Since 1961, the International School of Zug and Luzern (ISZL) has provided children with engaging and meaningful learning. It has a reputation in the international school community for best practice in Early Childhood Education.
ISZL believes that language development is fundamental to learning. Their literacy programme at Early Years:
- Supports children’s developing phonological awareness.
- Places an emphasis on making meaning from print.
- Highlights the relationship between reading with writing in everyday experiences and
Through careful observations, teachers recognise significant moments for individual children and as they develop conceptual understandings around reading and writing. In these moments, teachers support children to further develop their skills and understanding. Children listen to and have access to carefully selected literature within the classroom and visit our friendly dedicated junior library regularly.
Early readers show an interest in books and the print they see around them. They observe and copy adult readers doing things such as holding the book carefully, turning the pages and using computer icons. They often read by using the pictures and their memories to retell stories.
Ways to support your child at home
- Read to your child every day. Reading aloud helps children expand their vocabulary, appreciate
the value of books and other texts, understand new ideas and concepts, and learn about the
world around them.
- During reading: draw attention to the pictures, point to some of the words as you read them.
- Encourage your child to join in when being read to, e.g. by turning the pages, holding the book,
allowing them to read the bits they remember.
- After reading: Talk about the characters and help your child tell the story from the pictures.
- Expose your child to a wide variety of texts including books in your home language(s), magazines,
brochures, newspapers, menus and comics. These can be read many times so children
become familiar with them. Familiarity helps build self-confidence.
- Encourage and praise your child’s attempts to read.
- Ensure your child sees other members of the family reading and talking about reading. This helps
early readers understand that there are different reasons for reading.
- Encourage your child to make up or retell stories orally.
- Look for familiar letters in the text, ‘Look, Kristin, there is a ‘K’ like at the start of your name.’
Early writers role play the act of writing, experimenting with ways to represent written language either on paper or electronically. Early writers experiment by forming scribbles, letter-like symbols or random strings of letters, often using letters from their own name. While early writers may read their writing, others may not be able to.
Ways to support your child at home
- Offer opportunities to write by providing blank paper, crayons, pencils and other writing materials.
- When you write, encourage your child to write alongside you. They may copy your lead and begin
to see how writing is used for different purposes. Talk about what you are writing and why you
are writing it, e.g. a shopping list so that you know what to buy, an email to Grandma to thank
her for the birthday present.
- Write for your child. This allows them to see the starting point for writing and to understand that
print has a message.
- Write about shared experiences with your child. Use photos from an outing to make a book about
what you did, e.g. a trip to the zoo. Plan what to write with your child and talk about the letters
- Talk about the letters you are using to begin a word, e.g. “I need to write sausages on my list. It
sounds like Stephan’s name at the beginning because they both start with ‘s’.” Refer to letters
by their name rather than the sound.
- Encourage your child to ‘have a go’ with writing and accept your child’s attempts to write even
though it may not look like regular writing.
Other activities that support fine motor development and pencil control include sewing, weaving, playing with playdough, cutting with scissors, sand and block play.
If you are interested in learning more about ISZL’s approach to reading and writing in the Early Years, read here.