School Logo

Year Reception

Reading and Writing in Reception


Literacy at this age is taught as part of a broader area comprised of ‘Communication, Language and Literacy’ in preparation for reading and writing in key stages 1 and 2.


At this age, speaking and listening play a big part in literacy sessions, so your child’s teacher will be reading aloud and the children will be encouraged to sing songs and rhymes and join in with stories.


What will my child be taught to practise to develop their communication and language skills?


  • Speaking clearly and in a grammatically correct way;
  • Listening carefully;
  • Acting out stories;
  • Singing songs with actions and intonation;
  • Taking part in ‘show and tell’ sessions - for example, your child may make a model at home, and tell the class about it; and,
  • Making up stories, rhymes and poems.


What can I do at home with my child to help them with their communication and language?


  • Encourage them to answer questions using a full sentence (e.g. What would you like for breakfast?  I would like jam and toast please.);
  • Sing songs together;
  • Listen to audio books;
  • When you read a new story, ask your child to predict the ending; and,
  • Look at a picture book together and play a spotting game.


What will my child be taught to develop their reading skills?


  • Naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet
  • Linking sounds to letters - we follow the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme which you may read about by clicking here;
  • Hearing and saying sounds in words;
  • Recognising familiar and common words; and,
  • Understanding a story has a beginning, middle and an end.


What can I do at home with my child to help them with their reading?


  • Read with your child every day – little and often is the best way to learn - and record this in their reading record;
  • Make it enjoyable – if your child isn’t in the mood, try again later;
  • Rhyming books are great fun and your child can join in;
  • Be a role model – it’s important to let your child see you reading;
  • Play with letters: make them out of dough, bricks, or buy some magnetic letters and stick them on the fridge; and,
  • Play I-spy when you go out – use the sound the letter makes, rather than its name.


What will my child be taught to develop their writing skills?


  • Using a pencil and holding it correctly;
  • Writing recognisable letters, mostly formed correctly and facing the right way;
  • Writing their name;
  • Writing labels, captions and mini books;
  • Using phonics to write simple consonant-vowel-consonant words, and having a go at more complicated words;
  • Beginning to form simple sentences;
  • Using basic punctuation (i.e. capital letters and full stops); and,
  • Beginning to learn to spell (read Reception spelling explained for parents guide for details).


What can I do at home with my child to help them with their writing?


  • Develop fine motor skills - for example, you could try modelling with clay or threading beads because anything fiddly is good for the hands;
  • Practise forming letters – it’s often easier to make them big at first; and,
  • If your child doesn’t want to pick up a pencil, try finger paints, or drawing in sand.