Letters and Sounds Workshop

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1 Letters and Sounds Workshop

2 Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 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.

3 6 phases: Phases 1-4 Nursery and Foundation Stage Phases 5-6 Years 1 and 2

4 Phase Phase 1concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Phase 1is divided into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).

5 Phase 2 Phase 2 is where we begin to teach high quality phonics in short, discrete, daily sessions. Letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time usually in the following sequence: Set 1: s, a, t, p Set 2: i, n, m, d Set 3: g, o, c, k Set 4: ck, e, u, r Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words. For example, they will learn to blend the sounds s-a-t to make the word sat. They will also start learning to segment words. For example, they might be asked to find the letter sounds that make the word tap from a small selection of magnetic letters.

6 Pictures courtesy of Oxford Publishing Jolly Phonics

7 Phase 3 By the time children reach Phase 3 they know 19 letters and will be able to blend and segment vowel/consonant words (vc) (like it) and consonant/vowel/consonant words (cvc) (like cat). Other letters are taught: Set 6: j, v, w, x Set 7: y, z, zz, qu Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er During Phase 3, children will also learn the letter names using an alphabet song, although they will continue to use the sounds when decoding words.

8 Phase 4 When children start Phase Four of the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, they will know a grapheme for each of the 42 phonemes. They will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and segment in order to spell them. Children will also have begun reading straightforward two-syllable words and simple captions, as well as reading and spelling some tricky words. In Phase 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk. Tricky words During Phase 4, the following tricky words (which can't yet be decoded) are introduced: said have like so do some come were there little one when out what Tips: A grapheme is a letter or a number of letters that represent a sound (phoneme) in a word. Another way to explain it is to say that a grapheme is a letter or letters that spell a sound in a word. A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a word. Knowing about phonemes is important for spelling. A phonemes may be made up of one or more letters which make one sound.

9 Reading activities which support the work we do in our phonics sessions. We start the year by carrying out a baseline assessment to check to see which letter sounds the children recognise. We use this information to help us to group the children for reading/writing (and number) activities. Once the children are grouped we can differentiate the work to their level. These groups are flexible and the children are sometimes moved from group to group depending on their needs. We start the letters and sounds programme at phase 1 and aim to have covered phase 2 by Christmas. Sometime during the autumn terms we begin to reinforce what we cover in our phonics sessions in small groups. These activities start out as games but, by the end of the year, the children will be engaging in guided reading sessions. Throughout the year we will send the children home with activities to practice concepts we have been teaching in class such as letter formation sheets and letter cards which can be put together to make words for the children to read and which the children can use later on to make their own words. As a school we have decided to continue to send home sets of common words such as mum/dad/like/me/my etc for the children to learn to read and spell. We send these home when we feel that the children are ready. When the children know so many of these we send them home with a book that we share in a group. Most importantly all of the children get to take home a picture book from the book corner. In class we use a range of high quality story and info books which we link with our topics. We would really appreciate that you share any books that we send home as well as books that you may get from the library or may have at home as this will help to foster a love of books.

10 Useful Links Below are some websites that are useful for learning phonics: (Click on the text to follow the links) Letters and Sounds Interactive Literacy PBS Kids BBC Words BBC Phonics (Sandcastle) Early Learning HQ

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