Phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing by developing the learner's ability to hear the sounds that letters make (phonemes).
In school, we follow the Letters and Sounds programme. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills which consists of six phases. We run the Letters and Sounds programme alongside Jolly Phonics. Jolly Phonics is very visual and practical and, in our opinion, works well within Phases 2 to 5 of Letters and Sounds.
Children in EYFS have daily phonics lesson to learn the letter sounds. Each week, children will learn 4 new sounds. Children learn to say the pure sound for each letter, for example a is pronounced like the ‘a’ in cat and not ‘ay’ like the letter name. Please have a look at this video to see the pronunciation of the letter sounds. PHONEME PRONUNCIATION VIDEO
This week, children are learning ck, e, u, r
Week 3 sounds - g, o, c, k.
Week 2 sounds - i, n, m, d
Week 1 sounds - s, a, t, p
Listen to Jolly Phonics songs here.
During learning, children are taught to recognise the letter and say the sound it makes. They learn to identify the first sound in a word (initial sounds) and they are also taught to orally blend. This is where we say each sound in the word at a time and the children blend the sounds to make a word, for example s-a-t, sat.
When children are ready, they can then move onto blending for reading. To read an unfamiliar word, a child must link a letter sound (phoneme) to each letter or letter group in a word and then merge them together to say the word e.g. c – a – t / j– ee – p