We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme to help teach phonics in reception.
We start in September by refreshing ‘Letters and Sounds’ phase one skills which the children may have been taught in nursery. This teaches children to break down sounds they can hear by rhyming, understanding alliteration, and exploring rhythm and music.
Segment and blend
When they are settled into reception and confidently beginning to orally segment (break down sounds in words such as c-a-t) and blend (put the sounds together again), we will move on to phase 2, initially in whole class groups, which is when the first sounds (s,a,t,p,i,n) are taught and the children will begin reading and writing short words, captions and eventually sentences.
Usually by the start of term 3 we will assess the children’s phonic knowledge and split them into smaller groups across the cohort to ensure that they are getting high quality phonics teaching specifically tailored to their needs and abilities. We may have a group of children who need to practise blending, for example, whereas another group of children may need more support with letter-sound correspondence.
Developing phonological knowledge
Throughout the reception year we continue to work through the Letters and Sounds phases in this way, complimenting the teaching of phonics with purposeful play opportunities so that they can apply their developing phonological knowledge.