Foundation 1: Letters and Sounds Phase 1 and Read Write Inc.
Letters and Sounds:
Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for later phonic work. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).
It is intended that each of the first six aspects should be dipped into, rather than going through them in any order, with a balance of activities. Aspect 7 will usually come later, when children have had plenty of opportunity to develop their sound discrimination skills.
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 in the guidance 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 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.
To practise oral blending, the teacher could say some sounds, such as /c/-/u/-/p/ and see whether the children can pick out a cup from a group of objects. For segmenting practise, the teacher could hold up an object such as a sock and ask the children which sounds they can hear in the word sock.
The activities introduced in Phase 1 are intended to continue throughout the following phases, as lots of practice is needed before children will become confident in their phonic knowledge and skills.
Read Write Inc.
Read Write Inc. in Foundation 1 incorporates stories, nursery rhymes, poems and songs in order to lay the foundations of early reading skills. Children need lots of opportunities to develop familiarity with stories and songs to help develop rhyme, rhythm and alliteration to deepen their awareness of words and phrases. Alongside these skills the children will begin to match sounds to letters and the English alphabet has 26 letters with 44 speech sounds e.g. 'a' as in cat or 'i' as in pin.
Foundation 2: Read Write Inc.
The Read Write Inc. programme is designed to support children becoming confident, fluent readers.
Children are in small groups with children at a similar stage of development. Phonics lessons are quick paced, delivered daily and opportunities are given throughout the day for the children to practice the skills taught.
How and what do the children learn?
In reading the children:
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- learn to read words using sound blending
- read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
- after meaningful discussion led by an adult children show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions
In writing the children:
- learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
- learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes
- learn to build sentences orally using adventurous vobabulary
- start with simple sentences and develop towards more complex ones by the end of the programme
- compose a range of texts using discussion prompts
To develop talking skills children are assessed so they work with children at the same level. This allows them to take a full part in all lessons.
They work in pairs so that they:
- answer every question
- practise every activity with their partner
- take turns in talking to each other