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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.


Phase 2 Phonics

We have begun our journey to becoming super readers and writers!


We are now learning our letter sounds in class. Each week we learn 4 new sounds.

We learn to recognise the shape of the letter and to say the sound that letter makes.

We learn how we write that letter, using our pre-cursive handwriting style (this helps us to move on quickly to using joined up handwriting when we move into Year 1 next year).

We learn how to read simple words using our special reading strategy. We learn to "look at the letters, make the sounds and blend the sounds together." 

We continue to work on our oral blending skills each day, as, if we can do this, then we will be more successful at reading words.

We continue to work on our oral segmenting skills, this will help us to be more successful at making and writing words.


Each week we will bring home a sheet so that you can see the sounds we have learnt. These sheets will also be posted here on the website.


Please spend 5 minutes a day practising the sounds with your child. There are lots of wonderful ideas on the internet that you can use to support your child on this wonderful journey of learning to read and write.


Phase 2 Phonics - Home practise sheets
Please find each week's Phase 2 phonics home practise sheets below:


Phase 2 Phonics - Useful Websites

Please click the links below to take you to some websites where you can find games to help the children practise their phonics skills.

Many of the games can be set to practise specific sets of sounds. We have learnt Sets 1, 2 & 3 so far in class. Make sure that you set the game to practise these sets of sounds before your child plays.