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Trinity Anglican Methodist

Primary School

Aiming higher together, every day in every way

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How do we support children with early reading and English skills?


As many of you know Phonics is taught at schools, helping children to read and write. 

In Pre-School we need to focus on the foundations for this - preparing the children for when they start school and learn all about letters, articulating the sounds that they make. This supports their early reading, writing and spelling skills.


In order to prepare them for this learning, we use a government approved programme which is also used throughout school called, Unlocking letters and sounds. 

The programme document is split into phases and we follow phase 1 throughout your child's Pre-school year. There are 7 aspects in this phase to support children's skill set and prepare them  are what we need to be ready for the learning they will experience at school. 


Aspect 1 - Hearing and discriminating between sounds

The aim of this aspect is to raise children's awareness of the sounds around them and to develop their listening skills. Activities suggested in the guidance include going on a listening walk, drumming on different items outside and comparing the sounds, playing a sounds lotto game and exploring the environmental sounds. 


Aspect 2 - Sound discrimination with musical instruments

The aim is to build on their awareness of sounds and being able to identify what made those sounds. It supports listening and attention skills and long term memory. Activities we provide involve exploring instruments individually to listen to the sounds they make before then exploring instruments collectively. 


Aspect 3 - Fine tuning sound discrimination and rhythm with 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, reading stories with rhythm and clapping out syllables in words and names.


Aspect 4 - Rhythm and rhyme

We explore rhythm and rhyme through stories, singing, musical instruments and fun games such as rhyming bingo. This supports children's understanding of sounds in words and that some words have the same ending sound. We will support them to be able to identify rhyming words and be able to group them. 


Aspect 5 - Alliteration

In alliteration we explore how sounds are articulated and support them in understanding how many words start with the same sounds. These early skills support phonic knowledge later in Reception. 


Aspect 6 - Voice sounds

The purpose in this aspect is to support children to distinguish the different in vocal sounds and understand how they need to move their mouth in order to make the sounds. This will support oral blending and segmenting. 


Aspect 7 - Oral blending and segmenting

In this aspect, the main aim is to develop oral blending and segmenting skills. To practise oral blending, the teacher could say some sounds, such as /c/-/u/-/p/ and see whether the children can pick out a cup from a group of objects. For segmenting practise, the teacher could hold up an object such as a sock and ask the children which sounds they can hear in the word sock. The activities introduced in step 1 are intended to continue throughout the following phases, as lots of practice is needed before children will become confident in their phonic knowledge and skills.


How do we do this in Meadow Class, I hear you ask.  Well we have high quality continuous provision that supports these aspects. We also have adult input small groups throughout the day where the adults will introduce fun games to explore these aspects. Visit our helpful links page where there are ideas for you at home. 

We have a high quality library of recommended reads for children aged 3-5 that support us in these aspects and have focus stories to support certain aspects. We also promote reading at home and have a library system where children can take books home to listen with a grown up. Listening to books is so important from a young age. We also follow poetry basket where we learn a new poem every month and run a talk for writing session once a week with the children where we will explore a story in depth and learn it and actions before we then look at writing our own version of the story. 


"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go." Dr Seuss









Together we inspire, through our Christian values, unique individuals who believe they can achieve more than they ever thought possible in mind, body and spirit. Through nurture and challenge, we provide a firm foundation to enable all to thrive, to lead and serve in their life long journey as local, national and global citizens.