The Playful Road to Early Literacy Development

What is Early Literacy?

Literacy in the Early Years reaches far beyond simply reading and writing. It is the acquisition of a broad set of skills which supports a child to become a competent and skilled listener and speaker, and subsequent reader and writer. Being literate is an integral part of adult life, affecting opportunities and success over a lifetime. 

At Mount Kelly International Preschool and Nursery School (MKIP), we recognise that the skills taught at a fundamental level impact directly upon the lifelong outcomes for our children. As you explore our Early Years setting, you will see the way in which our expert teachers ensure that each and every child is supported in Early Literacy. 

Mount Kelly EYFS teachers reading books to students

In line with the UK statutory framework (The Early Years Foundation Stage), the same curriculum that we follow at MKIP, we place attention on the development of basic literacy skills long before focusing on specific reading or writing skills. Before learning how to run, one must learn how to walk, and similarly, early literacy requires the development of both listening and speaking skills before reading or writing can occur.


What does it look like at Mount Kelly International Preschool?

When you arrive at our preschool, you will find a language-rich and immersive environment, bustling with play and learning. Such an environment provides children with opportunities to amass a wealth of language that can see them surpass any seeming limitations of their material background, giving every child the opportunity to gain educational success by expanding their knowledge, ideas and imagination. Without opportunities to explore these ideas through play, children risk learning the mechanics of reading and writing without discovering the real joy and freedom that comes with a depth of literary understanding.

Literacy is important at all ages

Mount Kelly Teachers use teaching and learning opportunities to support early literacy while simultaneously promoting and embedding the Characteristics of Effective Learning. The three strands of Effective Learning are as follows; “Playing and exploring” which shows how the child is engaging, “Active learning” which shows the motivation behind the child’s learning, and finally “Creating and thinking critically” which shows the thought processes behind learning and new achievements. 

Through this process, MKIP creates an environment whereby children are encouraged to evaluate successful features of their own learning journey, not only the outcome, which is a resilient educational attitude proven to be an advantage throughout a lifetime. 

Student at Mount Kelly International Preschool and Nursery School

Literacy, and in fact, all areas of learning in the Early Years are best supported through play; a notion that resonates through all aspects of our preschool. It is not a stand-alone or single event which dictates success in literacy. It is the amalgamation of rich play and learning opportunities alongside broad and far-reaching experiences, all filled with talk and questions which lay the foundation for future literary success for all children.  

December 2019, written by Sophie Nightingale, Reception Teacher at Mount Kelly International Preschool and Nursery School

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