Celebrating the past, present and future of innovative early literacy work

At an event in Sheffield today, Dr Cathy Nutbrown and colleagues from the early years sector will celebrate the achievements of Making it REAL,an early literacy programme that enables practitioners to reach out to parents to support learning at home, and look at how innovations within the programme could be used in the future.

Making it REALsupports early years staff to use a proven framework for literacy development which they can then pass on to parents, helping to build a rich home learning environment for their children.

An evaluation of the first year ofMaking it REAL published last year showed the programme has contributed considerably to better outcomes for children aged two to five years old across all four areas of literacy: environmental print, books, early writing and oral language. Among early years staff who developed their ways of working to support early literacy after taking part in Making it REAL training, after six months over half reported improvements in children's literacy activity.

Delegates at the event will hear how Making it REALprovides a number of knock-on benefits for children and their families by helping in the early identification of children with additional needs, and linking families with other services that can offer support. The project has also developed effective ways of engaging with families who speak English as a second language.

Joyce Connor, Director of the Early Childhood Unit at NCB, said:

'We know that parents play a pivotal role in helping children's early development in literacy. Our work provides early years practitioners with a proven framework for helping young children  to get going with reading and writing, giving those practitioners  the confidence to visit parents at home and helping reinvigorate the way they approach literacy in their daily practice.'

Click here for more information about Making it REAL