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Introducing 'Letters and Sounds'

Discussion in 'Primary' started by giraffe77, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. I am due to be introducing the phases of 'Letters and Sounds' to my infant team next week, with a view to start teaching more specific phonics in the Autumn Term. In the past few years, we have been using a hotch-potch of resources and strategies, and we need to become more knowledgable about the phases, and where are children are with their phonic-learning.
    Has anyone got any advice? Things that are wrong and right with the systems in your own schools? Suggestions for implementation? Assessments to use? Tracking systems?
    So many items, so little time........
    Also, to guide my own learning - I have looked at a variety of resources for teaching and assessment of phonics, can someone succintly tell me how to judge where to place children when tracking. If the child has grasped all of the phase 2 phonemes, words etc, and is now working on phase 3 items, is that child working at phase 2 or phase 3? I can't decide whether we 'label' (for want of a better word!) the children with the phase they are currently working on, or that which they are secure with.
    Thanks for your help.
  2. Surely someone has a comment to make?
  3. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    I would suggest you make sure you timetable phonics sessions daily to make sure they happen, stick to the 4 part lesson sequence, make sessions pacey and active for the children.
    There are lots of examples of planning across all phases here on tes, phonicsplay.com (£10 annual subscription I think) also has examples of planning and lots of resources.
    We track the phases children are secure at, using the guidance from the back of each L&S section, with the assumption that they wil then be working on the pahse above. We split Phase 3 into 3 sections.
    Make sure everyones aware of age expectations for L&S, se4cure at Phase3 by end of Reception, Phase 5 by end Y1.
    I would also consider working with smaller groups, especially in FS and perhaps grouping ch'n by ability.
    Been up since 4.50 a.m.so will have missed loads but that's a basic starting point!!
  4. Can I suggest posting this on the Early Years forum? There are lots of helpful people on there who will have lots to say I'm sure!
  5. Hi,
    We introduced Leters and sounds 3 years ago and i have been teaching it in FS during this time. I absolutely love it and think it gives he children the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to begin reading and writing idependently. I agree with the other posts that following the 4 part teach with pacey active work is key.
    As a school we began to collect resources to support all phases and have shelves where they are all stored for all staff to access. For assessment we have individual assessment booklets(found online) for each child that move with them and we are also introducing a class tracker sheet in Sept. We assess children at the end of each phase and on the class tracker record the phase they are working in, so long as everyone in school does the same i guess it doesn't matter if you do this or the phase they are moving to, consistancy is the important thing so that children who are not making the expected progress can clearly be seen and action taken.
    The only thing we have found with small group differentiated phonics is that if children for example aren't secure at phase 2 and continue to repeat work at that level while others move to phase 3 they struggle to ever "catch up". To try and address this our grouping is flexible and all children have experience of phase 3 sounds and tricky words in the first 2 session parts. Those who are struggling may then do the practice/apply parts of the sessions with an LSA working on simpler blending and segmenting. Those children who then suddenly "get it" and make the developmental leap are able to move on.
    hope some of this may be useful if you have any other questions post again, as i said i love letters and sounds and am looking forward to teaching phase 5 in sept as i am moving to year 1.

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