Letters and Sounds

Letters and Sounds



Letters and Sounds

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?

Kathy Brodie

Kathy Brodie

Kathy Brodie is an author, Early Years Professional and Trainer specialising in online training and courses. She is the founder and host of the Early Years Summit and Early Years TV, weekly Professional Development for Early Years practitioners and educators.

  • user

    AUTHOR Niki Hendry-Adams

    Posted on 8:14 am July 21, 2011.

    Hi Kathy
    I was reading your article about phonics with interest and am looking for a good quality phonics programme to put in place in our nursery. I am interested in the programme you designed “kidstalk”, where can I get this?

    • user

      AUTHOR Kathy Brodie

      Posted on 10:42 am July 21, 2011.

      Hi Niki,
      Thanks for the comment. Kids talk was a local programme set up by our enthusiastic team of speech and language co-ordinators.
      Several people have contacted me about this. I had assumed that most Local Authorities had something similar, but it would appear not.
      However, the people at iCan ( have got some super publications in their Early Years bookstore, in particular Babbling Babies and Toddler Talk. Whilst not full 30 week programmes, these do have a 6 week rolling programme in the back of the books which you could then adapt for the age and stage of your children. The pack comes with beautifully illustrated instruction cards, which are easy to follow.
      Best regards


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