Nursery

At Woodfield, we have a staged approach to supporting early writing. To support good writing over time, young children must have lots of experiences at a range of other skills that build muscle control and coordination.
Scudding a scooter, riding a bike, balancing on a beam, then early activities like playdough and painting all support a child's skills in preparing them for mastering and controlling mark making tools and pencils.
 
There are also 4 key stages of pencil grip which children will practise before they hold their pencil correctly and use it to control the writing of letter shapes.
 
This section shows the different stages of pre-writing and mark making we support at nursery. We call this emergent writing.
Nursery
Support Video for Writing Activities (to be added)
Early mark making starts with muscle development in the hands and arms. Activities like playdough, threading, pegboards, puzzles, painting and drawing are good for developing those skills that are needed to hold a pencil and begin early mark making.
Drawing
Children draw or scribble pictures, moving the mark maker to create marks. These marks are often made using the whole arm from the shoulder. This is all about the movement and its effect on paper rather than the end product made. This can be about the 'feel' of it, not the outcome.
Random scribbling
Children make and give meaning to marks. They begin to talk about their marks and they have meaning for them, even if an adult cannot tell what they are intended to be!
Controlled Scribbling
Children scribble in rows across a page, left to right, top to bottom and give meaning to the lines of their writing. They often use this 'pretend' writing in their role play and for them, it has meaning.
Letter-like forms
Children use unconventional letter forms and familiar symbols, such as circles, but still give meaning to marks. These can look like early letters but are often randomly placed on the page.
Random letters
Children begin to use random letter shapes to convey meaning. These letters may not be linked to the sounds in words and often have links to the letters that they are most familiar with, such as the letters in their name. Children sometimes use a mix of capital and lower case letter forms.
Name writing
As children become more skilled and controlled with their pencil, a first step is supporting a child to write the letters of their name. At nursery and school, we use name cards. Children are taught to work from left to right, where to start each letter and how to form each letter correctly. The correct formation is taught from the beginning so that they don't have to re-learn the skill. At Woodfield, we teach children using a cursive style of letter formation. Research shows that early cursive letter formation is better for children when they learn to join their writing in later year groups.
Pencil grip.
There are 4 basic stages of pencil grip, these are developmental and children will naturally go through the stages. When working with an adult, pencil grip can be supported to give them the idea of using the correct pencil grip and becoming comfortable with this from early on.
 
Pencil grip Stages
  • grasp grip
  • palm down digital grip
  • 4 finger grip
  • tripod grip