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Westwood Primary School

'If you believe you can do it, you can and you will!'

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Early Years Writing

Progression in Early Years Writing.


Mark Making

During the first few weeks of reception children are given planned opportunities to draw for a purpose. Drawing included enclosing shapes to create recognisable pictures, starting with curved lines and circles then moving onto straight lines and corners. This process allows children to gain confidence and enjoy mark making. The children develop their fine motor skills and are encouraged to hold the pencil in a tripod grip. Muscle strength in the hands, fingers and wrists develop through repeated movements and creating muscle memory.



Planning opportunities to draw people allows for lots of practise of circular movements. Once confident with these marks we plan opportunities to draw straight lines and corners such as buildings and our homes.


Provision enhancements allow lots of opportunities for children to explore mark making using lots of different media and develop their fine motor skills through, scooping, pouring, threading, using tweezers and dough disco. 

Matching letters to sounds

Once the children are familiar with 5 letters from Set 1 Read, Write Inc they are encouraged to head initial sounds in words. At this point some children are able to match the sound they hear to a letter. Some children are already hearing medial and final sounds.

CVC words

Once the children have gained more confident at hearing the sounds within words we provide lots of opportunities to write CVC words. These are consonant, vowel, consonant words which can we phonetically segmented and blended such as cat, dog, hat etc.

Simple 'it is a...' sentences

During the second half of the Autumn Term children are able to use their developing phonics knowledge to write simple sentences. 

We provide opportunities to write 'it is a...' sentences using pictures, photographs and prompts to support. 


Handwriting and sentences.

Towards the end of the Autumn Term handwriting is introduced to ensure the correct formation of lowercase letters and help develop muscle memory. Each writing lesson the children are shown how to correctly form the letters from a certain letter family (see writing policy). The teacher demonstrates the correct formation and children then write this in their books, incorrect formation is corrected.


The children at this point are capable of writing longer sentences and have developed strategies to support them in hearing sounds within words such as Fred talk and Fred fingers. 


Working towards the Early Learning Goal in writing. 


The early learning goals (ELGs) summarise the knowledge, skills and understanding that all young children should have gained by the end of the academic year in which they turn 5, the reception year. Specifically in writing the ELG states 


- Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed;

- Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters;

- Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.