Inspiring young children to become writers

We wanted to develop writing opportunities in the early years, taking a ‘community of practice’ approach, in partnership with the University of Northampton, Leicestershire Local Authority and a group of interested Leicester Reception Teachers.

The project aimed to help children become part of a ‘community of writers’, where learning to write is seen as a continuous process. Everyone involved also formed a ‘community of practice’ of experts, sharing good practice.

From the outset our mission was to make writing for young children a choice, something that is motivating, exciting, purposeful, meaningful, engaging and fun.

We acted as facilitators of the project, whilst the teachers took away ideas to try out with their children, sharing ideas on our Google community. At each session we shared new ideas and strategies, and the teachers went away motivated and inspired to try out the new things they had learnt. The success of the project was shared at a conference and in a publication of their case studies. Teachers reported that:

  • the children were responding with enthusiasm and confidence
  • they had developed a better partnership with parents and families and were finding ways to further inform and involve them in supporting children’s writing development
  • using the outdoors had a positive impact on the children
  • data showed the children’s progress in writing, and this had a positive impact on other areas of learning
  • IT was being used to support writing opportunities and participants were keen to learn more
  • story became a key motivation for children wanting to write and seeing themselves as authors

You can access the case studies on the Leicestershire County Council website.

The following year a new group of reception teachers were involved in the programme. This time with the new title of ‘Leap into Writing’. This time each teacher and their class created a poster to share their work. To find out more about the impact of this project and to find some wonderful ideas visit the Leicestershire County Council website.

If you and your setting or school are interested in developing a bespoke training package for your practitioners then please contact gillian.sykes@northampton.ac.uk.

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