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This is my first post! I am truly grateful for this website and all the support everyone offers!

I am new to Reception, and really confused about the literacy. Should I be teaching both phonics (Letters and Sounds) AND doing sentence and text level too? Does anyone use the Hamilton plans for Reception?

Thank you!

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Welcome to the forum!

Looking at this from the literacy perspective, (I was a literacy consultant in a previous life), at this point in the term, we would have expected to see daily phonics, a couple of guided reads over the week (very short and snappy, and rooted in phonics/reading behaviours), shared writing as appropriate, (this could be something as simple as showing children how to write their names in a list for milk, etc), or modelling " I like chips.", shared reading and of course the children should be hearing lots of stories. With EYFS now in place, it seems the daily focus sessions do not necessarily have to be literacy based, other than daily phonics, but I would still hang on to my guided reading and daily stories. I've also seen people do a daily literacy focus session to good effect, but I'm not sure they would still be doing it now, and think that would also depend on your staffing, etc.

At the moment, my YR group are doing daily phonics, two guided reads a week, a shared write once a week, daily story and they have just started joining in with the rest of the class (20 x Y1/2) for a shared read once a week - the text I've been using so far in literacy has been a challenging one for Y1/2 and not suitable for YR. My next text, though, is more at their level in terms of content, and they are able to sit quietly for a bit longer now, so I might let them join in the shared reads from now on - but we'll have to play that by ear. I'm toying with the idea of an "opt in" to this for the ones who want to join the older children, and having an easier text for those who can't quite manage to listen for as long.

As for the Hamilton plans - they can be good as a starting point, some lovely ideas, lots of interactive resources, but sometimes a bit overloaded with way too many objectives for one session. Like anything else, it's a case of pick the best out of them, use what you need and get rid of the rest.

Hope that helps a bit! I'm sure lots of other people will be along with more Foundation stage advice. :o

Edited by Guest
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Thank you so much for your very helpful suggestions, Tracylu! I feel that I am on the right track. So relieved!

Thank you to everyone else for your warm welcomes!

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