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KS1 Literacy - Laying the Foundations 2



In response to teachers' concerns about the poor language and listening skills of many children entering Key Stage 1, former headteacher and author Sue Palmer has researched the best possible basis for language and literacy learning in the early years.

In Laying the Foundations, we look at arguments for a structured, yet balanced and orally-based curriculum. Sue reflects on early years approaches developed by Galina Dolya, whose practices draw on the writings of Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky.

We examine how the techniques demonstrated in Laying the Foundations 1: Story Grammar, Symbol Dance develop pupils' symbolic literacy, and an Artographics session improves the fine motor coordination needed for handwriting. Language flourishes through opportunities for self-directed play which are seen to produce confident speakers and imaginative minds. The importance of music as a foundation to literacy is also discussed. Perseverance with phonics will also bring rewards, says Sue.

Key points:

  • Perseverance with phonics brings rewards
  • Music is an important foundation for literacy

Published : Apr 2005

15 mins


Primary Teacher


Primary English

Whole School Issues

Primary Early Years


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