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Help! Letters And Sounds Progression/timings.


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Hi, I was wondering if anybody could help me! I am teaching a combined Nursery and Reception class (3-5) and have some very different abilities when it comes to Letters and Sounds.


I have 2 Reception Children who are on reading books and fairly fluent but need work on writing, have a group of 6 children (mainly reception but one nursery) who are in phase 2 and on about the 3rd set of letters but need work on blending and segmenting. I have one reception child who knows 's' 'a' and 't' and 2 nursery children who are very young and can do 's' but i would like to do phase one activities with them also. :o


So 11 children in total (so I have no TA in the morning) and I havent taught EYFS before.

All the children are at very different levels and though there are not many of them and it is nice to work 1:1 as much as I can i feel my time could be planned better.


Do I separate all the 'groups' off and spend all the CLL session with groups, how should I conduct whole class activities and when will I have time to do work on stories etc?


I understand it may sound like the children are moving to quickly or being pushed but it is an Independent school and I am only covering for maternity and usually the children can fluently read by the time they reach the end of Reception, some at a year 2 level.


I feel that the past half term I have spent most of my teaching time working in small groups on Letters and sounds, surely this isn't right?


I would appreciate any help and suggestions with how best to conduct my time when it comes to CLL and L&S,

Thank you. xD

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You have a very different situation from mine, so this is only a 'it worked for me' suggestion.

With a Year R class, all at different stages of letters and sounds, I had whole class phonics sessions each day. Three of these would begin with a couple of Phase 1 activities, with everyone joining in. Children firmly working in phase one would them 'peel off' to choose their own activity while I taught the next bit of phase two, (new sound, blending, segmenting, tricky words etc) after which another layer of children would 'peel off' leaving me with a few who could sustain attention for a further few minutes to work with more complex words. I was worried that children would rather 'go and choose' but they responded well to the challenges presented so it was fine. On the other two days we would all work together on reading or writing. The whole session was 20- 25 mins long.

I also did focus groups during the day working with small groups on two days a week, which gave the opportunity to introduce phase two sounds to children mostly working within phase one in a gentle way.


Phonics can take over your life - certainly when we began working with Letters and Sounds that was how it felt, but 'fast and focussed' at this end of the year seems to pay dividends in building children's confidence in their own abilities, so we have stuck at it.

Hope this helps a little.

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Again my situation is different. I would say that you could offer some phase 1 activities with all the children as that should be continually happening throughout the year and nursery children can choose to join them, you could set out activities for children to choose too, maybe a game you have done in an adult led session and they can choose to do it independently. As for your reception children I would teach all the children together, starting with phase 2, some children may struggle but you could offer an intervention for them during the day at another time in addition as they will still be learning important blending and segmenting skills and may learn the odd letter sound. During the 'apply' part of the session I get my 2 top children who are reading to read or write different harder words/sentences than the others. And have introduced a few other digraphs to them during the day. Its working for me. x

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