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Writing in reception.

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by erinjunior, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Just curious how often people get their class to actually sit and write with an adult. We have been told by SMT this week that it should be every day and i am wondering how I will fit everything else in. Does everone else do this????? Plus how many literacy sessions excluding phonics do people have????
     
  2. Have your SMT actually read the EYFS curriculum or taught EY within living memory?
    Mine have a phonics session (very loosely) every day (10 - 15 mins, very practical and physical, lots of singing and moving) and write with an adult approx once a fortnight. Obviously there are lots of opportunities for them to write all the time and we model writing, probably daily. Looking around at the reception children (I have R - Yr2) they mostly switch off during this so aren't usually on the carpet. They are more likely to watch from close by while doing another activity.
    Good luck in fighting this, it's ridiculous and impractical within the EYFS - until another teacher comes along and tells me exactly how they fit it into their day.
     
  3. Interesting. Could you let me know then how you cover literacy throughout the week if you are writing once a fortnight. I need some ideas to go back to SMT with!!!
    At the moment we have phonics daily, model write daily and we have a challenge cube with a indepedent literacy task as well as a literacy adult focus task a day. So we do feel we are covering alot of literacy at the moment anyway.
    At the moment we have literacy or numeracy mornings but in the afternoonsif we are covering topic type things we have to include literacy e.g this week we made chinese lanterns. However, we have to include a literacy element so we included one of the animals and wrote a sentence about the animal we chose.




     
  4. Sorry pressed send before I had finished. Just wondered really how much literacy (with an adult) goes on in other reception classes. Would love to see anyones timetable or weekly literacy plan to see how other people approach literacy over a week.
     
  5. choralsongster

    choralsongster New commenter

    I have always taught a lot of Literacy, but (on the suggestion of my FS Consultant) have cut down, as the EYFS states that CLL is only 1 out of 6 areas of learning, and they all require the same amount of timetabling.
    Since cutting down my daily focussed Literacy, and beginning to teach more to the interests, linking in Literacy wherever possible, I have found the results are much better, the reading levels higher and the writing ability much much higher. I do teach a Phonics sessions most days though.
     
  6. I find this astounding! Surely the children can not be making progress with their writing if they are doing on average 3 pieces of writing per half term?!?
     
  7. Leapyearbaby64

    Leapyearbaby64 New commenter

    We do phonics every day for 15 minutes which may include some writing activities. Generally one major adult led writing activity each week. We do letter formation activities regualarly too.
     
  8. teacherof30

    teacherof30 New commenter

    Daily literacy - will be modelled reading/writing or acting / discussing stories - then daily literacy activity for every child. Writing modelled every single day. Top group will write probably 3 out of 5 days, less able groups will certainly write once a week, more like twice. We have a six week sequence for literacy which will have one or two books to read during it, plus an introductory week for the theme. Last week of the theme will include assessment linked to the curricular target.

    Daily phonics with writing on whiteboards

    Daily reading roundabout

    Plus CI opportunities - they are mad for whiteboards, post its and shopping lists in their free flow activities!
     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I agree utterly unbelieveable no wonder teachers are reporting a decline in standards on the primary forum and blaming early years.
     
  10. I absolutely agree.We have daily phonics (10-15mins, may stretch to 20 for our top group). We have split for ability in terms of sounds known and ability to segment and blend since January, once we had mostly covered the alphabet. Our recep children formally 'write' with an adult 1xper 2 weeks, but we always have incidental writing everywhere - outside, inside, art area, roleplay, also lots of phonics games always on offer. We model write every day (a v short sentence about the day 1st thing after register) plus other times if it's relevant, and are constantly referring to the tricky words we are learning - when we come across them in songs, stories, when I am talking etc, I always stop and say Oh- did you see/hear?That's our tricky word. doesn't it crop up often etc etc. We write in the mud/ in sand, with sqeezy bottles on the playground, in foam, in playdough, in gloop, paint, in anything and everything we can get our hands on to make it a bit different. Our results are always fantastic, and the interesting thing is that there is hardly any difference at all in boys/girls at the end of the Recep year. This has happened for 3 years now, so it can't be a fluke. Every course I go on, people are always asking for help to being the boys up, but we never have this problem. We feel the opposite: if children are forced to write before they are ready, then they will be put off. We are a school with a wide catchment, so have all abilities in the class. Everyone makes great progress. We used to do things differently before our current head of Early Years arrived. We were more formal (I hated it), children had to write whether they really wanted to or not, and the results were nowhere near as good as they are now, with the boys lagging behind. We find our approach pays dividends, as the children are also very independent and confident with their writing, but literacy in general.
     
  11. surely you need both? These 'pre- writing' activities can't go on unsupervised for an entire year. There comes a point where they need to sit down and get writing more formally if not they are going to be in for quite a shock when they leave reception or year 1 as, sad as they are, year 2 SATS are not based on writing in shaving foam.
     
  12. Once a fortnight!?
    We have been an oustanding school for a fair while now, and have had excellent SATs results for at least the last 12 years - think I'd be sacked if I suggested only writing once a fortnight with the children in reception, or (as advised in another thread on here) taking away the children's individual reading books! We probably do too much CLLD, according to the LA advisors, but when you have really good results to sustain, you have to be careful with what changes are made.
     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The OP didn't suggest taking away individual reading books, she was considering not sending them home.
     
  14. At a recent training course, the message was that although the 6 areas should have equal weighting, we should 'up the CLL,' especially reading.
     
  15. InkyP

    InkyP Star commenter

    Surely areas of learning can be combined. Part of our CLL last week concerned Chinese New year - we read a Powerpoint presentation of the animals race story (from resources on this site), talked about it and did some guided writing. This obviously came under PSED and K&UW. Learning doesn't only happen in clearly defined boxes.
     
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Agreed ... It only becomes a problem if we try to teach in nice separate subject boxes
     

  17. We do phonics everyday and this includes quite a lot of writing on dry wipe boards. We also do one or two adult led writing activities that are usually cross curricular - lists for baking ingredients, ideas for model designs, recounts on significant events and of course lots of opportunities for CI writing. I also try to fit in some handwriting practise outside - chalk, paint brushes etc just to get the formation correct in a fun way and all this seems to be working well.

    I think it is about getting a balance of adult directed and child initiated activities that are developmentally appropriate and fun. However at this stage I also think that a little bit every day is better than a lot all at once and relevance is key.
     
  18. Well, that surely equates to almost the same thing - certainly not a lot of point in having them individually organised with reading books unless you have a full-time TA doing nothing but readers all day, every day! (Well, that is unless the books are only changed occasionally - in my experience, we change them every day.)
    Anyway, that wasn't my point - I was saying that there was no way I'd want to stop the things that I think have helped make us so successful over the years. That includes getting children to write (not always purely by choice, and I've even been known to stop children playing for 'work-time') much more than once a fortnight, and giving them individual reading books, which go home every night, and are changed every day. Parents are kept up-to-date on progress, and given instructions in letters/meetings, and we foster an open-door policy from the very beginning of each child's school-life.
     
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I disagree I think you are being unfair as every school is different and every teacher copes under different conditions.
    We are also a highly successful school with high levels of literacy in reception (even though some parents are unable to read with their child at home) and have excellent relationships with parents and the local community.
     
  20. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    I don't understand your first paragraph. Could you please clarify?
    I don't see the connection between changing 'reading books' daily and the rest of your second paragraph.
     

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