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Enfield Learning Trust
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Phonics - Letters and Sounds

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

The programme of study is taught in 6 phases. These can be seen below:

Phase

Phonic Knowledge and Skills

Phase One 

(Nursery/Reception)

Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two

(Reception) up to 6 weeks

Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three

(Reception) up to 12 weeks

The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

(Reception) 4 to 6 weeks

No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five

(Throughout Year 1)

Now we 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.

Phase Six

(Throughout Year 2 and beyond)

Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

 

Reading opens the door to all learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more a child wants to find out. It is therefore vital that your child finds learning to read and write a rewarding and successful experience. 

To complement the Letters and Sounds Document, we also use resources from Ruth Miskin's Read, Write, Inc. Ultimately, our aim is for our children to be able to read with accuracy and confidence, and above all to love reading. 

When using RWI to read, the children will:

  • learn that sounds are represented by written letters;
  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/ letter groups using simple picture prompts;
  • learn how to blend sounds;
  • learn to read using Fred Talk;
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out; and
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.

The following link is designed to allow you to support your child in reading and saying the correct 'pure' sounds to enable their progress towards becoming confident readers.