rhyming sentences intheir rhyme books.Discuss regularly with children the number of rhymes found, thereby introducing acompetitive element.OutcomeThe children were motivated to:●●●work collaboratively.apply their spelling skills when writing in a meaningful context.enter into friendly competition with their peers.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingA Celebration of Early Literacy 39


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early ReadingNotes..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................40Early Intervention


Strategy ThreeSupporting theDevelopment ofChildren’s Early WritingSupporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingKey Elements● Identifying children’s previous experiences of writing and writers.3● Providing opportunities for children to engage in writing activities.● Demonstrating the process of writing.● Using various stimuli for writing.● Developing spelling strategies.● Developing handwriting skills.● Celebrating and publishing children’s writing.A Celebration of Early Literacy 41


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Writing42Early Intervention


Supporting the Developmentof Children’s Early WritingEarly years and primary staff work to maximise children’s interests, knowledge and skills inwriting and to actively foster the disposition to be a writer. By encouraging children towrite for their own reasons, for various purposes and audiences, we help young writers toenjoy the power writing gives.Key ElementsIdentifying children’s previous experiences ofwriting and writersStudies have shown that children are interested in reading and writing before startingschool. If this interest is recognised and encouraged, children’s early knowledge of literacyforms a powerful foundation for later learning.Identifying children’s previous experience of writing and writers includes:●●●●●noticing what children know and care about in relation to print.discussing children’s early writing behaviour/experience with parents/carers.gathering evidence of children’s early writing behaviour as identified inStarting Points and similar documentation.observing children in a variety of contexts,recording their early writingbehaviour.identifying children’s stages of writing development by analysing examples oftheir writing.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Writing●developing strategies to support individual needs.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section One: Session One.A Celebration of Early Literacy 43


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingProviding opportunities for children to engagein meaningful writing activitiesGiving children opportunities to engage in meaningful writing activities encourages,motivates and inspires children to feel that they are writers, that their writing efforts arevalued and helps develop positive attitudes to writing.Providing opportunities for children to engage in meaningful writing activities involves:●●●●●●encouraging children to write for theirown reasons.planning for children to write forvarious audiences and purposes.giving guidance and support tochildren as they learn new writing skillsbut also giving children freedom andencouragement to ‘have a go’ atindependent writing.developing attractive and interesting writing areasgiving children time to experiment with the early stages of the writing process bydeveloping opportunities for children to experiment with writing in a variety of structured playcontexts e.g.The Garage,The Vet’s Surgery,The Space Station,The Opticians, writing in wet sand,writing street names and shop names in the construction area etc (see example from practice).encouraging children to experiment with writing as early as possible by ensuring theycan access writing materials readily, know what they can be used for and howthey can be used.developing attractive and interesting writing areas with a wide range ofresources that are rotated regularly to maintain interest (see example from practice).●●●developing writing boxes/casesfilled with interesting materials thatcan be used for writing e.g. plain, linedand coloured paper, card, envelopes,pens, glue, string, wool, stapler etc.creating areas where children candisplay their writing and drawing.encouraging children to refer to anduse static models of letters, wordsand continuous text, labels, captions,examples of environmental print,alphabet charts, wordbanks, wordfamily lists, high frequency word lists etc.extract from news book44Early Intervention


Providing opportunities for children to engagein meaningful writing activities continued●●●planning opportunities for children toengage in writing for a variety ofaudiences and real purposes e.g.letters to friends, invitations toparents, lists of things needed for aschool trip etc.encouraging children to talk aboutwriting – their own and others i.e.writing conferences.recognising that the errors childrenmake show what they haveunderstood and mastered andwhat they have not and thereforeinforms planning.using knowledgeof phonics towrite a list ofequipment for thedoctor’s surgerySupporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingP1 free choice❉ Early Intervention StaffDevelopment Pack referenceSection One: Session Three.developing writing boxesA Celebration of Early Literacy 45


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingDemonstrating the process of writingTo become writers children must be motivated to want to write. By demonstrating andmodelling the process of writing, we help children to understand that writing is used formany purposes in real life, for thinking and communicating and writing gives power to thewriter.Demonstrating the process of writing includes:●●●●●planning opportunities for modelled writing sessions when adults write down thetext and think aloud to make explicit how writers approach the writing task.Thisincludes describing how writers make choices about the topic, content andpresentation depending on the audience and purpose.planning opportunities for shared writing when children work together (whole classor groups) to compose a text. The adult, as a member of the group, contributes tothe text and helps to guide the way in which the text is constructed. The adultscribes so that the children can focus on composing the text.developing opportunities for interactive writing sessions. These sessions are aform of shared writing however the adult sometimes asks the children to write thenext word or the first letter of the next word thereby encouraging children to takeresponsibility for writing but with adult support.developing guided writing sessions for small groups of children who needassistance with specific writing skills or as opportunities for children to writeindependently, practising skills explored during a shared writing session.using the above sessions to:❖ model the use of correct terminology for letters, sounds, sentences andpunctuation.❖ demonstrate how writing works by giving help with the conventions of writtenEnglish e.g. directionality, the need for spaces between words, when to use fullstops, capital letters, speech marks, quotation marks and exclamation marks etc.❖ highlight common words, known letters and word families.❖ demonstrate correct letter formation.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack Section Two: Session Four46Early Intervention


Using various stimuli for writingChildren need opportunities to write for meaningful purposes that they see as relevant andenjoyable. Many opportunities if realised can become reasons for writing.Stimuli for writing include:●●●●repetitive stories used as a framework for children writing their own stories e.g.using The Very Hungry Caterpillar to create other stories which follow the format onMonday… on Tuesday…etc.familiar stories rewritten with different endings e.g. what happened when Jackdid not succeed in chopping down the beanstalk?familiar story lines used to create new stories.fictional characters writingto the children for advice e.g.should Cinderella, now happilymarried, allow her ugly sisters tocome and stay for a short time?Should Jack’s mother send himback up the beanstalk one lasttime? Should The Three Bearspay a return visit to Goldilock’sHouse?Dear Cinderella,30th April 2000Now that you are happily married wemiss you terribly (our house just isn’tthe same without you). We would verymuch like to visit you and yourhandsome new husband in yourluxurious palace. In fact we would liketo come and stay with you for a shortbreak, possibly for a year or two!We know that you must be missing ustoo and that you would like to see ussoon. Please write back as quickly aspossible as we have much packing todo.Your loving stepsisters,Daisy and Lazy.Dear Children,repetative storiesused as aframework forchildren writingtheir own stories1st May 2000I enclose a letter written to meby my stepsisters.As you can see, they want tocome to visit me but I am notsure this is a good idea. What doyou think?Please write to me soon, advisingme what to do.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingYours sincerely,Cinderella.fictional characterswriting to thechildren for adviceA Celebration of Early Literacy 47


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingUsing various stimuli for writing continued●●●●●●●books of various styles e.g. pop-up, liftthe flap, zigzag, non-fiction books.children’s own experiences, interestsand everyday experiences.contexts in which there areauthentic reasons for using literacye.g. setting up a doctors surgery in theclassroom presents opportunities towrite letters, patients notes, prescriptions,notices, signs, posters and advertisements.Barney Bear, an imaginary friend, writes to the childreninteractive writing experiences e.g. creating imaginary ‘friends’ such as ‘BarneyBear’ who write to the children requesting a response (see example from practice).visits to places of interest in the local community (see example from practice).unplanned experiences e.g. the weather, the fire alarm, the arrival of workmen etc.planned experiences such as the school trip, long term building projects in andaround the school, taking notes at the pupil council meeting etc.❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section One: Session Threewhen Barney Bear ‘an imaginary friend’ went missing, children, staff, parents and officers from Central Scotland Police set aboutfinding him48Early Intervention


Developing spelling strategiesChildren need to be given access to a variety and combination of spelling strategies inorder for them to develop beyond the phonetic stage of spelling development.Developing spelling skills includes:●●●●●●●children being encouraged to ‘have a go’ at spelling using visual and phonic strategies.using examples of children’s independent writing to identify next steps inthe spelling programme e.g. a child who writes cstd, chps, chkn instead of custard,chips, chicken is at a semi-phonetic stage of spelling and would benefit from beingexposed to print in natural and meaningful contexts, opportunities to experiment withwriting, activities which would help him/her to hear different sounds in words andactivities to help him/her to develop the ability to segment spoken words intoindividual sounds.staff identifying children’s current stage of spelling development either prephonemic,semi-phonemic/phonetic, phonetic, transitional or correct and using thisknowledge to plan spelling programmes.planning activities to develop children’s phonological awareness skills, alphabetknowledge and representational knowledge.encouraging self-correction by asking children to identify, and attempt to correct,a given number of errors e.g. 3 errors in the first four lines, 4 errors in the firstparagraph, 5 errors on the first page etc.playing with words e.g. beginning with a cvc, ccvc or cvcc word, discovering howmany different words can be made by changing one letter at a time e.g. cat, fat, fan,fin etc.helping children to apply different strategies appropriately e.g. segmenting wordsinto individual sounds, learning to spell irregular words by look, cover, write, checkmethods, looking for visual patterns and common letter sequences in words, proofreadingduring and after writing etc.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Writing●●responding to children’s writing using correct spelling of words.involving children in making as many words as possible from a base word e.g.quick, quicker, quickest, quickly etc.A Celebration of Early Literacy 49


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingDeveloping handwriting skillsHandwriting is a craft skill and is a separate issue from becoming a writer. However it isimportant that children develop a personal handwriting style that is legible, fluent andperformed with reasonable speed.Developing children’s handwriting skills includes:●●●●●recognising that the greatest incentive to produce legible handwriting is the desireto share an important message.recognising that the materials and activities that support artistic, creative andphysical education support the development of competent handwriting e.g.muscle tone, eye and hand co-ordination and fine muscle control are developed bybrick construction, sand play, printing, painting and drawing.demonstrating correct letter formation both as part of the multi- sensoryapproach to phonic lessons and during handwriting lessons.emphasising attention to goodpresentation when children arewriting final drafts.developing opportunities forchildren to practise letterformation using a variety ofmaterials and resources indifferent contexts e.g. chalk, paint,sand, large markers, blackboards,wipe-clean boards, magnetic wedges,easels, sand, Foundation of Writingletter formation cards,‘Rol n Write’alphabet moulds, tactile sandpaperletters etc.making patterns in sand50Early Intervention


Celebrating and publishing children’s writingReading and encouraging others to share children’s writing raises the profile of children’swriting and ensures their literacy efforts are recognised and celebrated.Celebrating and publishing children’s work includes:●●●●●●●attractively displaying examples of all children’s writing to recognise their effortand success.talking to the children about the displays of writing both in the classroom andaround the school e.g. asking which they like and why, discussing whether they havespoken with other children about work displayed etc.encouraging children to discuss and read each other’s writing e.g. duringgroup reading time, with children in other classes, during assembly, with parents,during book launches etc.providing detailed positive feedback on children’s writing skills e.g. providinga written response to pupil’s writing to indicate its value.developing opportunities for parents to respond to children’s writing e.g.inviting parents to give a written response to books read at a children’s book launch etc.inviting two or three children to become “Authors of the Month” e.g. children arehelped to display examples of their work and a short written description ofthemselves.Their classmates are encouraged to respond to their writing.developing opportunities for children to decide which pieces of work will bepublished and in which format.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Writingcelebrating successA Celebration of Early Literacy 51


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingWhat did we find?By increasing opportunities for children to experiment, practise and develop early writingskills, children are developing positive attitudes to writing.There is evidence to show children are:●●●●●●●believing in themselves as writers.learning that writing is enjoyable and can be shared with friends.willing to take risks e.g. experiment with writing on entry to school in a variety ofcontexts.using strategies to write independently e.g. using word banks and word walls, applyingphonic knowledge, using invented spelling etc.increasingly aware of the writing process and what writers do and think about as aresult of adults modelling the writing process and developing shared writingopportunities.responding to an enriched environment, as detailed in this document, by creating anddeveloping their own stories in a variety of contexts.‘catching the writing habit’, e.g. children are writing at home, sometimes on their‘penny mix’ bag when no other paper is available, and taking great delight in sharingtheir writing with other children and parents.There is evidence to suggest that staff:●have increased expectations of what children can achieve in writing e.g. writing areashave been developed for children on entry to school, there is an increase in childrenin P2 attaining level A in writing, children are copying written text less and aretherefore applying their phonic knowledge in writing, earlier.●can more easily identify opportunities in which children can practise and developwriting skills across the curriculum and in a variety of contexts.“The play contexts in class were clearly motivating some children towrite. I would certainly use play as a stimulus to develop children’swriting in future.” (P1 Teacher)●There is evidence to suggest that parents are pleased to notice that their children arewriting more at home. Staff are encouraging the children to bring examples of theirwriting from home to share with others.52Early Intervention


A detailed example from practice.Developing opportunities for children to engage in meaningful writing activities.AimTo stimulate interest in writing and to provide opportunities for children to experimentwith writing through play.Action●●●●In each class introduce contexts that link to environmental studies themes e.g. thebaker’s shop, the café and the jungle hide.Discuss with the children what they know about these settings.Encourage the children to identify examples of contextually appropriate materials e.g.recipe books, order books, menus, maps etc.Encourage the children to write their own signs, menus, advertisements, order forms,receipts, maps, letters etc.OutcomeThe play contexts encouraged children to:●●●●experiment with various forms of writing.work collaboratively.demonstrate their understanding of literacy in a play context.practise their literacy skills.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingA Celebration of Early Literacy53


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingA detailed example from practice.Developing opportunities for children to engage in meaningful writing activities..AimTo encourage the development of early writing by setting up a writing area.Action●●●●●●●●Identify a suitable space for the writing area.In consultation with the children and parents/carers, identify and gather attractivematerials and resources e.g. common word and topic word banks, alphabet mats,dictionaries, alphabet cards, letter snakes for formation, wall pockets for pupils’messages, computer, type writer, broad/fine felt pens, pencils, various sizes colours andshapes of paper, envelopes, crayons, post-it notes, stickers, invitations, thank youletters, decorative notepaper, pads, address books, diaries, stapler, wool, string, etc.Label the resources and arrange storage for easy access.Provide display space for the children to display their work.Encourage the children to experiment with the materials e.g. write messages to theirfriends and post them in their wall pockets, add their details to an address book, writelabels for their drawings and art work etc.Rotate the resources to maintain interest.Introduce some structured activities e.g making zig-zag books relating to the classtopic, making birthday cards for the class bear etc.Plan time to share and celebrate the children’s work as a class, in groups andindividually.●Display children’s work at all stages of the writing process near/in the writing area.54Early Intervention


A detailed example from practice continued.OutcomeThe children:●●●●●●enjoyed free writing and envelopes were a popular commodity.used the materials creatively e.g. post-it notes and sellotape were used to makelift-the-flap messages and books.used topic word banks to complete sentences or to label drawings.practised skills and knowledge gained from shared writing sessions e.g. use of capitalletters and full stops, the correct spelling of commonly used words, use ofphonological awareness skills and alphabetic awareness to have a go at spelling words etc.responded well to the opportunity to discuss their displayed work with others.learned that it’s okay to make mistakes!The adults discovered that:●●●●●●the writing area provided children with the opportunity to practise and consolidateearly writing skills in a relaxed context.regularly rotating the resources maintained the children’s interest.the wall pockets provided “an audience” for pupils writing.planning occasional structured activities stimulated new ideas.purpose is a high motivator – the children enjoyed identifying their own purposes forwriting e.g. labels for models, letters to friends, messages for Staff etc.by setting up the writing area near the role play area and book area, the childrencould easily access additional writing materials for use in their play.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingA Celebration of Early Literacy55


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingA detailed example from practice.Using various stimuli for writing.AimTo use a visit to a local venue as a stimulus for meaningful writing.Action●●●●●●●Visit Stirling Highland Hotel to experience at first hand, the everyday activities carriedout by hotel staff.Take photographs which will be sequenced, labelled and displayed by the children.Write a thank you letter to staff at the Stirling Highland Hotel.Create some of the food we saw being prepared and label the ingredients used.Write menus after examining examples of menus from various hotels in Stirling.Develop a restaurant role play area in the classroom that contains literacy-relatedresources e.g. recipe books, order books, menus etc.Write invitations and shopping lists for a class party.OutcomeThe children:●●used literacy related materials appropriately during play.were motivated to write for real purposes and audiences.56Early Intervention


A detailed example from practice.Using various stimuli for writing.AimTo motivate children to write for various purposes.Action●●●●●●●●●Introduce a small bear called Barney to the children.Send letters/cards to the children from Barney from all over the country, telling of hisadventures.Ask the children to reply to Barney.Stage the “disappearance” of Barney.Contact the local police to report his disappearance.Put together ‘identikit’ pictures and drawings of Barney.Make and display ‘ missing’ posters.Go on a train journey to Dunblane Police Station to recover Barney.Police Officers present children with certificates for their assistance in the search forBarney.OutcomeThe children:●●were motivated to use the writing area regularly to write and respond to Barney.learned that writing is an effective way of communicating.Supporting the Development of Children’s Early Writing●practised their writing skills in a meaningful context.A Celebration of Early Literacy57


Supporting the Development of Children’s Early WritingNotes..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................58Early Intervention


Strategy FourDeveloping a PartnershipApproach to LiteracyKey Elements●●●Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyChildren interacting and working collaboratively with other children.Children working with other adults.Staff working collaboratively.4A Celebration of Early Literacy 59


60Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyEarly Intervention


61Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyDeveloping a Partnership Approach to LiteracyOne of the most important elements of any literacy programme is the provision ofopportunities for children to work collaboratively with their peers, younger and olderpupils and adults.When learning is social and collaborative, learners are enabled to attemptthings which are beyond their current developmental stage ‘what children can do in cooperationtoday, they can do alone tomorrow’.Key ElementsPlanning for children to work collaborativelyAs children work collaboratively, learning from and supporting others, they benefit fromraised self-esteem, confidence and motivation as strengths are identified and utilised.Collaborative work involves children motivating and supporting each otherwhen, for example:●engaging in a variety of playbasedactivities e.g. role play, sandand water activities, making and usingplay dough etc.●working together on pairedreading activities (see examplefrom practice).●●●enjoying storytime with bookbuddies.using the outdoor environmentto find information e.g. word treasurehunts.reading their favouritestories/poems/rhymes to eachother.paired reading activitiesa word treasure huntA Celebration of Early Literacy


Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyPlanning for children to work collaboratively continued●●●●●taking part in show and tellactivities.sharing favourite books andother reading material broughtinto the classroom by theirpeers.developing shared writing projectswhen children work collaborativelye.g. to make books, to complete bookreviews, to write instructions forgames etc.working collaboratively to make a bookdeveloping interactive writing opportunities that the children add to as and whenthey are enthused to write e.g. stimulus- where will we go for our school trip?Stimulus- I couldn’t get out of bed this morning because……..children responding to the writing of others e.g. orally or when offering awritten response to another child’s work, during a celebration of young authorsprojects etc.shared writing project❉ Early Intervention Staff Development Pack reference Section Two: Session Four.62Early Intervention


Developing opportunities forchildren to work with other adultsBy sharing their expertise, adults including parents and families can play an important partin children’s literacy development.Their contributions when supported by schools cansignificantly benefit children.Opportunities for children to work with other adults include:●●●●joint projects with librarians bothin school and in local libraries e.g.storytelling sessions, readingworkshops etc.visits by authors and storytellersto schools, libraries and duringspecific initiatives e.g. the tour of the“story bus”.family members sharing bookswith children e.g. taking part inpaired reading activities, enjoyingstorysacks together at home, helpingchildren to select books in the schoollending library etc.workshops when materials aredeveloped to support children’searly literacy learning e.g.storysacks, literacy games to beplayed at home etc (see examplefrom practice).Developing a Partnership Approach to Literacy●●family sessions when families,children and staff engage in thematicliteracy activities e.g. drawing, writing,talking and making displays abouttheir first term at nursery or school(see example from practice).storytelling workshops whenchildren act out their favourite storiesand families learn how storiessupport children’s developing literacyby taking part in related activities.enjoying the new lendinglibrary established andrun by parentsA Celebration of Early Literacy 63


Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyDeveloping opportunities forchildren to work with other adults continued●●●workshops when families explorehow they can further supporttheir child’s literacy developmentat home e.g. through the use ofgames, by exploring everydayopportunities that support literacydevelopment etc.circle time sessions planned foreither the beginning or end of theday, when families watch and listen tochildren talk about their own learningincluding their successes anddifficulties (see example frompractice).problem-solving workshops whenchildren, families and staff worktogether and follow up the sessionswith activities that are researched athome (see example from practice).family members sharing books with childrenworkshops where families can explore how they can furthersupport their child’s literacy development at homeletter to ERIS64Early Intervention


Developing opportunities forStaff to work collaborativelyWhen collaborative approaches to literacy are developed both children and staff benefit asskills and knowledge are shared.Collaborative work involves staff:●●●●sharing ideas and reflecting on practice with colleagues e.g. P3-7 staff work shadowing P1and P2 colleagues to observe successful early literacy strategies being implemented, sharingideas during staff meetings etc.working with colleagues fromcluster schools to share ideas andexamples of good practice e.g. having ajoint literacy session with children andcolleagues from a local school, sharingideas during staff development sessions,meeting together in Core Area Teams toshare information about progress, todiscuss new ideas, to share experienceswith individuals doing the same job indifferent schools and to discuss staffdevelopment needs etc.making resources together to support children’s early literacy learning.making resources togetherbeing supported to take forward recommended strategies by workingcollaboratively with central support staff during classroom – based staffdevelopment.Developing a Partnership Approach to Literacy●liaising closely with colleagues during points of nursery/primary transition toensure continuity from nursery to P1.sharing ideas during a staff development sessionA Celebration of Early Literacy 65


Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyWhat did we find?●●●●●●Working collaboratively with other children helped children to sustain motivation,increase their self-esteem and provide mutual support to peers.Working with other adults allowed children to see literacy being modelled, engage insome activities they could not do alone and learn alongside more experiencedpractitioners of literacy.There is evidence to suggest that paired reading programmes were fun, resulted intutors feeling that their tutee’s reading skills had improved, tutees feeling that theirreading had improved by the end of the programme and allowed teachers time toobserve and assess children as they worked which became an additional means ofassessment.Parents/families who followed up the school based paired reading sessions with homepaired reading sessions found that their children were reading widely, were morewilling to read, made less mistakes and read with more expression.Children who took part in storytime sessions with book buddies enjoyed theexperience and many were enthused to reread the story later.Developing opportunities for staff to work collaboratively enabled:❖ class teachers to organise pupils into smaller groups for specific teaching whileother pupils were involved in activities with support staff.❖ support for learning staff to support children in the early years classes and todisseminate good practice across classes and schools.❖ closer links to be made between early years establishments and schools, with staffsharing information about practice and children’s achievements in a variety of waysincluding Starting Points, exchange visits etc.●Developing a number of family literacy workshops /events allowed staff and parents/families to:❖ share information about children’s literacy development.❖ explore activities that support children’s early literacy learning.❖ explore ways in which parents/families can support their child’s learning.❖ work together to create opportunities and resources to enhance children’sliteracy learning e.g. storysacks, lending libraries, paired reading schemes etc.Parents who took part in a games afternoon wrote:“I have really enjoyed coming here to the games afternoons. My son wasvery excited that I would be coming in to play and make games. I alsothink it makes a big difference when parents and teachers work together”.“I think it was good for the children to have some of the parents inschool with them playing games. I think it shows the children thatteachers and parents are working together”.66Early Intervention


A detailed example from practice.Planning for children to work collaboratively with other children.AimTo develop confidence and fluency in readingthrough a Paired Reading Programme.Action●●●●●●●Identify paired reading tutors and tuteesby consulting with class teachers. Drawup list of suitable tutors and tutees.Collect suitable books, stickers,bookmarks, certificates etc.Run training sessions for tutors andprovide written guidance.Run workshop for parents on pairedreading techniques. Put paired readinginto operation for set period of time.Involve parents in reading at home with children.Send home information for parents.Give out bookmarks.Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyOutcome●●●●Tutors felt that tutees reading skills had improved.Tutees felt their reading skills improved.The initiative helped staff in their observation and assessment of children’s readingskills.Families who took part in paired reading sessions at home felt that their children readand enjoyed reading more and read with more expression.A Celebration of Early Literacy 67


Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyA detailed example from practice.Developing opportunities for children to work with other adults.AimTo improve motivation to read byintroducing storysacks.Action●●●●●●●●Establish a parents group that will meetevery week to develop storysacks.Select 6-10 books initially.Discuss related activities/ resourcesthat can be made/ gathered forinclusion in the sacks.Investigate fundraising opportunities.Discuss with parents the different ways/methods to gather items for the sacks e.g. carboot sales, donations from other parents etc.Develop prompt cards and feedback forms and catalogue storysacks.Hold storysacks launch day when the range of completed sacks can be viewed.Hold a storysacks training workshop for parents.●●●●Introduce storysacks to the children before allocating storysacks to classes (9 perclass).Children take home storysacks on a rotational basis.Keep a note of children using each sack.Parents check contents whenstorysacks are returned.Outcome●●Children and parents enjoyed workingwith the sacks together at home.Parents became more aware of theimportance of stories in children’sdeveloping literacy.contents of a storysack based on ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’by Eric Carle68Early Intervention


Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyA detailed example from practice.Developing opportunities for children to work with other adults.AimTo encourage parents/family members to support their child with literacy activities during aclass based family session.Action●●●●●Prior to the session, introduce the children to the family packs and the format of thesession.Gather together materials for the session e.g. family packs, writing materials, mountingpaper, evaluation sheets etc.Design and distribute publicity for the session.At the beginning of the session describe the purpose and the format of the workshopto parents/family members:❖ the activities are designed to encourage collaborative work that involves listening,talking, reading and writing.❖ by supporting their child to complete the pages in the pack, they will deepen theirunderstanding of their own child’s literacy skills and interests.❖ there will be an opportunity to share the completed pages with other children andparents/family members.Encourage children and parents/family members to select two or three pages fromthe pack to mount and display in the classroom or corridor.●●Discuss the completed display.Invite parents/family members at the end of the session to talk about their experienceand discuss future sessions.Outcome●●●Parents/family members and staff had fun together in class.Parents/family members deepened their understanding of their child’s literacy skillsand interests.Parents/family members felt relaxed and indicated interest in future sessions.70Early Intervention


71Developing a Partnership Approach to LiteracyNotes..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................A Celebration of Early Literacy


of Early Literacy72A CelebrationEarly InterventionBibliographyBrowne Anne, Developing Language and Literacy 3-8, Paul Chapman, 1996Browne Anne, Helping Children to Write, Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd, 1993Glasgow City Council, Developing Literacy in the Early Stages, 1998Hall Nigel and Robinson Anne, Exploring Writing and Play in the Early Years, David FultonPublishers, 1995Leslie Moira and McMillan Greg, The Early Intervention Handbook, City of Edinburgh Council,1998Riley Jeni, The Teaching of Reading , Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd, 1996SCCC, Writing it Right? Children Writing 3-8, 1998SCCC, Learning to Write,Writing to Learn, 1998The Scottish Office Education Department, Interchange 50: Early InterventionThe Scottish Office Education Department, The Early Intervention Programme: RaisingStandards in Literacy and Numeracy, Annual Report, 1998-99The University of Edinburgh, National Evaluation of the Early Intervention Programme: InterimReport, 1999Acknowledgements‘A Celebration of Early Literacy’ was written by Lesley Gibb, Early Intervention Co- ordinator.The commitment and enthusiasm of the following in their contribution to the productionof this document is gratefully acknowledged:The staff and children ofBorestone PrimaryCornton PrimaryCowie PrimaryEast Plean PrimaryFallin PrimaryHoly Trinity PrimaryRaploch PrimarySt Margaret’s (Cowie) PrimarySt Mary’s (Raploch) PrimarySt Ninians PrimaryMany thanks also to Linda Kinney, Head of Childhood, Play and Out of School Care andPat Wharton, Early Childhood Curriculum Officer.


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