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Letter And Sounds


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This half term, we have just started formally having a letters and sounds session after registration each session with our F1 children. We are covering phase one and listening skills/games at the moment, for example this week using instruments and songs from the singing phonics book.

 

Prior to this, the setting covered anything like this amongst other things in story time/song time at the end of the session. This is now planned in in addition to story time/song time at the end with specific reference to letters and sounds phases. I had to get the staff to see that having it at the start would be beneficial as it would allow children to extend their experiences into their child-initiated time. All the staff are pleased with how it is going, the group size is currently between 16-20 each session and I have seen a massive improvement in the children's sitting and listening skills in the short time i have been there (this is my first term)

 

We are based in a small terrapin, yet the CLL lady from the council came the other day and said we should be doing Letters and Sounds in small groups. Now I work in the FS in the school as well, and there we have lots of areas and we are all in small ability groups, but in our preschool building how would phase 1 work in small groups without being distracting?! They are all working pretty much at the same level, we do lots of Letter and sounds 'stuff' naturally as we talk to the children and interact throughout the session, with the opportunity to extend with individuals as we observe them. Perhaps later down the line it may be possible to split into smaller groups, but I am not sure what we would gain from attempting to do so at this early stage? We have only been doing it for 3 weeks, and I am wondering if it is ok to ignore her advice at this stage, confident in my reasons why?! (I think! Ha, not really very confident or I wouldn't be asking on here!)

 

Clare

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We struggle to do small group sessions as we are a small (but lovely) nursery with only the cloak room as an additional space, as the children use the community bricks out there(or dance, or the cars and garages, or just for a quiet area for a chat) they get a bit peeved when groups are taken out there - plus they want to have a go of what is going on! We have been trying to play 'sound lotto' for the last week or so, but we also have to depend on additional adults so that we can focus on the group and all the other children have enough staff with them! We have someone in next week to see what we do, so we will find out if there are any good suggestions.

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Thanks Both, be interested to hear how you get on Kate with your visit, and Marion, of course, I am new to this, and forget that they are only advisors, it is not yet in the EYFS that we have to deliver letters and sounds in any set way is it!!

 

Clare

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I agree with Marion, Clare. It sounds like you've set up a nice group there, and it's working, so I see no point making smaller groups for the sake of it. If the children are engaged, having fun and learning the L&S concepts, you're definitely on the right track. :o

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Hi

 

We have been using l and s for 12 months now. I am in a pre-school and have a group of around 12 children we all sit on the magic carpet together and do whatever the activity is. I found that in smaller groups the noise from the other children was distracting so we te,nd to do it together with a member of staff supporting me, I would say that in my experience so far their listening and sitting skills do develop over time.

 

Ange

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Hi Clare

I think I'd go against the popular opinion on this one and say it depends on the activity. Personally, I would always prefer to do Letters and sounds activities in smaller groups, and absolutely no more than 12. Some things can be done by a larger group, some of the body percussion or some of the rhythm and rhyme activities, but some where perhaps something is passed around really are better with less children, they get a chance to respond and take part more individually. This is just how I would do it. Its the same with speaking and listening activities, to really get everyone to take part, imagine if you are the last of 24 children to get your turn?

 

However, there is often a disparity between what is ideal and what is practical or manageable. We all have barriers, difficulties etc that affect the decisions we make. So, if you have reflected on the advice give, and concluded that this is the best way for you to manage what you are doing, then you can justify it. Whether or not you take your advice (presumably an EYAT?), you have now reflected on what you do and why, and that is a good thing.

 

I hope that makes sense

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