OVERVIEW: Rainbow Bright sought to identify, plan and sustain a host of activities and interventions linked with supporting Early Literacy within our setting. We looked at implementing a variety of ideas based upon evidence gathered from staff surveys and learning walks (conducted in September 2021) and use our grant in the most effective way possible in order to achieve a sustainable outcome.
PHONICS TRAINING FOR STAFF: We conducted a staff survey (sent out September 2021) on confidence levels on Early Literacy, which showed only 12.5% felt very confident in this area. Using this data from our staff survey we went on to train 8 key practitioners in phonics using ‘Sounds Fun/Letters and Sounds’ phase 1 phonics in February 2022. We used a trainer from the Suffolk CPD website who came into setting to deliver the training to our team members. We took away phonics handouts to put skills learnt into practice and share with other team members too.
MARK MAKING: We used the same survey to have a baseline measure of where staff felt we needed to improve our Early Literacy- specifically the way we use and approach mark making day to day. We identified a lack in mark making opportunities available for 2-4’s in certain areas such as the home corner and outside. We considered a range of options and used a portion of the grant money to purchase updated equipment for our art room. We sourced a large water tray and turned this into a multi-sensory play zone filled with lots of different materials for tactile exploring and mark making with fingers (photos included). We also made this area free-flow/accessible at all times for our 2-4’s. We introduced clip boards into our roleplaying area and extended mark making outside with easels. We now have a designated area where children can access pencils, paper and clipboards if they wish.
WELLCOMM IMPROVEMENTS: As at September 2021, our WellComm assessment showed that more than half of children assessed were scoring either Amber or Red on the scoring system. We wanted to come up with a way to ensure that not only is this data collected, but it is effectively acted upon. We reviewed our WellComm assessment procedure and created an inclusive/visual system for practitioners to see and act upon targets effectively. We created prescription cards using a traffic light system to track each child on a termly basis and attached these to our ‘All about me’ wall display, so practitioners and key workers can keep a visual track on their children and targets.
ELKLAN TRAINING: We identified the need for further training in speech and language to help support children scoring Red and Amber on the WellComm assessment. The Implementation Lead underwent ELKLAN training (3-5’s) from March 2022-May 2022. Course notes to be summarised and training offered to practitioners as and when needed. The Imp Lead is now able to offer targeted interventions to those children scoring Amber and Red from the WellComm assessments.
NEW LIBRARY ZONE – LET’S TALK SESSIONS: We established the need for a quiet zone to deliver targeted intervention sessions with small groups of children to develop expressive language, confidence and emotional literacy. We used a percentage of the grant to purchase a library arch and create a library zone in a room that was not in use in the building (photos included). We designed this area in mind for puppet roleplay and story time, as well as focused activities and topics such as school readiness. Interventions have been carried out by our deputy SENCO on a weekly basis.
Let’s Talk Spring Intervention Timetable (6 CHILDREN MAX IN GROUP)
- Week 1 topics covered – Introduction to puppets, dinosaur play.
- Week 2 topics covered – Questions inc. how, what and when. Books independently chosen: The magic paintbrush, Tiger in the garden, Paper Dolls. Chinese New Year- chopsticks and noddle fun.
- Week 3 topics covered – Feelings and emotions. What makes us sad/happy? Expressive language, problem solving, empathy.
- Week 4 topics covered – Memory and guessing games. Book chosen- In My Heart.
- Week 5 topics covered – Pancake day. Exploring ingredients, making own pancakes. Likes and dislikes.
- Week 6 topics covered – Mother’s Day, why mothers are special, and how they are all different. Philosophical thoughts on kindness. Team building exercises and confidence support.
- Week 7 topics covered – In the garden and the sunshine. Mark making with oil pastels. Plants and Spring.