↑ Return to Curriculum



Reading and writing are not only essential life skills, but enrich our lives so much. At York Road Nursery School we ensure that every child is given experiences to form excellent foundations for these literacy skills.


Reading (pre-reading):

It all starts with a love of books. Story and information books are part of our daily routine, from sharing books in a cozy book corner, to sitting with a big book for group sessions. Books are in every area for the children to access. We learn how to handle books, respect them and understand how they work. We talk about authors and illustrators, words and details in pictures, beginnings, endings and, towards the end of the year, notice things like simple punctuation. The language of story is important, the children quickly learn to join in with “Once upon a time”, “And they all lived happily ever after!” as well as actions at every opportunity for active learning.

A lot of our work focuses on enabling children to differentiate between sounds in the environment – if they can do this they can understand the subtle difference between, for example, a ‘b’ and a ‘p’ phonetic sound. We also play lots of games and activities to hone their skills of observation, so that they will begin to see the different shapes of letters. We begin to help the children recognise letters and learn the sounds they make, starting with their names.

All this paves the way for reading formally in school.


Writing (mark making):

At York Road, we give the children lots of opportunities to practise the beginnings of writing, making marks. We work from big movements, building up muscles to write and refining the children’s activities towards the fine motor skills needed to control a pencil. We give them reasons to write: their names when they are ‘the Helper’, marks on chalk boards, letters to Mummy and Daddy, cards for Christmas, notes in ‘the office’ role play area and home corner. Also marks using other media, circles in sand, lines in paint, letters in play dough…..

When they are ready, we ask the children to look carefully at letters and try to form them more accurately, holding their pencil correctly and starting on the left working right.

With all their listening and fine motor skills in place, we begin to link letters to the sounds in a word.


To support Literacy in our nursery sessions, we have a library for our families’ daily use. Also during the Spring and Summer terms we have a home/school Firm Foundations packs available, involving pre-reading games for use at home. We ask parents to attend an information session to explain how to implement these packs effectively with a focus on fun!