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Queenswell Infant & Nursery School Logo

Queenswell Infant & Nursery School

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We recognise that there are many factors which contribute towards becoming a successful reader and writer: high self-esteem, lots of language developed through talk, gross and fine motor skills and phonological awareness. Our holistic approach to learning and development enables children to develop across all of these areas. We aim to create a life-long love of reading and children who are confident to use their writing skills for meaningful purposes. We have a book-based approach to planning when introducing new themes, topics or concepts.



We provide a Literacy-rich environment: This includes:

  • Signs and labels throughout continuous provision areas – including those made by children
  • Displays – supporting children’s developing self-esteem as mark-makers and writers
  • A range of font and backgrounds
  • Inviting book/reading corners with a range of high-quality texts (stories and non-fiction) that reflect the cultural diversity, interests and reading skill levels of the children
  • Texts throughout continuous provision to support learning in all of areas of the curriculum (e.g. books about buildings around the world in block area).
  • Modelled writing from adults for a range of purposes.
  • A range of opportunities for children to apply literacy skills for a purpose that is meaningful to them.
  • Displays demonstrating print in the environment including when at home and out and about in the community.
  • Synthetic phonics programme – Little Wandle
  • Continuous provision for writing is linked to assessment, matched to children’s interest and contains challenge.
  • Weekly writing challenges introduced in the Spring Term
  • Daily early morning phrase/sentence writing introduced in Summer Term

We provide a language-rich environment – (See Communication and Language)

Pre-School                                        →

Nursery                                            →


Reading – Language comprehension
  • High quality adult interactions and talk with the children about the world around them.
  • Cosy quiet areas for sharing books
  • Scheduled song and rhyme times
  • A range of quality texts read and shared regularly including rhymes, songs and poems.
  • Planned talk experiences that are firmly placed within children’s current interests.
  • Time for sharing favourite books with adults and peers, including rhymes, songs and poems.
  • Story sacks/story baskets – wooden spoon characters for re-telling favourite or traditional stories
  • Introduce verbal story telling with a story telling box of random objects.
  • High-quality texts used to introduce topics or themes in relation to children’s interests.
  • Helicopter stories – verbal story-telling in collaboration with others.
  • Guided reading books that are rich in vocabulary – draw children’s attention to new words and the meanings of these.
Reading – Word reading
  • Letters and sounds Phase 1 – Aspect 1-3 General sound discrimination
  • Little Wandle Foundations for phonics games and activities
  • Little Wandle Foundations for phonics games and activities
  • Strong focus on Oral blending - planned weekly activities
  • Little Wandle Phase 2 – 4 – daily planned lessons
  • Introduction of Little Wandle for children who are secure with oral segmenting and blending towards the end of the summer term.
  • Guided reading books that are in line with stage of reading a child is at.
Writing – Transcription
  • Provide opportunities for pre-writing skills such as creating patterns in sand (wavy lines, zigzags, straight line etc)
  • Explore patterns and shapes linked to letter formation – straight lines, circular, retracing.
  • Letter formation cards from Little Wandle displayed and referred to as and when appropriate during child-initiated play.
  • Letter formation introduced with letter pattern rhymes from Little Wandle during discrete teaching times.
  • Stages of grip development contribute to handwriting skills. – see physical development
  • Children encouraged to look at name cards when writing name to ensure that it is spelt correctly.
  • Children encouraged to spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters in line with the GPCs they have been taught.
  • CVC word building (using phoneme frames)
  • Phrase and sentence building introducing finger spaces and full stops.
Writing – Composition
  • Some children may begin to give some meaning to marks they make.
  • Planned talk experiences that are firmly placed within children’s current interests.
  • Talk for drawing – encourage children to talk as they mark-make and give meaning to marks they make – Action drawings – scribe what the child says.
  • *Action drawing displays to value all mark making.
  • Teach ambitious language that is linked to children’s current interests and explore themes and topics related to these – fill their heads with lots of things to write about!
  • Oral rehearsal of sentences before writing.
    • Adults to model writing sentences and demonstrate language for thinking as doing so.
Writing for purpose
  • Role play – shopping lists, menus, appointments
  • Time connectives – instructional writing e.g. recipes (first, then, next)
  • Story writing – beginning, middle, end. Familiar vocab e.g. Once upon a time…
  • Descriptive writing – characters, settings, events
  • Letters (to, from)
  • Labels/signs for classroom


Early Learning Goals: *(only to be used as assessment point at end of reception year)

Comprehension: Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary. Anticipate, where appropriate, key events in stories. Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.

Word reading: Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs. Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending. Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words

Writing: Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed. Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters. Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.


Curricular goals:

Pre-school: Children enjoy spending time sharing books and have favourites that they like to look at regularly. They are beginning to use mark making tools and notice the patterns and shapes they can make with them. Some will be able to give meaning to some of the marks they make.

Nursery: Children are showing an interest in the reading and writing of others and themselves. They have favourite stories and rhymes and recall elements of stories in their play. They are gaining control of mark making tools so that they can form patterns and shapes – some of which are recognisable letters, particularly those in their name. They use drawing to communicate and can talk about the images they create. They having growing confidence when orally blending and segmenting CVC words.

Reception: Children choose to read and write for their own purposes, demonstrating early skills of comprehension, application of phonics, composition and transcription. They use what they know from quality texts and adult modelling to show these newly emerging skills. They are proud of their developing literacy knowledge and skills.


Moving on to KS1 – Links to National Curriculum: English

By the end of EYFS children may know and sometimes use vocabulary such as:



Story book, information book (some children will be using fiction, non-fiction), rhyme,

Word reading, writing

word, sentence, phoneme, digraph, trigraph, capital letter, finger spaces, full stop.