Federation of Crigglestone and Castle Nursery Schools

Early Reading & Phonics



Phase 1 - Letters and Sounds

In our Nursery Schools we use the Letters and Sounds Phase 1 materials to promote, encourage and enhance children's early phonics skills. There are a series of games and activities included in the document which can be used 1:1 or in small groups.  It is very important that children are able to discriminate between different sounds before being able to sound them out verbally.  There are seven aspects to Phase 1 which we plan to cover during your child's time with us.  Please see the PDF just below for more information.  

Throughout Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds children will:

  • develop their language structures;
  • increase their vocabulary;
  • begin to distinguish between sounds in words;
  • speak clearly and audibly;
  • become familiar with rhyme, rhythm and alliteration;
  • listen attentively;
  • explore and experiment with sounds and words;


Activities to support learning in Phase 1 include:

  • storytelling;
  • singing songs;
  • listening to rhymes and repeating patterns and refrains;
  • playing alliterative games;
  • using creative language in role play, drama and dance;
  • identifying sounds in names, words in the environment etc.



Launchpad for Literacy

Staff also use the Launchpad to Literacy approach to complement children’s phonological awareness. There are key skills in the Launchpad approach which significantly impact on children's phonic development.


These include:

Developing children's Sequential Auditory Memory

 In order to read a simple three letter word a child must first be able to recall 3 things (they know really well) said orally in sequence, for example, animals (pig, cow, horse).  


Developing children's Visual Discrimination

The ability to identify similarities and differences of shapes and this includes letters.

 General sound discrimination and environmental sounds Home Learning Challenges.pdfDownload
 General sound discrimination body percussion Home Learning Challenges.pdfDownload
 General sound discrimination instrumental sounds Home Learning Challenges.pdfDownload
 Oral Blending and Segmenting Home Learning Challenges.pdfDownload
 Rhyming Words.pdfDownload
 Rhythm and Rhyme Home Learning Challenges.pdfDownload
 Voice Sounds Home Learning Challenges.pdfDownload
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Phase 2 Phonics

We also explore Phase 2 Phonics. We are beginning to use Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme to do this. Little Wandle is a programme for children that builds a thorough foundation for reading and writing. Please click the logo below, to find more Parents Information about Little Wandle.


The video below shows you how we say our letter sounds:


This video shows you how we teach our children to blend for reading:


Some other resources parents might find useful linked to teaching phonics:

 Capital letter formation.pdfDownload
 Glossary of Phonics Terms.pdfDownload
 Little Wandle Teaching Overview.pdfDownload
 Pronunciation guide Autumn 1 sounds.pdfDownload
 Pronunciation guide Autumn 2 sounds.pdfDownload
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Early Reading

Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.


Sharing books togetherIn order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. Sharing books are for you to enjoy together. Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!


Here is a video with tips on how to share a book with children:




100 Recommended Reads for Nursery