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Things to do before your child starts to read (and learn letter sounds)

Have a read of the leaflet below, produced by Mr Mc, who teaches at another Leicester school. He has put together some fantastic ideas for games and activities that you can do with your child at home to support them in the first phase of phonics.

These are similar to the activities we will be doing at the start of the Autumn Term in class, before we move onto learning letter sounds.


Oral blending and segmenting

Oral blending and segmenting are pre-reading and pre-writing skills that children need in order to be successful readers and writers once we begin to learn letter sounds. 


Blending is the skill that we use to read words. When we are blending orally, we are listening to the sounds being said and saying what the whole word is.

We split a simple word into its individual sounds (c-a-t or d-o-g or    sh-ee-p) and then the child hears these sounds and 'blends them together to form the whole word again (cat or dog or sheep). We practise this skill so we are ready to learn to read words.


Segmenting is the skill that we use to 'spell' and write words. When we are segmenting orally, we are breaking a simple word into its individual sounds with our 'robot voice' and using our 'robot arms'  to help us feel each sound with a body movement.

We say the whole word (hop) and then say each sound in the word in the right order (h-o-p).


We will be working on these very important skills in class before we begin to learn letter sounds.


You can help with this at home as well. Please find below some useful web links and documents so that you can learn more about this and find some ideas for games you can play at home.