Letters & Sounds Programme
The ‘Letters and Sounds’ Programme encourages children to initially play with sounds and develop their ability to discriminate between different types of sounds. Over time the children will develop an understanding that words are made up of different sounds (phonemes) and they will begin to hear the different sounds in words. Gradually they will begin to match sounds to letters (graphemes) and this will be the basis of their phonic knowledge which they will use in their reading and writing. The ‘Letters and Sounds’ Programme takes the teaching of phonics one step further than other phonics programmes as children learn sounds through a much richer range of multi-sensory resources, games and activities. They are also given more opportunities to develop their understanding of how letters and sounds are used in words.
Pre–Nursery (18 months–3 years)
Children will be immersed in a language rich environment, which will nurture and develop their communication and language skills. Each day the children will be invited to join in with familiar nursery rhymes and fun action songs, as well as listening to well loved classic children’s stories.
Nursery (3 years–4 years)
Children will be introduced to Phase one of the ‘Letters and Sounds’ Programme. During this time they will learn about sounds in their environment, sounds from instruments, sounds made using body percussion, alliteration, voice sounds in songs, rhymes and stories and be exposed to oral blending through games and activities. This phase focuses on developing the children’s listening skills in order to prepare them for reading in the future. A range of fun activities are used to teach skills such as rhyming, alliteration and oral blending and segmenting.
Reception (4 years –5years)
Children will be introduced to Phase 2 of the Letters and Sounds programme, where they will learn through a wide range of resources, games and activities, including interactive whiteboard software. By the end of Term 3 they will know 42 of the main sounds (phonemes and graphemes) used in the English Language and they will be using this knowledge in their reading and writing. They will also learn to sight read and write a range of tricky words that cannot be decoded using phonic knowledge.
This year continues with Phase 3 and Phase 4 and moves on quickly to Phase 5 were the children then move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know. The purpose of this stage is to broaden their knowledge of the main sounds used in the English language for use in their reading and spelling.
This year follows Phase 6 to continue working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc. By this stage children should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways; reading the words automatically if they are very familiar; decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established; decoding them aloud. During this phase, the children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.