Are you able to fit ‘Letters and Sounds’ into your daily routine?
The Rose review of early reading was completed in 2006 by Sir Jim Rose and one of the recommendations was for high quality phonics work. ‘Letters and sounds’ is part of the government’s response to this. Essentially it is a series of activities which meet the criteria identified in the review as being essential to reading phonically as opposed to other methods – picture clues, for example.
The myth is that nurseries have to use ‘Letters and Sounds’. The DFES standards website is categorically clear about this – you do not have to use it if you already have a high quality phonics programme operating successfully. The question then becomes – what would Ofsted call a high quality phonics programme in lieu of Letters and Sounds?
I worked with the local speech and language therapist on a programme called ‘Kids Talk’ which I feel meets the criteria, namely phonic awareness, phonic blending, discrete daily sessions, multi sensory, incremental and systematic. As a scheme the activities are age and developmentally appropriate. The resources, in some cases, are also provided. Additional resources are easily obtained from around the nursery. In my experience the children responded very well, learning the listening rules quickly and enjoying the sessions.
Differentiation was indicated and easily applied. This is because it was devised for the Early Years’ age group within a nursery setting.
Does your speech and language therapist have a similar programme you could use?