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This year we have changed our phonics scheme in the Foundation Phase to 'Letters and Sounds'. We had hoped to have a Parent's Meeting to launch this and give you all the information you need however the closure of schools to Covid-19 has meant that this has had to be cancelled for the foreseeable future. However, we are keen that you are able to teach phonics at home as an essential part of the curriculum and have been providing phonic resources and activities for you since school closure. These documents already given can be found lower down on the Year 1 Home Learning home page - Literacy - Phonics. Please don't worry if you haven't accessed these as we will revisit these later on in the term and are keen for you to focus on what we provide going forward. Within this section however there is also guidance for parents for Phase 3 Letters and Sounds phonics. Please take a look at this guidance if you haven't already done so as this contains lots of important information to help you with the teaching of phonics at home.


Please use the following activities as the main focus of your phonics home learning but don't forget that you can use phonic websites as well to access interactive games and websites. A good list of these can be found on the Reception Home Learning page (link below). 

There are two activities for each new letter sound this week. If you are able to do both then great, but don't worry if you can only manage one of each sound.  These activities are in addition to phonics skills discussed at the top of the page. It helps to practise applying the letter sound which is a key part of teaching phonics. Your child needs to be able to apply what they have learnt before being ready to move on. The activities listed below are fun and engaging so we hope you all enjoy them...


Phase 3 Read and Reveal (ar)

You can do this on the computer without printing by cutting out squares and tacking with a product such as blu-tac (other products available!) onto the screen to hide the pictures.  Alternatively you can print the sheets, cut out the boxes and then fold the sheets over to hid the picture.  Your child has to read the words using the sound buttons to work out what the word says. You can then reveal the picture when they are right. Nice, simple and excellent reading practise!


Piggy Bank Game (ar)

Your child has to find the pictures that have the 'ar' sound in it and place on the piggy bank. You can then further extend your child by asking them to stick down the others on a sheet of paper and write down what words they are applying their knowledge of other sounds that they know. If you want to go for a cross-curricular skill then get your child to be the one to cut out the pictures to place on the piggy bank - a brilliant opportunity to practise scissor control and developing fine motor skills (and will keep them busy for a while!).


Phoneme Spotter (or)

This is a lovely activity and chance to get out your highlighter or fancy pens which children love to do. You can do it however your child would most enjoy this activity, but we recommend going through the text belonging to each picture one at a time. Before reading the whole sentence highlight the 'or' sounds you can find in sentences. Then your child can read the whole sentence paying particular attention to sounding out 'or' (e.g. f-or-k) rather than sound it out as as individual letters (e.g. f-o-r-k).


Guess the Gift (or)

This allows children to apply their phoneme frame knowledge too which is an important skill to learn in phonics.  Phoneme frames are where children split a page or space into three sections. One sound goes in each section remembering that two letters can make one sound such as 'or'. Children have to guess what the gift is and then write it down sounding out the words (Segmenting) and recording these. This activity is fairly short so don't be afraid to also pick up any handwriting/letter formation errors.  


Decorate a Knight's Shield Activity (igh)

This can be completed as a phonics activity and enhanced with art and craft afterwards and used in play afterwards if your child really enjoys this!  All you have to do is decorate your shield with as many 'igh' words that you can think of.  Your child needs to write the 'igh' words, but they are more than welcome to draw pictures to go with the words too if they enjoy drawing. 


igh Phoneme Spotter Activity (igh)

This is the same activity as the 'or' spotter - just a different story and sound. As stated above you can do it however your child would most enjoy this activity, but we recommend going through the text belonging to each picture one at a time. Before reading the whole sentence highlight the 'igh' sounds you can find in sentences. Then your child can read the whole sentence paying particular attention to sounding out 'igh' (e.g. n-igh-t) rather than sound it out as as individual letters (e.g. n-i-g-h-t).


Phase 3 Real or nonsense - (ur)

This activity gets us busy with colouring pencils or pens, and can also develop fine motor skills of controlling pen movements to stay within the boxes. Your child can choose two colours and create their own key - e.g. green for real words and red for nonsense words. Then they have to read through each word in a box and colour in according to their key. 


Phase 3 Roll and Read Phoneme Mat (ur)

This activity works if you have a dice in the house and adds an element of maths too! Your child has to roll the dice. Whichever number the dice lands on your child has to read the first word (that has the 'ur' sound in it) on the grid for that number. If they read it correctly they could colour in the box or place a counter on the word. The idea is to keep rolling until a number has all the words completed. That number is the winner. If your child is enjoying the activity then they are able to keep going and can work out which numbers come second, third etc. 

Phoneme flashcards for ar, or, igh, and ur can be found on page 5. You have had these sent home but if you need another copy then you can access them here...

Teaching phonics at home...

Don't forget to do flashcards of all the sounds your child has learnt so far as well as the High Frequency Words. These sounds and words are quickly forgotten and we recommend that you practise these daily to help embed them. If you need access to these, then again please refer back to the Year One Home Learning page - Literacy - Phonics to find all covered in Phase 3 to date. It is also important to note that in Phase 3 we teach the children the letter sound and the letter name. When you show them the flashcard they should say 'o or o' (sound or name). 


Phoneme frames is also a daily phonics activity using all the letter sounds we have covered to date. You can use the words from your blending and segmenting sets each week to get you started.   Just take a whiteboard and drywipe pen, or paper and pencil, split it into three boxes and away you go! Your child will be used to doing these in school and should be able to show you how to do it.


A sentence a day keeps learning in play!  Trying to write a short sentence each day is also a great way to keep your phonics ticking over and keeping learning fresh. It is surprising how quickly children can weaken or lose a skill they have been learning if it isn't regularly revisited. This quick five minute activity will help build upon what your child has learnt.



Thoughts for the week...Worksheets have a use, but in school we always strive to make things as hands-on and creative as possible. It helps learning come to life! Use the activities above as ready-made resources but if you can try some hands on activities then you will notice a difference in your child's progress. Find something that you feel is achievable within your means at home and see what happens...


...If you use facebook there are lots of pages set up to support parents during the pandemic with lots of ideas.  A good idea this week is chalking giant letters outdoors on the walls and floors and making longer words. You could even make a letter hunt around the garden for different letters and high frequency words your child has learnt so far.

...Pinterest is ever evolving and we are finding that the content is coming thick and fast now home learning is taking place across the nation. Keep checking for new ideas or updates of things you may like to do.

...Continue to use the free access sites such as Twinkl, Help your monster to read and Oxford Owl (information and link on Reception home learning page) to download more games, interactive resources online, and activities your child can do both independently and with others.

...Use the website links to play the games available or watching clips online to help with your child's phonics. 


Have fun everyone!