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Primary and Nursery School

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Early Phonics and Reading

Phase 1 Phonics

Children focus on developing their speaking and listening skills. They focus on listening to the sounds around them and also begin building on their segmenting and blending skills.

Examples of the Phase 1 Phonics Program

Phase 1 phonics is broken down into seven different aspects, these are:

  • Aspect 1 - Environmental Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 2 - Instrumental Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 3 - Body Percussion Sound Discrimination
  • Aspect 4 - Rhythm and Rhyme
  • Aspect 5 - Alliteration
  • Aspect 6 - Voice Sounds
  • Aspect 7 - Oral Blending and Segmenting


The purpose of these different aspects is to develop students’ language abilities in the following ways:

  • Learning to listen attentively
  • Enlarging their vocabulary
  • Speaking confidently to adults and other children
  • Discriminating between different phonemes
  • Reproducing audibly the phonemes they hear
  • Using sound-talk to segment words into phonemes


How can I help children with Phase 1 Phonics?

You could try:

  • Listening and comparing the sounds of different toys or musical instruments
  • Making sounds as part of your storytelling
  • Singing songs and rhymes
  • Clapping along to words or songs
  • Introducing rhyming words

Below are some links to phonics games and activities that you could play at home to help and support your child with their early phonics.

Phase 2 Phonics


In the summer term children in nursery, who are four years old, will start learning phonics through the Read, Write, Inc. programme.  This supports pre-school children's literacy progress, including developing their language through story times and teaching phonics.  Every day, children learn new sounds, and review previous sounds and words.  They apply what they have been taught by reading words containing the sounds they know in matched sound-blending books.

Parent video: How to say the sounds