An introduction to phonics and web links

At Grandpont
We aim to introduce children to phonics in a relaxed and fun way, exploring it in ways that are in line with the children's current interests. Opportunities to developed phonic skills are all around the children when they play; even hearing a helicopter in the playground is one of these opportunities...We sometimes play simple phonics games with children during group times and some of these activities are devised from the phase 1 Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. In the Letters and Sounds scheme there are 7 different aspects to explore; general sound discrimination environmental, general sound discrimination instrumental, general sound discrimination body percussion, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds, oral blending and segmenting. 
So what is phonics?
  • Phonics is an important part of learning to read and spell. By using phonics, children learn to link the sounds (phonemes) to the symbols that represent them (graphemes).
  • A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound. 
  • Children are taught to recognize letters and their sounds in more depth (in the form of a daily phonics lesson) from Reception age.
  • Prior to Reception, children are introduced to phase 1 phonics which includes lots of fun activities, with a strong focus on developing listening skills! At Grandpont we teach phase 1 from the Letters and Sounds scheme to support them with this learning. 
The Letters and Sounds phonics scheme 
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic program for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five (or earlier if children are ready), with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
At Grandpont, at this early age, we focus on developing children's listening skills first and foremost. This learning mostly takes place during real-life experiences and through child-initiated play.
*We do not believe that paper activities or phonics books at this stage in a child's development is beneficial for them