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.
At Nursery we follow this scheme of work primarily focusing on Phase One and developing our listening skills. Below is a few of our favourite websites and activities you can use at home with your children to further support and develop their reading and writing skills.
Phase One of Letters and Sounds concentrates 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 1 is 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).
It is intended that each of the first six aspects should be dipped into, rather than going through them in any order, with a balance of activities.
In Phase 2, letters and their sounds are introduced one at a time. A set of letters is taught each week, 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.
3. Have a go at one of these games below at
The site demonstrates letter formation of all the letters of the alphabet. Listen to their names and the sounds they make. Each letter is illustrated with a picture which begins with the sound.
A sorting game aimed at helping p, b, d confusion.
This site can help children to learn the names, sounds and formation of letters of the alphabet. Being an American site it has the American pronunication of Z
A matching sounds game.
A word matching game designed round tricky words from Phase 2 of 'Letters and Sounds'.
A game where children match pictures with sounds. It focuses on initial sounds.
Children have a choice of nine pictures. They need to identify which one begins with each of the letter sounds.
A good learning to read site. There are good quality games and animated stories which children can interact with. The children can click on words to see what they say. Excellent for learning the sounds the letters make.
A wordmaking activity demonstrating how onsets and rimes go together into the wordmaking machine. Suitable for able foundation pupils.
A good phonics teaching tool for demonstrating cvcs. Drag and drop cvcs into the wordmaking machine.
Have a look at this website and download the App for lots of phonics fun
Help your child develop their Phonic skills with the Alphablocks