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What is Phonics?

Starting in Early Years, children are taught phonics; the journey of learning to read, write and spell. These vital skills, are the beginning of a lifelong literacy journey. 

The process of learning to read and write begins from an early age, where children can learn and practise many skills. This can be done in a range of ways and settings, including home. Exposing children to conversation and books is essential.

We would normally be inviting you into school to share with you how your child is taught phonics and also suggested ways that you can support your child at home. Due to the COVID19 pandemic, sadly we will not be able to do this and therefore we will send home an information booklet that explains which phase your child is working within and how to support them at home.

We will also save any presentations and information on this page so that you can access this at home. Please continue to check this page regularly to view any updated documents. We also use our Class Twitter page to share how sounds are pronounced within each phase. We hope to keep you as well informed as much as possible. If you need any additional support, please feel free to email Miss Adams or Miss Chothia who will happily respond to you within working hours.

Naadhirah.chothia@kirkleeseducation.uk or Rebecca.adams@kirkleeseducation.uk

Your child will recieve a daily session of phonics at 9:15am each day or 12:15pm depending on whether they are a morning or afternoon child.  To meet age related expectations it is expectated that children will be at the end of Phase 4 by the end of Reception. In Nursery we aim to get children just beginning Phase 2 when they leave Nursery. Of course some children are above this phase and others are working towards it in Phase 1. 

Letters and Sounds

At Batley Parish we follow 'Letters and Sounds'. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource programme which was published by the DfE (Department for Education) in 2007. It aims to help children build up their speaking and listening skills as well as preparing them to learn how to read. 

The systematic phonics programme  is divided into six phases. During the programme new skills are taught, continually building on previous learning.

The phases are numbered:

Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4, Phase 5 and Phase 6. 

We also use the action songs from Jolly Phonics alongside 'Letters and Sounds'. We do not use Jolly Phonics planning or scheme. 

Phase 1

This is the beginning of the systematic learning of phonics and takes place predominately in Nursery. At Batley Parish Nursery the children are set by ability for their daily phonics sessions.  It falls primarily within the Communication, Language and Literacy area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum.

During this phase, children should be exposed to a language-rich environment. Activities are mainly adult led and build up to teaching children the important basic elements such as oral segmenting and blending.

Phase 1 is broken down into seven aspects. The children need to be confident within these aspects before moving onto the next phase. 

Below you will find a video with information about Phase 1. We would normally do this as a parent workshop but unfortunately due to Covid we are unable to do this. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any clarity. 



Phase 1 Phonics Video.mp4

Phase 1 Aspects 1-6

Aspect 1: Environmental Sounds Children are exposed to a variety of sounds in the environment, being encouraged to copy them.

Aspect 2: Instrumental Sounds Children are encouraged to listen to and make sounds using different instruments.

Aspect 3: Body Percussion Children use their body to accompany songs and rhymes, for example by clapping and tapping.

Aspect 4: Rhythm and Rhyme Children are exposed to a range of books and rhymes. Children are encouraged to join in with repeated refrains and rhymes. 

Aspect 5: Alliteration Children are encouraged to listen to initial sounds within words. They are asked to think of other words beginning with the same sound.

Aspect 6: Voice Sounds Children are asked to create different mouth movements and say a range of sounds.


Phase 1, Aspect 7 - Oral Blending and Segmenting

This stage is vital before children are exposed to grapheme to phoneme correspondence (learning which letter represents each sound). It is all done orally and is to encourage children to hear the separate sounds within words

Oral Blending

At first, the adult will show the children how this is done. The separate sounds (phonemes) are clearly spoken aloud, in order, fairly quickly and are then merged together into the whole word. E.g. m-a-n  man. 

The merging together of the sounds is called blending. Initially, children may not be able to merge the sounds together independently and will need frequent practise which is highly beneficial.

Oral Segmenting

This is the opposite to oral blending. Here, children hear the whole word before it is then broken into separate sounds (phonemes). E.g. dog d-o-g.

This skill is called segmenting and is vital in order for children be able to spell. Initially, children might only be able to hear the initial sound and will need frequent practise.

Additional Information

The Jolly Phonics songs and actions link:


How to pronounce sounds link:



Phase 2

To learn about Phase 2, how it is taught and also ideas for home please visit the Reception, Parent Information page. Miss James has put lots of super information on here to tell you everything you need to know about Phase 2. 


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