How to build confidence in early years writing.
E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web, stated that we should “always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.”
This rings true throughout much of teaching, and particularly when inspiring children to take their first steps as an emerging writer.
The early years foundation stage (EYFS) is a pivotal time in the development of a child’s literacy.
Writing for a purpose – play and experience to generate writing.
Play is a key way children learn throughout the Foundation Stage. Through play, children can explore, develop and represent learning experiences and practise and build up ideas, concepts and skills. For example, when playing in an improvised café children can be encouraged to look at menus, reservation lists and relevant recipe books, and incorporate these into their play. This establishes meaningful links with their other literacy learning. When children are encouraged to write their own menus, reservation lists and recipes and use these in their play, they are learning that letters and words are useful symbolic ways of preserving meaning. Having a purpose for writing, which is real and of interest to children, will help them to understand why learning to write is important and will motivate them to write. They also need someone to provide a model as a writer and to respond as a reader to their early attempts at writing. As children take part in shared reading and writing activities they begin to recognise and use the conventions of composition, spelling, and handwriting in their own writing.