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Nursery School

Where Happy Children Learn


Phonics is fun!


 We use the Red Rose Phonics programme that teaches children to listen to sounds, respond to sounds with their voices, look for patterns in sounds and spot sounds in words. As the children progress, they begin to focus on words with the same sounds, rhyming words and then begin to segment and blend ready for reading. All children take part in three planned phonic sessions every week. These are carried out by their Key Person who knows them best. There are opportunities to consolidate the skills taught throughout our continuous provision and teachers incorporate activities into the daily routine. All of our work on phonics is done through rhymes, stories and fun games.

What is phonics?


Phonics is a method of teaching reading matching sounds to letters and groups of letters.


The English alphabet writing system has only 26 letters to write the 44 English speech sounds. This means that the same letter, or groups of letters, can represent more than one sound. For example:


The letter ‘a’ as in ‘cat’ can also be used to write ay in ‘angel’.

The letter ‘I’ as in ‘pin’ can also be used to write the sound igh in ‘find’.


Before children can start to read, they need to learn to:


  • Say the sound that is represented by each letter and group of letters
  • ‘sound out’ words, e.g. c-a-t, sh-i-p, s-t-o-p.

Phonics phases explained | TheSchoolRun

Pure sounds


When teaching children to say the sounds, it’s important to say the pure sounds. This means that we say mmmmm not muh and lllll not luh. This will really help children when they come to join sounds together to read words, because it’s easier to put ‘m-a-t’ together than ‘muh-a-tuh’.

Activities to support learning phonics at Ashworth Nursery School 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.


When children are ready, we also help them to practice writing letters and teach pencil grip and formation.