what matters for literacy in preschool?

Research tells us that there are four foundations to later success with literacy.

Children vary a lot in how soon they start to read.  This does not make any difference in the future.  What is important for young children is that we help them build strong foundations.

Here are the four areas that make the difference:


Concepts of print

This is all about understanding how texts work – which way up, the difference between words and pictures.  But also important things like what a story is, and how to use reading and mark-making to get things done and influence others.

You can find a detailed guide to this, and some ideas for what to try if you click here (link to follow)


Movement and co-ordination

These include the skills that will one day help a child write letters well, but also the ability to co-ordinate actions.  Research shows that the stronger these skills, the more a child can learn and enjoy learning.

There is lots on this website to develop both movement and coordination though play and fun.


Oral language

Children need our help to understand how language works, to learn words and how they fit together.  Language helps with literacy, since the more language children know, the easier it is to learn to read it – but also the easier it is to wonder and imagine.

There are ideas for developing language and language skills in the pages on understanding and expression


Phonological awareness