Phase 1 teaches young children the important basic elements of the Letters and Sounds programme. It is about your child learning to discriminate between different sounds in everyday life rather than the sounds in words. Phase 1 lays the foundations for all of the learning that follows.
Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects:
Aspect 1 – General sound discrimination – environmental
The aim of this aspect is to raise children’s awareness of the sounds around them and to develop their listening skills. Activities suggested may include going on a listening walk, drumming on different items outside and comparing the sounds, playing a sounds lotto game and making shakers.
Aspect 2 – General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds
This aspect aims to develop children’s awareness of sounds made by various instruments and noise makers. Activities include comparing and matching sound makers, playing instruments alongside a story and making loud and quiet sounds.
Aspect 3 – General sound discrimination – body percussion
The aim of this aspect is to develop children’s awareness of sounds and rhythms. Activities include singing songs and action rhymes, listening to music and developing a sounds vocabulary.
Aspect 4 – Rhythm and rhyme
This aspect aims to develop children’s appreciation and experiences of rhythm and rhyme in speech. Activities include rhyming stories, rhyming bingo, clapping out the syllables in words and odd one out.
Aspect 5 – Alliteration
The focus is on initial sounds of words, with activities including I-Spy type games and matching objects which begin with the same sound.
Aspect 6 – Voice sounds
The aim is to distinguish between different vocal sounds and to begin oral blending and segmenting. Activities may include Metal Mike, where children feed pictures of objects into a toy robot’s mouth and the teacher sounds out the name of the object in a robot voice – /c/-/u/-/p/ cup, with the children joining in.
Aspect 7 – Oral blending and segmenting
In this aspect, the main aim is to develop oral blending and segmenting skills.