Supporting Reception with Writing

Elmhurst School for Boys

4th May 2017 | Early Years

Writing is a hard skill, especially when you are only 4 or 5 years old.  As a Reception Teacher, it is my job to teach the boys the skills to write but to also give them a fun reason to write.  The latest Government data for the Early Years and Foundation Stage Profile shows that boys are still achieving below girls in writing by around 15%.  In my eyes, this is not good enough, why are boys underachieving?

We are a boys school and our pupils achieve fantastic results in writing in the EYFS, so what are we doing that is so successful? Well, we first develop the boys' gross motor skills - they need to build up the muscles in their upper body, we then begin to develop their fine motor and building strength in the hand and fingers. We also make sure that the boys are confident with their letter sounds and are able to hear each individual sound in words. We also make sure writing is fun and purposeful - if our Writing Area is inviting, the boys will want to write. Boys need a reason to write, so writing letters, stories that will be read by others, shopping lists etc. will help with their engagement. 

Writing in Reception isn’t just found in the Writing Area, there are opportunities to write and mark make in all areas of the classroom and outdoors. Writing is everywhere. We encourage as much independent, self-initiated writing as possible and having it in every area promotes this independence and thinking.

 

We also have a big focus on story-telling and vocabulary, if a boy speaks in full sentences using a wide range of vocabulary, then their writing reflects this. Writing about real life experiences is also a useful way to encourage writing, for example going to the funfair - what did you see? What did you do? 

Lastly, I have high expectations of the boys and they always meet my expectations. 

Here are some helpful hints to encourage writing and mark making at home:

  • Messy mark making using paints or shaving foam
  • Picking up small pebbles or objects using a pincer grip
  • Climbing
  • Having special writing paper and pens available
  • Ask your son to help you write a shopping list, a recipe, a letter, a postcard, a story, or a birthday card
  • Have some shared writing times when you show them how to use a finger space or full stop

 

- Mrs Kent

 

 

 

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