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Reading In Nursery

Guest Jamjim

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Guest Jamjim

Hi there. Our school is in the middle of writing a reading policy/continuum for the whole school and the input is very much needed as to what should happen in nursery. There is a lot of pressure on us to 'teach' the children to read to 'prepare them for SATS'. The Nursery teacher is off sick at the moment and past experience tells me that without her voice at SMT level, the rest of the school will agree that nursery should be teaching jolly phonics (we do that in reception and it works well as the children are ready for it then), and teaching them a sight vocabulary. I would like to add my support by making alist of what skills should be taught in nursery to prepare children for reading later on (I am thinking speaking and listening, rhyme and stories, exeprience of books etc) which I could give to the Head before the meeting next week. Im just a TA, so I dont know if it will make any difference, but we would like to try.


can anyone help me with such a list or somethng from their own policy which states what happens in nursery?


Thanks, I know the teacher will really appreciate it when she comes back.


I must add that our children are 100% EAL and often come to nursery with very little spoken language even in HL and this has always been our priority.

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This is what we send home to explain to parents how we assess when children are ready.........(Foundation Stage Unit NOT Nursery)


Early Reading Skills


Your child must be able to..


Sit still and concentrate for 5-10

minutes on an activity


Sequence events/ a story


Know that we read from left to right


Follow and make a pattern


Match objects, pictures, shapes and words


Hear rhyme


Use their visual memory— develop this through games such as pairs, ’Kim’s Game’ etc. (for ideas see school)


Hear the beginning sounds in everyday words e.g. ‘pig starts with a…’p’


Know the difference between drawing and



Identify the first letter in a word by name

Point to words


Realise a word is a unit of meaning


Understand a sentence


Show an initial interest in general punctuation


Know the difference between letters and words


Develop a key word sight vocabulary


(sight vocabulary are words that children often learn by their shape rather than the sounds that are in them. These words are the High Frequency words listed at the end of this information.)


Predict what could happen next


Retell a story using story language


For non fiction - talking about what they have found out.


As well as all of the skills that children need to become readers, they also need to have a good attitude about books and the ENJOYMENT that they can bring. We need to encourage children to...



Enjoy reading


To know reading has a purpose


To talk about the book/the pictures and turn the pages.


To want to read/to show interest

Edited by Marion
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Hi Jamjim. I am sure that you are right and that your nursery teacher will be pleased to have had your support in this matter.

I have used Jolly phonics very successfully in Reception with chilldren of a similar background but agree that the priorities in nursery should be to encourage speakin and listening skills and associated vocabulary skills. Children should have access to a wide range of books and listen to good quality stories and rhymes with opportinities to enact them with props of various sorts etc. Also to join in songs and rhymes etc etc.

The CLL section of the curriculum guidance should support you in this and Foundations of Literacy could be used for activity ideas.

I would suggest that you photocopy the relevant section of the guidance and highlight the stepping stones to support you, along with the "Foundations to Literacy" book.

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