EYFS forum – encouraging writing

This week our EYFS forum was hosted by Hill Mead Primary School and our topic was how teachers encourage children to write in Early Years. Our teachers encourage children to write in all sorts of ways: labelling, making lists, registers, letters, mind maps, cards and envelopes. There was general agreement that children enjoyed writing about their own interests and taking ownership eg at Christmas time, staff put out catalogues and children made Christmas lists from them; children set up shops and wrote lists of what they had in there. Hill Mead have introduced using writing books for children in which they can keep their work, and they get a sense of pride from having their work in there. St John Divine staff display all writing on the wall in the classroom. Archbishop Sumner Primary staff attended an Early Excellence training which they have put into practice very successfully. Again the focus was on child initiated writing, with the teacher taking time to move around the children as they engage in activities and encourage them to do some writing as part of it eg writing labels in the construction area. Throughout the week the teacher will do 1 to 1 writing with all the children. They will scribe particular words for some children in order to help them not give up on a sentence they are trying to get down on paper. Children had enjoyed making their own books and writing in them.During the recent snow, teams changed their planning to give children a chance to write about the snow: they changed the phonics focus to support the children. The freeflow environment in some of our schools has supported writing where learning is child led and children write for purpose. Our next meeting will be hosted by Archbishop Sumner where we will be sharing topic and trip ideas and planning.