Early 'writing' in Nursery

Date: 5th Jan 2017 @ 10:34pm

There are many split opinions on early handwriitng skills, some practioners and parents believe children should be writing their name in order to be ready for the school transition. Lets look at some of the reasons why we do not promote formal teaching of writing in Nursery...

  • Most children simply are not ready
  • Early Years guidance does not at any point encourage practitioners to teach children to write in Nursery
  • The EYFS is a play based curriculum which leaves little space for formal teaching of writing, especially in Nursery
  • As knowledgable educators, we should be advising parents on what a school ready child looks like and when children should be school ready  - which is the end of reception class - rather than ready for the transition to Nursery from a preschool setting
  • Teaching children incorrect letter formation means at school this has to be undone in order to teach children the correct way, this slows down the learning process and causes confusion, as well as hindering the developemnt of fluent, cursive handwriting
  • Recognising letters, understanding phonics as sounds and beginning to read all need to be achieved in a specific order for a child to be then ready and confident to write
  • The teaching of phonics incorrectly often does more harm then good and as discussed above causes confusion for children when they start reception and can hinder their development
  • There is NO rush

Although we do not formally teach children to 'write', there are plenty of skills and activities that are promoted in Nursery to support later writing skills, these include...

  • Physical skills – Gross motor and fine motor development
  • Mark Making – Pencils, pens, felt tips, whiteboards, chalk, paints with sponges, brushes and fingers etc.
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Access to written words including their names – Name tags, books, labels, seeing adults model their own handwriting
  • Extend vocabulary through songs, rhymes, stories and story scribing
  • Manipulative skills such as playing instruments, scissor skills, playdough, spreading and using cutlery independently
  • Encourage all children to actively learn, play and explore and create and think critically
  • Being outside using large movements such as catching, throwing and climbing
  • Follow all children’s unique interests
  • Promote all seven areas of learning

If children are showing an interest in experimenting with writing and letter formation, of course we will support them with this as we promote their indiviual interests. If you would like any advice on supporting your child with their early writng skills please feel free to see a member of staff in Nursery.

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