A focus on play-based experiences at Erdington Hall School Erdington Hall School in Birmingham has reviewed foundation stage literacy during the last year. We see how the foundation stage leader promotes quality play-based experiences in nursery and how these are built on by the two reception teachers.

Reception is preparing to visit a zoo. They role play booking their visit by phone. They draw and annotate maps of the zoo, practising animal names phonetically. On the trip, practitioners tape record the excited, high quality speaking for later use in story writing. Children are encouraged to read environmental print and some read the map to guide themselves around. Children use basic video cameras to film the animals and their friends. Back at school, they write about their experience, using their own video as a prompt. They are encouraged to use their letter sounds, building their confidence as writers.
The practitioners, together with an expert from the local authority, reflect on how these experiences impact on the children’s learning.

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