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We have now started to learn to read and write! We do this through short, daily sessions called ‘phonics’. 


Some great websites to practise your child's new skills are:


What IS phonics?

Phonics is the skill of hearing the sounds of letters (phonemes), and matching the letter shapes to those sounds (graphemes). We learn a new sound and its shape each day.

Each week we send home the new sounds the children have learnt. Please help them to practice hearing, seeing and saying the sounds as much as possible. Try playing games with the letters, for example, hiding them and asking can you find the ...? or find objects beginning with that sound etc... If you’re not sure how we’re teaching the children to pronounce the sounds, have a look at:


The children will be learning to blend the sounds to make words. This is a necessary skill and they will need lots of practice.

c   a  t = cat      c  oa   t = coat

Segmenting or Sounding Out

The children will also be learning to segment words into sounds to help them with spelling. They need to either say the word out loud, or ‘hear’ it in their head, and then make each sound within the word. Next, they need to write each sound down in the correct order. This is much harder than reading and they will need lots of practice.

jam = j   a  m       chip  = ch  i   p               start = s  t ar t

We encourage all the children to ‘have a go’ when writing, even before they know all the sounds. This is called emergent writing. Once they have learnt a collection of common sounds, and have started to recognise letter shapes (graphemes), they will begin to attempt writing words. Even with incorrect spellings, we can usually understand.

High Frequency and Tricky Words

Alongside the new graphemes, we also send home the tricky words we have been learning. These are the most commonly used words in the English Language. Please help your children to learn to read these words. There are some words in our complicated language that children cannot blend or segment because they are irregular. These need to be learned to be read on sight and to spell through regular practice. We call these tricky words. Here are a few: I, no, go, the, to, into.

Reading Books

In school we will read with your child twice weekly: once individually and once in a guided reading session as well as sharing lots of stories and visiting our library.

Each week we will send home a carefully chosen reading book to compliment the sounds your child has been learning. Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.

When you read with your child please spend time talking about the pictures, the story that is happening, predicting what may happen next, and discussing if you were correct with the prediction. Encourage your children to find their favourite part of the book, or to talk about the characters, or settings.

How can you help?

As well as reading to and with your child, you could play some games to help them develop their blending and segmenting skills.

I-Spy something beginning with the ‘s’ sound (to help your child hear the first sound in a word).

Robot actions – can you put on your h-a-t?

Sound out the word and your child has to blend the word back together. Change the words, for example, c-oa-t, h-u-g, d-o-g, b-a-th.

Singing – “Can you hear the sounds in van the sounds in van, the sounds in van? Can you hear the sounds in van? v-a-n”.

Sing to the tune of ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush”. Change to other three-sound words: cat, town, sheep.

Writing – shopping lists, birthday cards, thank you notes, ‘post-it’ reminders, letters/emails to family members, drawing pictures, colouring pictures.