We hope to answer some of your questions here, but contact us at the address at the foot of the page if you need to know more.
'How best can I support the development of my child’s literacy skills?'
Literacy demands a whole range of skills that include:
Speaking and listening
Regardless of the age of your child, some of the most valuable ways for parents and carers to support literacy development include:
Singing songs and saying nursery rhymes together;
Playing word games;
Enjoying books together;
Discussing the illustrations and content;
Talk about why things happened and what might happen next How did the book make your child feel? Why?
Share both stories and information books and don’t forget poetry - wonderful for helping them to learn new words!
Children (from Nursery to Year 6 and beyond) who read and are read to regularly develop skills to make them good writers;
Talking with your child - explain things, discuss what you are doing and encourage conversation (with more then one-word answers!)
Develop your child’s curiosity by encouraging him/her to ask questions. Speaking and listening helps children with everything they do in school.
'Should I teach my child to write his/her name before starting school?'
You can help your child with early writing skills:
Be a good role model and let your child see that you write, for example, lists and notes;
Provide materials (pens, paper, pencils, computers, chalks and boards, sand) that children can use to play at writing;
When they are ready to write show them how to write lower case letters, following guidance provided by the school. (Schools normally make contact with parents before children start to let them know how they can prepare them for school and this usually includes a sharing of the handwriting script);
Only use capital letters at the beginnings of names;
Never put pressure on your child to write if he/she does not want to. This can lead to problems later.