Below is a range of resources designed to support pupil’s acquire the skills they need to be successful learners in St Mary’s and beyond.
The resources are simply designed to be guides and as such some of the ideas maybe difficult for some children to use as every child is different and learn’s in their own way. If you wish to discuss these guides further, and other ways to support your child’s learning then please contact your class teacher.
Creative writing is something we can all agree is an essential part of education that has trackable benefits through all of the key stages, from using your imagination to create your first character, to picturing a problem-solving process. We’ve condensed Alyson’s top tips for the primary classroom, and included a handy poster (which you can download and print for free!).
Writing, along with reading, makes up literacy, one of the four specific areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). The Early Learning Goals for writing come from both literacy and physical development. They are:
Learning to write is closely linked to a child’s physical development. Before children can control the muscles in their hands, they need to develop their gross motor skills (those that need large or whole body movements). For babies this means the freedom and space to kick, roll and crawl. And for older children this also means the chance to run, climb, balance, throw, push, pull and swing their arms.
Gross motor skills activity ideas:
As soon as a baby starts to show that they’re beginning to control their movements, you can encourage fine motor skills (precise, small muscle movements). Hand eye coordination is a key part of this so provide babies with a range of interesting objects to grasp, squeeze, pat and poke. By handling objects, children are strengthening their hands and fingers, so that they can grip a pencil.
Fine motor skills and hand strength activity ideas:
Before children are able to form letters, they need to learn how to make marks. These marks can be with their finger in yoghurt on their high chair tray or pictures they’ve drawn or painted. They’re working out how writing works, how to hold their pencil, what pressure to put on the paper and how to control the marks they make.
It’s important to have mark making and writing resources available for children to use in every area of the early years provision in your setting – including outside. Children need space to explore making marks and boys in particular may enjoy making large scale marks on the floor where they can stretch out. You could use the backs of rolls of wallpaper for this or use chalk or water on the floor outside.
Fancy mark making to music or using charcoal to support children’s writing skills? Take a look at the interviews and the Early Years Creative Toolkit on our Expressive arts and design in the EYFS page to find out how.
When babies first start to scribble, it’s simply a physical activity. But through interactions with adults, they’ll learn that these marks have meaning and can convey thoughts and feelings. It’s helpful to talk to children about what they’ve produced as it gives them confidence to experiment more with mark making and extends their understanding of how writing works.