The Early Learning Goal for Reading at the end of the Reception year:


Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary;
  • Anticipate – where appropriate – key events in stories;
  • Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role-play.

Word Reading

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs;
  • Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending;
  • Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.

Ideas for helping with Early Reading

Create a love of books—enjoy reading make it a happy time

Let your child use the pictures to tell you a story

Enjoy it when children memorise the story and can ‘tell’ you the words on the page

Spot words that your child knows in the book— Mum, Dad, dog or cat are often great first words

Find words that your child can segment and blend by themselves—set them up to impress you!

Read everything—books, cereal packets, signs, number plates, posters—whatever takes their fancy!


The Early Learning Goal for Writing at the end of the Reception year:

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • 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.

Ideas for helping with Early Writing

Start writing on a big scale—outdoors with a paint brush or chalk

Check and encourage your child to grip the tool correctly, using a pincer grip

Draw and copy patters—these will develop the writing motions of up and down strokes or rounds and diagonals

Think about writing with your ‘wrong’ hand while wearing a glove—this is like writing for a child—it’s tricky!

Let them free write—they can tell you ‘what is says’ - marks and then letters have meanings!

Watch out for children writing the first sound of the word they are sounding out

Encourage spelling by sounding out the letters

‘Check’ how the word would look like in a book if your child asks

Again have fun, don’t make it a chore, make them love it!


Remember that we all make progress with reading and writing at different speeds. Some children will be ready to learn to read and write at the start of Reception and some children may need some more time to develop. We are all here to work together, if you are worried about helping your child learn to read and write please speak with us.

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