Increasing children's engagement in independent reading and writing in the Early Years

Abstract
Background: The purpose of the study was to explore how to encourage learners to apply their phonics skills and knowledge independently and so deepen and consolidate their learning.

Aims: The main aim of the project was to increase the amount of time pupils spend reading and writing independently, accelerating their progress in phonics, reading and writing.

Methods: The participants were early years foundation stage practitioners, headteachers, national strategies consultants, and teachers. They used CPD approaches such as action research and staff training to measure progress towards success criteria. Methods used included action research cycles, observations, reflection on resources, joint reflective planning, staff training, and adapting resources to target needs and interests.

Findings: The main findings were that resources that were adapted to target the needs and interests of the children, allowed for risk-taking in terms of writing impermanence, were able to be used widely in free play and those which supported thought processes involved in play were the most popular.

Implications: The findings suggest that adapting resources to target the needs and interests of the children, allowing for risk-taking in terms of writing impermanence, and providing resources that can be easily incorporated into meaningful play are key to engaging pupils in independent application of phonics skills and knowledge.
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Keywords (free text)
Primary education , Early Years Foundation Stage , Communication, language and literacy
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