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Learning to Read and Write

At Horsted Keynes Preschool we use Letters and Sounds Phase 1 and Jolly Phonics phase materials to promote,

encourage and enhance children's early phonics skills.


Letters and sounds

It is very important that children can discriminate between different sounds before being able to sound them out verbally.  There are seven aspects to Letters and sounds phase 1 which we plan to cover during your child's time with us.  Please see the PDF just below for more information.  

Throughout Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds children will

  • develop their language structures

  • increase their vocabulary

  • begin to distinguish between sounds in words

  • speak clearly and audibly

  • become familiar with rhyme, rhythm, and alliteration

  • listen attentively

  • explore and experiment with sounds and words

Activities to support learning in Phase 1 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.

Jolly phonics


Jolly Phonics is a programme for children that builds a thorough foundation for reading and writing. It’s method of teaching the letter sounds in a fun way.  The 42 main sounds of English are taught, not just the alphabet. Phoneme pronunciation is key to accurate blending. We teach “letters” by the sounds they make rather than their letter names, e.g.:  the letter “s” is pronounced “sssssssssssss”  rather than “esss”. We want a pure sound, without the ‘uh’ at the end. Using this sounds or phonemes approach to reading, gives children the tools to figure out new words by blending their sounds together. Research shows that this improves the children’s confidence and fluency in reading and writing.
This page has some resources and tools that you can use at home to support your child as they develop their early reading and writing skills.


Learning New Sounds in Preschool

We learn 2 letter sounds from Jolly Phonics phase 1 per week and use a variety of techniques in preschool to learn and use our new sounds.  Many of these activities can and should be used at home as often as possible.

  • We sing the Jolly Phonics songs

  • We practice the sounds of the letters in our names

  • We have a special action for each sound

  • We practice building words using our letter cards

  • We look for pictures and words that start with our sounds

  • We look for our sounds all around the inside and outside environment

  • We practise writing our sounds using lots of different tools

Singing Jolly Phonics Songs and Rhymes 

Practice Jolly Phonics at home with your child using the Jolly Songs and the actions that go with them.  Your child should be able to show you the actions for the sounds.  Check our weekly newsletter for the sounds that have been learned in preschool and for the following weeks sounds. Please encourage your child to bring in something beginning with the sounds of the week.

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