Hello! We have started teaching phonics this week. Phonics is the way of teaching children how to read and write. Children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another. Rather than teaching letter names c (cee) a (ay) t (tee) we use pure sounds – c a t.

Watch the following video for how to pronounce each sound:


The children learn the sounds in a set teaching sequence and eventually the book they receive will be matched to their phonic ability. They will come home with a phonics booklet which has all of the sounds we use as well as the rhymes we use to teaching it.

We emphasise the importance of hearing and identifying the sounds before the writing of them. In class we ‘oral blend’ a lot. This is where you don’t say the word but sound it out. Also referred to as sound talking … touch your ‘f .. oo .. t’, ‘line u…p’ ‘pass the p…e…n’.

We also learn tricky words and decodable high frequency words (HFW’s). Tricky words are words that cannot be sounded out (the, no, go) and HFW’s are words that can be sounded out and are commonly used in the English language (at, on, got, can). You may have heard the words’ phases’ to describe phonics – we are learning phase 2-4 during reception and reinforcing phase 1 (hearing and distinguishing sounds. Alongside this, we have fun with something called ‘nonsense/alien’ words. Words that the children need to use their phonetic ability to read. This is a really important skill anyway and one that they will need in year 1 (my alien is called c..a..j).

For now, at home lots of discussion on their picture books – maybe sound talking ‘point to the m…oo…n in your book’. Lots of eye spy with initial sounds ‘something that starts with s….’


Some More Ideas for Listening Games

  • Match the rhyming words – sounds similar
    • cat/bat
  • Match animals to sounds
    • Whats in the box? It goes ‘oink’
  • Sound/listening walk
  • Instrument sounds
    • tapping/clapping/comparing objects
      • Hide and play a shaker – which instrument makes this sound
  • Instruments with stories
    • ‘We’re going on a Bear hunt’ Which splosh a bucket of water, crunch leaves  etc
  • Rhyming odd one out
    • Cat, hat, frog, bat
  • Clapping syllables
  • Eye spy
    • I spy something that starts with the letter ‘f’ (use sounds not names. If children find it tricky, limit the number of items i.e. into a box etc
  • Robot voice/silly voices
  • Find me a … d-o-g


 Early Reading and Writing Ideas 

  • Writing on bodies/sand/chalk/magnetic letters
  • Find items beginning with
  • Kims game (items under a blanket – remove one each time)
  • ‘Simon’ says …. Put you hand on your b-a-ck (oral blending)
  • ‘Put in my bucket’ teddy needs jam – cdn say j-a-m (oral segmenting)
  • What’s in the box? Match picture/item to sound talk (blending)
  • Buried treasure/ob and bob for nonsense words


More information can be found on the following links: