Letters and Sounds

Activities to promote speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness, oral blending, and segmenting, to prepare children for learning to read and write.

Phase One

Phase One phonics is intended for pre-school settings and providers. It forms the foundations to success in early literacy before children start school.

The activities, games, and ideas within Phase One provide a wide range of opportunities to support children’s early listening, language, and communication skills at all stages of development.

Letters and Sounds - Phase One

Early Years environment

The environment plays a key role in supporting children’s communication. This includes both the physical environment and the quality of interactions.

When thinking about the physical environment, both indoors and outdoors, consider elements such as the use of space, access to real resources and objects, and create spaces that support and encourage communication.

Take a look at some examples from Leicestershire providers and the spaces and resources they have created to support children’s early communication and phonics skills:

The quality of interactions also plays an important part in supporting children’s communication and beginning to develop their early phonics. We can use the three basic prompts below to help us:

  1. How adults interact being sensitive to the needs of each child
  2. How adults are being supportive communicators through the use of effective strategies
  3. How adults stimulate communication by having interesting and engaging things to talk about

We can also consider whether our environments allow for a variety of interactions throughout the day, including:

  • child to child
  • child to adult
  • adult to child

The Every Child a Talker (ECAT) pages contain a wealth of information and resources to support practitioners, such as an environmental audit, adult / child interaction evaluations, and also further information on strategies such as commentary, modelling, expanding.

Home learning environment - working with parents

Early Years settings and providers can include families in their children’s learning by:

  • providing opportunities to share with families the importance of early communication and phonics
  • sharing an early phonics activity/session with families
  • sharing ideas for activities at home to promote early phonics and how families could create a playful language environment full of stories, rhymes, songs, signs, and imaginative play
  • requesting donations for household items to be used in creating resources for activities
  • providing a system to share books and rhyme packs for children to share at home with their family