Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes
  • recognise the sounds that different combinations of letters make e.g. ‘sh’ and ‘oo’
  • blend these sounds together from left to right

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see.

However, children in nursery have important steps to learn before they are ready for learning the letter sounds. At Osborne Nursery School we use phase 1 phonics to develop a child’s ability to listen to, make, explore and talk about sounds. Phase 1 is a vital phase that should never end for children, throughout this phase children will develop their speaking and listening skills. Below you can find some activities to support with this at home.

This phase is split into 7 aspects that are explored and developed through games.

Aspect 1 – Environmental sounds – The aim of this aspect is to raise children’s awareness of the sounds around them and to develop their listening skills.

Phase 1 Phonics with Maddison and Felix – Environmental Sounds – YouTube

Aspect 2 – Instrumental sounds – This aspect aims to develop children’s awareness of sounds made by various instruments and noise makers.

Guess the Instrument / Instrumental Sounds – Phase 1 Phonics – YouTube

Aspect 3 – Body percussion – The aim of this aspect is to develop children’s awareness of sounds and rhythms. Activities include singing songs and action rhymes, listening to music and developing a sounds vocabulary.

Phase 1 Phonics with Maddison and Felix – Body Percussion for Kids – YouTube

Aspect 4 – Rhythm and rhyme – This aspect aims to develop children’s appreciation and experiences of rhythm and rhyme in speech and song.

Phase 1 Phonics with Maddison and Felix – Rhythm and Rhyme – YouTube

Aspect 5 – Alliteration – This aspect focuses on initial sounds of words.

Phase 1 Phonics with Maddison and Felix – Alliteration – YouTube

Aspect 6 – Voice sounds – The aim is to distinguish between different vocal sounds and to begin oral blending and segmenting.

Phase 1 Phonics with Maddison and Felix – Voice Sounds – YouTube

Aspect 7 – Blending and segmenting – In this aspect, the main aim is to develop oral blending and segmenting skills.

Phase 1 Phonics with Maddison and Felix – Oral Blending – YouTube

We introduce Jolly Phonics when your child is ready to begin to learn the letter sounds. Here are some resources that will allow you to support your child with phonics at home

Guide to Jolly Phonics

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Activity ideas flyer

Jolly Phonics Phase 1 Songs 

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