Crofton Nursery recognises that we have an important role in preparing our children to be readers and we acknowledge that a child’s confidence in accessing a book, their ability to retell and imagine story lines, being able to chant at least 4 nursery rhymes alongside a strong phonic foundation is a good indicator of future literacy success. Therefore, we structure our day, and plan our curriculum resources, to ensure that we are engaging our children from the earliest opportunity in frequent, high quality pre-literacy activities.
We encourage a love of books and reading by providing a rich range of texts for the children to share with staff and peers and to access individually.
‘Hear and share’ with an adult:
We have carefully selected books to read to the children that help them to behave like readers. Our ‘hear and share’ selection includes:
- memorable texts that feature repetition, rhythm and rhyme and encourage prediction,
- books with strong story shapes and structures,
- books with supportive illustrations,
- familiar and unfamiliar books.
We plan for twice daily story telling sessions and encourage our children to listen carefully to the stories and talk about the characters and story plot.
We provide story retelling resources and props for the weekly ‘hear and share’ books so that our children can use their imagination alongside the growing confidence with the known story line to retell and re-enact story plots, character speech and alternative endings.
Our reading book collection has been designed to give our children independent access to a wider range of titles, authors and genres that are important in their journey as an early reader. We include books that:
- use language in lively, inventive ways
- are written by experienced children's writers and illustrators
- are traditional and contemporary 'classics' of children's literature
- stories with different cultural settings
We have selected a range of national geographic children’s reference books to support our children with their understanding of the world. A core offer of selected books is accessible to our children each term to further their curiosity and develop their understanding of the world in which we live. The non -fiction books are developmentally appropriate for our children and they can access the non-fiction books independently.
We share with parents each week the two ‘hear and share’ books that the children will read and re-read over the week so the children can enjoy and retell both stories at home. We also highlight to parents’ new vocabulary from the books that will be discussed and used in the setting each week so that parents can support vocabulary acquisition by using the new vocabulary in context at home. We have developed a ‘core book list’ for parents contain a select number of books which we recommend are shared at home frequently so that the children become confident with the book, story, and vocabulary.
We acknowledge that a large body of research has indicated that a child’s ability to recite nursery rhymes at the age of 4 is linked to their future literacy ability. We have compiled a core list of 15 nursery rhymes that we share with the children daily. The nursery rhymes are accessible so children can also self-select and share with their friends and we ask parents to share a specific nursery rhyme with their child at home each week. Our core book list for parents also includes the core list of nursery rhymes as we want our children to be frequently exposed to the same body of nursery rhymes to support their rhyme and chanting.
Teaching of reading
We teach specific early reading skills through daily ‘adult led sessions’ using Phase One activities from the Letters and Sounds teaching programme. Phase One focuses upon developing speaking and listening skills as a priority and our children engage in learning activities that encourage them to talk a lot, to increase their stock of words and to be able to distinguish between sounds. Phase one activities pave the way for our children to make a good start in both reading and writing. For those children who are more confident in linking sounds to letters and who are at the early stages of reading, we challenge their learning through the introduction of Phase Two of the Letters and Sounds programme.
For the Core Book and Nursery Rhyme list for parents, please click here.