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Pinxton Nursery School

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Literacy Development


Literacy is about understanding and being understood. Early literacy skills are developed through experiences from birth: gestures, talking, singing, playing, reading and writing all are part of the development of literacy. Children learn to interpret, create and communicate meaningfully through reading and writing. At Pinxton Nursery school, we intend for our children to develop a love of sharing books and being able to talk about stories. In addition, we intend for our children to be able to make marks and give meaning to them



Literacy development within the nursery is engaging, purposeful and creative. Staff listen to our children and recognise and value children’s choices. Through the continuous provision inside and outside, the children have play experiences which are enjoyable, playful and enable children to practise literacy skills. Children are provided with opportunities and experiences, which they are able to create and share a range of texts in a variety of ways. Children learn about using different signs and symbols, exploring sounds and developing alphabetic and phonetic skills. Through directed teaching, singing sessions, tales tool kit and library sessions children a provided with a language rich environment, which allows many opportunities for reading, singing and writing.


In Birth to 5 matters, Literacy is made of two components: Reading and Writing.


This complex process takes time for children to develop, building a wide vocabulary through listening, talking and singing. We talk about initial sounds such as the sounds the children’s names begin with; we also listen to lots of different stories, talking about the characters and events. Through our library sessions, children have the opportunity to share different texts with other children and at home with their family.  Crucially adult interaction, telling stories, sends a powerful message about how reading is valued.



Involves a wide variety of skills: physical, cognitive and language. Children enjoy mark making and use different materials. Children are encouraged to talk about what they have written and drawn. Staff model writing, supporting children to record in the continuous provision, e.g. in the construction area to make plans or during tales tool kit sessions to record their stories. . This supports children’s understanding of what writing looks like, how to make letters, symbols, and that writing is used in a range of life situations, for thinking, communicating, sharing and celebrating.

Before writing children have many experiences to develop confidence and competence with oral language, explore and experience a variety of stories and texts and opportunities to develop fine and gross motor skills. Within our continuous provision and directed teaching children, have many opportunities to mark make. We consider what will work best where and why; ensuring resources are accessible, meaningful and engaging experiences.




Children leave Pinxton Nursery School with a love of stories and books. They are confident communicators. Children are confident at mark making and can talk about the marks they have made. Children see reading and writing as a powerful means in which to communicate.


Area of Literacy

When children enter our Nursery they are able to

When children leave our Nursery they are able to


  • Is interested in and anticipates books and rhymes and may have favourites


  • Begins to join in with actions and sounds in familiar songs and book sharing experience
  • Listens to and joins in with stories and poems, when reading one-to-one and in small groups


  • Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories


  • Begins to be aware of the way stories are structured, and to tell own stories


  • Talks about events and principal characters in stories and suggests how the story might end


  • Shows interest in illustrations and words in print and digital books and words in the environment


  • Recognises familiar words and signs such as own name, advertising logos and screen icons


  • Looks at and enjoys print and digital books independently


  • Knows that print carries meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom


  • Knows information can be relayed through signs and symbols in various forms (e.g. printed materials, digital screens and environmental print)


  • Handles books and touch screen technology carefully and the correct way up with growing competence


  • Begins to navigate apps and websites on digital media using drop down menu to select websites and icons to select apps


  • Begins to develop phonological and phonemic awareness
    • Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration
    • Recognises rhythm in spoken words, songs, poems and rhymes
    • Claps or taps the syllables in words during sound play
    • Hears and says the initial sound in words


  • Begins to understand the cause and effect of their actions in mark making


  • Knows that the marks they make are of value


  • Enjoys the sensory experience of making marks
  • Makes up stories, play scenarios, and drawings in response to experiences, such as outings


  • Sometimes gives meaning to their drawings and paintings


  • Ascribes meanings to signs, symbols and words that they see in different places, including those they make themselves


  • Includes mark making and early writing in their play


  • Imitates adults’ writing by making continuous lines of shapes and symbols (early writing) from left to right


  • Attempts to write their own name, or other names and words, using combinations of lines, circles and curves, or letter-type shapes


  • Shows interest in letters on a keyboard, identifying the initial letter of their own name and other familiar words


  • Begins to make letter-type shapes to represent the initial sound of their name and other familiar words


How you can help your child at home

  • Nursery rhymes are especially helpful for language and early literacy development.
  • Play audiobooks or read aloud at home to increase the amount of language your child hears.
  • Talk about everyday experiences, show your child pictures, and tell them stories.

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