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Sir Francis Hill Community Primary School

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Letters and Sounds (Phase One)

In Nursery we focus on the childrens listening and attention skills to prepare them for phonics in Reception, we follow guidance from Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics Primary National Strategy


We also use the Read Write inc picture cards and say the sound and name the picture readying them for the introduction of the letter shape at the beginning of phase 2 phonics.


The information below is taken from Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics Primary National Strategy

Phase One falls largely within the Communication, Language and Literacy area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. In particular, it will support linking sounds and letters in the order in which they occur in words, and naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet. It also draws on and promotes other areas of learning described in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), particularly Personal, Social and Emotional Development and Creative Development, where, for example, music plays a key part in developing children’s language. Phase One contributes to the provision for Communication, Language and Literacy; it does not constitute the whole language provision.

The activities in Phase One are mainly adult-led with the intention of teaching young children important basic elements of the Letters and Sounds programme such as oral segmenting and blending of familiar words. However, it is equally important to sustain and draw upon worthwhile, freely chosen activities that are provided for children in good early years settings and Reception classes. The aim is to embed the Phase One adult-led activities in a language-rich provision that serves the best interests of the children by fully recognising their propensity for play and its importance in their development.

It follows that the high quality play activities which typify good provision will offer lots of opportunities to enrich children’s language across the six areas of learning:

Prime areas:

Communication and Language.

Physical Development.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development.

Specific areas:



Understanding the World.

Expressive Arts and Design.

Seven aspects and three strands Phase One activities are arranged under the following seven aspects.

■ Aspect 1: General sound discrimination – environmental sounds

■ Aspect 2: General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds

■ Aspect 3: General sound discrimination – body percussion

■ Aspect 4: Rhythm and rhyme

■ Aspect 5: Alliteration

■ Aspect 6: Voice sounds

■ Aspect 7: Oral blending and segmenting


While there is considerable overlap between these aspects, the overarching aim is for children to experience regular, planned opportunities to listen carefully and talk extensively about what they hear, see and do.


Each aspect is divided into three strands.

■ Tuning into sounds (auditory discrimination)

■ Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing)

■ Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).


Activities within the seven aspects are designed to help children:

1. listen attentively;

2. enlarge their vocabulary;

3. speak confidently to adults and other children;

4. discriminate phonemes;

5. reproduce audibly the phonemes they hear, in order, all through the word;

6. use sound-talk to segment words into phonemes.


The ways in which practitioners and teachers interact and talk with children are critical to developing children’s speaking and listening.