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Throston Primary School

A Flying Start to Success

Helping at Home

Within the Early Years, we teach a wide range of activities to help your child to develop the necessary skills needed to help them to work towards and achieve the ELG’s.


Children need to be able to:

• Share and build relationships with other children

• Listen and develop their auditory discrimination skills

• Talk and develop their language and speaking skills

• Move and develop their sense of rhythm and auditory memory

• Tell stories, by retelling a range of familiar stories and then making their own up

• Show an awareness of print in their environment

• Show physical control through large scale movements, then fine motor movements

• Have control over their hand to eye coordination


By working on developing these skills, your child will be able to learn how to read, write, count,

play, communicate and develop their own ideas and imagination.


Here are some suggested ways in which you can help your child to develop these skills at home

and support their learning:

➢ Regularly sing songs and nursery rhymes

➢ Visit the local library or make use of our lending library within the Village

➢ Read stories daily with your child, talking about what is happening in the story

➢ Play snap, lotto and games which encourage sharing and turn taking

➢ Encourage your child to talk to you about what they are doing

➢ Dance to different pieces of music

➢ Look for signs in the environment and ask your child to guess what they say

➢ Provide opportunities for your child to pretend such as play shops, teachers, hairdressers etc

➢ Visit the park or soft play area so that your child can climb and run around

➢ Play I spy, firstly using colours and then letter sounds

➢ Count.....everything! such as each stair, tins of beans from the shopping, sweets, cars parked on a road etc.

➢ Display an alphabet frieze and a number line in your child’s bedroom for them to look at.



When your child has developed skills to a certain level, then they will start to bring home a reading

book. In school we teach a phonetic approach, so if your child is faced with the word ‘dog’, they

will say the sounds d-o-g and then blend them together to make dog (see Jolly Phonics actions).

Sounding out is not the only strategy to working out words. Your child can be encouraged to look

for clues in the pictures or carry on reading the sentence and then come back and try and work

out the unknown word.


When your child gets a reading book you can help them by:

  • Sharing their book every day – make reading sessions short but frequent.
  • Look at the title, author, illustrator and blurb (writing on the back of the book) to find out as much as possible about the book before reading it.
  • Talk about the story, asking questions and encouraging your child to retell the story in as much detail as possible.
  • Show your child that you are a reader as well as encourage them to look at recipes, magazines, shopping lists etc with you so that they understand the importance of  reading.
  • Most of all make reading fun!



Writing usually develops later than reading as it requires similar skills but with the addition of needing to be physically competent to perform such a fine motor task.


Large scale movements need to be developed so children need lots of experiences with bikes, scooters, climbing equipment, running, hopping, skipping etc before they can become more competent with their fine motor skills.


Children require a wealth of physical experiences to help them to be ready to write. Here are some

ways to help at home:

  • Teach them finger rhymes.
  • Finger painting and using a wide range of paint brushes.
  • Manipulating malleable materials such as playdough.
  • Using scissors, hole punchers, treasury tags etc.
  • Using construction materials such as sticklebricks, brio, duplo etc
  • Picking up small objects using their fingers or with tweezers.
  • Pegging socks on a line.
  • Sweeping up using a dustpan and brush.
  • Doing up buttons, zips etc


All these are essential in helping your child to develop their finger strength and control ready to hold a pen / pencil. Initially children find it difficult to use a pencil as they cannot press down hard on paper and it leaves a faint mark. It is a good idea to start mark making with paint brushes, large felt pens, thinner felt pens etc before eventually progressing onto chunky pencils (triangular pencils or pencil grips help

children to have a correct pencil grip). Children need to develop a correct tripod grip (see right) so that as they progress through school they are able to write fluently without getting pains in their hand or

wrist. When your child is ready to write, here are ways in which you can help:

• Model writing for different purposes such as cards, invitations, shopping lists, letters etc.

• Create a special place for them to write eg a desk and provide special pens.

• Praise all their efforts, regardless of the spelling.

• Play games to encourage simple spellings such as on the internet, scrabble etc.

• Practice correct letter formation (sheets are available on the school website)


Here are some useful website addresses which you may want to visit for more ideas:


Other useful websites can be found on the Early Years section of the school website.


When Children enter nursery they are taught actions to accompany sounds. School follows the Jolly Phonics scheme. Children are taught songs and actions to help them remember the grapheme (letter).


The following pages show Jolly Phonics actions in the order that they are taught at Throston Primary School. Additional Jolly Phonics resources and workbooks can be taught via their website.