St Francis Xavier

Catholic Primary School

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Look at our fantastic drawing and writing!!!

The Nursery children are getting better at segmenting and blending the simple words. We are SO proud of you all!

WORLD BOOK DAY !!! Nursery have been very busy exploring different stories to celebrate World Book Day! We had lots of fun and exciting activities!

We have been reading the story 'Owl Babies' and learnt five finger facts about owls. We used a range of tools to build our own owl nest and created little owlets. We discussed together how the owl babies felt when their mummy was gone.

We have been reading the story 'Pumpkin Soup'. We enjoyed pretending to be the Cat, the Squirrel and the Duck and acting out the story outdoors in our mud kitchen.

CIRCLES, CIRCLES and SQUIRCLES! Nursery learnt a new gross motor movement. We danced using this movement and used it to make marks. Our sessions are great FUN but most importantly help our children to be confident mark makers!

Nursery visited the school library for the first time. We learnt some important rules about library and made sure we were very quiet. We especially enjoyed reading 'We're going on a bear hunt'. The children absolutely LOVED joining in!

Nursery enjoyed the session of 'Squiggle as you Wiggle'. We have so much fun learning up and down movements. You are amazing Nursery!!!

Learning to read is important. The benefits of being read to frequently as a child go way beyond just literacy skills! In Nursery we aim to instil a lifelong love of Reading into all our children, which we hope they will continue on their St Francis journey!!!

Nursery learnt how to vote for stories We enjoyed lots of different books.

Literacy: Reading 

The early reading skills your child will learn at this age are an important foundation for starting school.

The focus at this age is on:

  • reading stories
  • songs
  • rhymes
  • building talks
  • listening skills

Luckily, there are lots of fun and easy ways to encourage early readings success at home.

Is your home a reading home?

Does your child...

  • see adults read books
  • have bedtime stories
  • read magazines, catalogues
  • look at catalogues
  • Do you print out signs and symbols?
  • Do you play matching games? (Pairs, snap etc)
  • see adults read a shopping list



At St Francis Xavier we develop enthusiastic emerging readers who take delight in listening to stories, enjoy reading for pleasure and know how to use text to find out information by:

  • Teaching the knowledge and skills of early reading
  • Fostering a love of books by sharing and talking about texts
  • Immersing children in sounds, words, rhythm, rhyme and song
  • Modelling the pleasure and joy that books provide
  • Demonstrating that text has meaning
  • Showing the characteristics of a fluent reader



Reading and the enjoyment of books is highly valued and promoted through daily direct teaching in the form of Phonic sessions, Story and Rhyme Time and listening to children read. Opportunities for children to read within our school and across the curriculum are also planned for and capitalised on.

During the planning process careful consideration is given to the next steps in learning and how this links with phonics and what key texts will be used.

  • For each theme a key text is carefully identified and explored in detail to help children become familiar with its structure and content.
  • Supporting texts are also used to expand children’s knowledge and fire their imagination.
  • New and ambitious vocabulary we want children to read is identified and displayed in the environment in the form of words and sentences.
  • To help children make connections across their learning each area of the provision is also equipped with relevant fiction and non-fiction texts for children to reference knowledge and stimulate ideas.

A Reading Area is situated within our school. It offers a selection of fiction and non-fiction material and resources connected to the theme, decodable texts linked to chosen phonics approaches and familiar rhymes and stories. The resources are carefully selected and organised on open shelves so that they are visually inviting to children and adults and allow for thoughtful choices.

Adults have a sound knowledge and deep understanding of reading development. They:

  • Recognise the strong links between reading and phonics and how these life-long skills enable children to develop knowledge in other subjects.
  • Draw children’s attention to text.
  • Demonstrate that text has meaning, model the enjoyment of reading and support the application of phonic knowledge and skills.
  • Actively encourage children to become familiar with the stories and rhymes they have heard through role play, small world play and favourite books.


By the end of my time in Nursery at St Francis Xavier I will know how to…

  • Follow print from left to right and top to bottom
  • Talk about what I have read or the illustrations to a story or non-fiction text
  • Predict what might happen in a story
  • Read some decodable words
  • Understand a story that has been read to me
  • Retell stories I have heard
  • Use vocabulary from books in my talk and mark making

Literacy: Writing 

Writing in the Nursery: The early writing skills your child will learn at this age are important foundation for starting school. writing in Early Years is supported at home by:

  • sharing stories- talking about the story
  • supporting correct pencil grip
  • playing rhyme games
  • listening to sounds in words
  • introducing letter shapes

Luckily, there are lots of fun and easy ways to encourage early writing at home.

Is your home a writing home?

Does your child....

  • see adults write notes
  • see adults write shopping lists
  • see adults using pens and pencils?
  • Have pens and pencils?



In Nursery we develop enthusiastic emerging writers who have an enduring and positive attitude to writing, who can form letters and letter shapes and who can draw from a rich store of language and imaginative ideas by:

  • Valuing the different ways that children make marks ('Squiggle as you Wiggle')
  • Teaching the physical skills which will enable them to control and manipulate writing tools
  • Teaching how phonemes are represented through graphemes
  • Teaching letter formation
  • Providing children with genuine reasons to write
  • Ensuring that writing tools and materials are readily available
  • Modelling the pleasure and purpose of writing
  • Immersing children in an environment of print e.g. vocabulary, sentences, books, labels
  • Developing children’s vocabulary by rehearsing orally what they are going to write


Writing is valued and promoted through daily direct teaching and purposeful learning opportunities across all areas of our provision.

  • During the planning process careful consideration is given to the next steps in learning and how children can rehearse and refine their writing skills.
  • New and ambitious vocabulary we want children to learn and use is identified and displayed in the environment in the form of words and sentences.
  • A mark making tool station is situated in each room of our provision offering a wide variety of mark making tools  and materials.
  • Vertical surfaces such as white boards and easels are also available indoors and outside
  • Each area of the provision is equipped with relevant writing resources.
  • We use sensory experiences to develop children’s confidence and enjoyment in early writing skills. We encourage them to mark make in positions where they feel most comfortable e.g. standing, lying, whilst they are developing their core stability.

Adults have a sound knowledge and deep understanding of child development and they recognise the strong links between physical and communication skills and emerging writers. Within the environment adults actively encourage children to practise and develop gross and fine motor skills and oral communication in readiness for writing. By modelling, suggesting and encouraging they promote ways in which children can record their ideas in different ways.

We ensure that children are immersed in different genres of books promoting an enjoyment of reading, extending their vocabulary and cultivating their imagination. We deliver daily exposure to phonics activities in both direct and incidental teaching.


By the end of my time in Nursery I will know how to…

  • Draw on a rich store of language in my writing
  • Hold a sentence in my head
  • Control and manipulate a writing tool
  • Use imaginative ideas in my writing
  • Write words and tell others what is written
  • Retracing vertical lines and trace letter shapes
  • Use a tripod grip
  • Use and talk about the features of different writing

Here are some links to websites which may be of interest and use during your child's time here in Nursery. Also, If you have visited somewhere on your travels that your child has enjoyed, we would love to hear about it so that we can add it to our page.