Supporting Early Literacy





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The image shows a person and a child sitting together, with the child holding a book, and text above them promoting support for early literacy.

Learning about literacy is a social act. Young children develop the necessary skills they will need to be competent and confident readers and writers from the people around them and their environment. Children need to know about their language(s) and the sounds and all about print and its uses. They need to develop a love of books and storytelling and have the confidence to express themselves, use their imagination and be creative. It is young children’s early experiences that lay the foundations for later success in learning to read and write.

With this study you will be able to observe how verbal and symbolic communication develops from birth to five years of age with a particular focus on how to support emerging literacy skills. You will see how to encourage and support babies and young children to use and develop a love of books, rhymes, pretend play and storytelling.


  • Gain insight on specific activities that support literacy skills and language development
  • Be able to recognise how opportunities to develop literacy occur in everyday activities
  • Understand how language, communication and literacy skills, emerge and develop from birth - 5 years
  • Become adept at observation, assessment and planning with a focus on developing literacy skill

How can I use this video? +

  • The supporting notes include background information, and practical implications of recent research to enhance learning further
  • The notes also contain questions that encourage reflection and generate discussion, making this a perfect resource for in house training and CPD
  • Uninterrupted sequences without narration make an excellent resource for practicing various observation techniques
  • The chapter/sequence structure of the film compliments use in seminars and lectures for analysing particular aspects of development
  • The chapter structure also makes the film flexible to learn at a time and pace that convenient


Charlotte has nappy changed

3 months – Dad takes opportunity to chat with Charlotte.

Orson has lunch

16 months – Mealtimes are a social occasion with Mum.

Video Clip also available in The Early Years Clip Library

Orson & the castle

2.5 years – Son and Dad have a two way conversation whilst enjoying imaginary play.

Matty, cars & trucks

3.5 years – Looking at photographs, Matty and Mum chat about their memories.

Seb, sharks & fish

5.5 years – Seb shares his creative thoughts with Mum.

Orson looks at books

7.5 months – Mum and Orson enjoy looking at a book together.

Maddi looks at books

2 years – Maddi and Dad use a book to generate imaginative conversation and play.

Video clip also available in The Early Years Clip Library

Karycie looks at books

2 -3 years – 4 children enjoy a book with key worker leading on to pretend play.

Karl looks at books

3 years – Good key person skills ensures group enjoys reading time.

Drawing in the sand

16 months, 2 years, 2.5 years – Encouraging confident exploratory play.

Ava goes shopping

2.5 years – Ava and Mum prepare a shopping list then go shopping.

Video clip also available in The Early Years Clip Library

Niaz draws a list

3 years – Niaz at nursery plays pretend shops a writes a list.

Video clip also available in The Early Years Clip Library

Orson sings around the garden

16 months – Orson actively engages with a rhyme book.

Evan sings song

2.5 years – Evan with key worker share a song book.

Video clip also available in The Early Years Clip Library

Orson sings incy wincy

2.5 years – Orson and Mum get creative with rhymes with actions and drawings.

Ava makes up a song

3 years – Ava makes up songs and actions with her Mum and friend.

Jamie sings humpty dumpty

4 years – Jamie plays around with the words to familiar song.

Orson puts fireman to bed

2.5 years – Orson’s imaginative play involves reading a fireman a bedtime story.

Video clip also available in The Early Years Clip Library

Karl & Kaycie tease Mr Alligator

3 years, 2.5 years – Using puppets Karl and Kaycie act out aspects of a story song.

Niaz, the princess dragon

3 years – group story time at nursery leads on to imaginative outdoor play.

Video clip also available in The Early Years Clip Library

Buying Options




DOWNLOAD INCLUDES: 21 x MP4 SD file. – Comprehensive user notes to support your training (PDF download via email)

PERMITTED USE: Supporting in house training, lectures, research/development work and for supporting presentations

YOU ARE NOT PERMITTED TO: REPRODUCE, COPY or SHARE Siren Films material in any way – Use on a closed intranet system (academic licenses are available) – Upload, share, embed or distribute any Siren material on the Internet or in any other format – Hold a public, profit making screening (see website for full t&c’s)




With Siren’s instant online access you can rent this training film for 1 week, 3 months or a year. Our most affordable option makes this training accessible to watch on any device to train as many staff members from one setting* as you need. You will need a reasonably fast internet. You can test this by watching one of our trailers. If that works your good to go.

(*Terms and conditions apply – see website for full t&c’s)