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Early Literacy

Promoting Early Literacy        


Early literacy development is a vital part of children’s overall development. It’s the foundation for doing well at school, socialising with others, problem-solving, making decisions, developing independence, managing money and working

There are some key points to consider when we think about early literacy; 

  • Literacy is the foundation for reading, writing, communicating and socialising

  • Early literacy is learning about sounds, words and language

  • We can support and encourage early literacy development by communicating with children, reading, and playing with rhyme

  • Children develop and learn best through everyday, fun activities like singing, talking and games

have developed a short video of 5 top tips for encouraging early literacy. Click on the link to watch the video Literacy in the early years | PACEY

Early Literacy and the EYFS

What the EYFS says about literacy, 'It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading'

It also comments that, 'Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together

Skilled word reading, taught later, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.

Writing involves transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech, before writing)

There are three areas linked to literacy in the EYFS, these are 

Reading comprehension - you can watch a video here for more information 

Exploring word - more information can be found by wathing this video here

Writing - please watch the video for more information 

For more infomration on embedding early literacty in your setting please see the link below

Literacy - Help for early years providers - GOV.UK (

Promoting and preparing for literacy 

In our early years settings there are some points we can consider to build and stregthen literacy skils, these are commonly know as strands;

  • books, books, books (reading books, sharing books)

  • early writing (mark making opportunities) 

  • environmental print (signs, logos)

  • and oral language (phonological awareness; syllables, rhyme, poems, practice and try out new words) 

We can also support the above strands by;

  • providing and offering as many opportunities as possible to make literacy part of everyday practice within the curriculum we offer to chidlren

  • we need to ensure we offer praise and acknowledging chidlren's successes and recognising their unique achievements

  • key to all these things is having quality interactons with children, that buld on thier interests and fascinations 

  • and be a role model for using and literacy, sharing a love of books, singing songs and saying rhymes, giving children asmany possibilities to practice their words and introdcue eciting new words everyday to help build their vocabualry 

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) 

The Education Endowment Foundation have developed an interesting guidance entitled: 'PREPARING FOR LITERACY: Improving communication, language and literacy in the early years', Please click here to access the guidance 

The guidance focuses on the teaching of communication, language and literacy to children between the ages of three and five and highlights aspcets such as;

  1. prioritising the development of language and communication

  2. develop children's early reading, using a balanced approach 

  3. Support parents to understand how to help their children learn

As well as using high quality support strategies to target children who may be struggling and embedding opportunities to develop self-regualtion, which is all about how children manage their own behaviour and aspects of their learning 

New for July 2022

Writing in Reception

The Department for Education (DfE) brings you a teacher's perspective of making final judgements against the new writing Early Learning Goal for the new Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP).

Read about how this school have adapted their approach to assessing writing following the reforms and how they use the new writing ELG to assess their children’s writing to support transition to year 1

Blog: Writing in Reception | From pregnancy to children aged 5 (

New for September!


The Art of Story Telling 

Story sack example - We're Going on a Bear Hunt basket

What is a story sack

A story sack is a collection of items in a bag or container that can be used to support and extend the telling of a story

Why are they so useful?

Story sacks have the power to ignite children’s imaginations. They can make stories more accessible to everyone, including children for whom English is not their first language, and children with additional needs or disabilities

You could create a library of story sacks in your setting which can be used with small and large groups or could be sent home to support parents and carers

Using story sacks in your early years setting will:

  • Encourage interactions and communication
  • Enhance children’s vocabulary and language
  • Support children with their own storytelling and role play


Please see the links below for guides on creating story sacks and some examples to use to build your story sack library!

Story_sack_Guide.pdf (

My_Pet_Star_story_sack_guide.pdf (

The_Three_Litle_Pigs_story_sack_guide.pdf (

Were_Going_on_a_Bear_Hunt_story_sack_guide.pdf (


New for December 2022

Supporting early years children to tell stories | National Literacy Trust

Everyone Ready for School | National Literacy Trust


Update: April 2023

The National Literacy Trust - have a number of resources to help and support settings to develop children's early literacy skills. Please click the link to access NLT website and you can browse the site for ideas on develping practice and depeening knowldege on activities and experiences to extend this provision in your setting Resources and tools for early language development and parental engagement | National Literacy Trust