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The following activities will develop your child's speaking and listening skills and help lay the foundations for their phonic work. It is really important to get your child attuned to the sounds around them so that they are ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Lots of practice is needed before children will become confident in their phonic knowledge and skills , so please try to incorporate these skills and activities into daily life. If you do a little often enough you will gain much rather than trying to work through the activities as a tick box activity.

Phase One Letters and Sounds - Oral Blending and Segmenting

This activity is one that we would like you to practise daily if possible, just for a few minutes each time. 

No aspect of Phase One requires your child to read or write words. It is all done through listening and talking.


In Nursery we practise blending and segmenting CVC words by saying and hearing to them. 

CVC means consonant-vowel-consonant, for example, bin, sun, mat, hog, red.

Blending means putting sounds together so the individual sounds c-a-t become cat.

Segmenting is the opposite. Start with a word, 'dog', then break it down into sounds d-o-g.

Sounds NOT Names - Video for Parents

It is really really really important to say the sounds not the names of letters when segmenting and blending words.  

The link below demonstrates how to say each sound correctly and also the associated Jolly Phonics action.  We use the Jolly Phonics actions when we teach sounds in Nursery.

Jolly Phonics - Sounds and Actions

Blending CVC Words

  • You can either print the pictures, draw them or make a collection of physical objects representing the pictures. 
  • Begin by looking at some of the pictures/objects together and naming each of them.  We would start with no more than six pictures/objects in Nursery then increase the amount when the children are more confident in the activity.
  • Lay the pictures/objects out in front of your child.
  • Now, we need you to find your inner actor and pretend to be a robot or use a puppet to make the robot voice.
  • Using your very best robot voice segment one of the words, c-a-t. Can your child hear the word cat? If not, repeat the word a little faster.
  • It is very important that to scaffold this activity as much as your child needs to enable them to feel they have succeeded. So even if you need to just say 'cat' in a mechanical voice for your child to hear the word then praise that enormously. Then keep practising...!


Every time you see the opportunity sound out a short simple word instead of saying it. So on your way out for a walk you might say, 'Please pass me my h-a-t'.  Or they might be playing with farm animals and you could say, 'Where is the p-i-g?'

Blending Activity - Listening for the Word

PARENTS - say each CVC word in your best robot voice.  CHILD - Listens for the word and chooses the appropriate picture to click. 

There are over forty slides to choose from so this activity can be revisited several times.

Segmenting CVC Words

We would encourage you to continue just with the blending of CVC words until your child is more confident in hearing the words.  Then you can encourage your child to have a try.

Using the picture/objects they become the robot and segment CVC words for you to hear.  As always, support as much as is needed for them to always succeed.

Letters and Sounds in Rhiwbeina Primary 

This short video is available should you want to learn more about Letters and Sounds teaching at Rhiwbeina Primary School.