top of page

Literacy Development

“We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading"

-B. F. Skinner

It is crucial for children to develop a life-long love of reading. Reading consists of two dimensions: language comprehension and word reading. 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.

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

Horsted Keynes preschool has high expectations for all children. Our children are exposed to rich, exciting and challenging literature which extends their reading, writing and phonological understanding. We follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and children develop their literacy skills using a range of strategies including: 

  • Practitioners scribing children's text

  • Sharing real books

  • Re-telling familiar stories 

  • Engaging with parents/carers to share stories/books at home

  • Practitioners using aspirational vocabulary in meaningful contexts

  • Making their own books

  • Educational visits

  • Writing for a range of purposes; stories, poems, shopping lists, post cards etc

  • Targeted story sessions

  • Acting out and narrating stories

  • Develop skills in using writing as a means of communication

  • Borrowing our literacy busy bags

  • Children engage with a range of core books and rhymes

  • Children have access to and engage in a range of activities to strengthen muscles in preparation for writing

  • Adults model writing to develop children’s understanding of the significance and reason why writing is such an important skill

  • Children are encouraged to express themselves through mark making and early writing and to discuss the meaning and intent of their marks



Practitioner’s scaffold and support children using initial letter sounds, blending and segmenting where appropriate within a meaningful context for children.


Children have opportunities to listen and contribute to rhymes and poems, exploring words and meaning. We use Jolly phonics phase 1 approach in story sessions, alongside Letters and Sounds resources to develop a consistent approach to teaching letters and their sounds.

(Please refer to our phonics page)

If you have any questions, please contact Clare Humphreys, our manager. Please refer to our Literacy development policy for more details.

bottom of page