Children usually experiment with their own pretend writing first and this should be encouraged. At this stage accept the child’s writing as it is and praise all efforts. Encourage your child to read back their writing to you and never say it is ‘just scribble’ or wrong in any way. Young children learn about writing when:-
- they see people writing
- people share and discuss writing with them
- there are opportunities for children to join in writing with adults
- the child does some writing which is praised by the adult
- the child’s efforts(even pretend writing) are taken seriously
A young child encouraged in this way will soon be ready to form letters correctly and will develop a love of writing which will stay with them throughout their learning.
Activities to do at Home
- Colouring books, dot-to-dot and tracing over patterns help develop co-ordination.
- Activities which encourage a pincer grasp (finger and thumb) like picking up and sorting small beads, rice etc.
- Large arm movements especially anti-clockwise –such as waving flags, swirling ribbons.
- Make a name card for your child to copy.
- If your child has drawn a picture ask them what it is about and write underneath it.
- As children progress with their writing encourage them to write stories. Make shopping lists together, write birthday cards, letters, invitations, so that writing is shown to have a purpose.
- Spelling can be “caught” by playing simple word games, scrabble, crosswords or word searches.
- Look at words with your child. Cover up part of words and make new words. Look for words hidden in words.
In school when children first learn their letter sounds they are taught to write the letters and form them correctly. The reception team will be sending out more information about this in the first term.
During their time in school the children will be taught to write for a variety of purposes such as factual accounts, list making and communication. We aim to develop a high standard of creative writing which contains interesting stories and ideas, using a wide vocabulary with good spelling and clear handwriting.
You can help by talking with your child, developing his/her language, explaining new words, encouraging different ways of saying things and telling stories out loud.
As part of our learning together policy we ask parents to spend some time each week helping their child with writing tasks which may be sent home by the class teachers. These could include learning spellings, handwriting practice, story writing or completing sheets which are related to the topics.