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CLLD: Letters and Sounds

This six-phase systematic synthetic phonics programme is designed to help children become fluent readers by the age of seven. It focuses on the ‘simple view of reading’ and high-quality phonics (using blending and segmentation techniques). This can help you to teach children the correspondences between graphemes (letters) in written language and the phonemes (sounds) in spoken language. These correspondences can then help children to read and spell words.

You can use Letters and Sounds to plan, teach and assess your support during Early Years and Key Stage 1, alongside other activities within the curriculum. Although the programme is organised into a sequence of six phases, it is adaptable and designed to suit the pace of different children. A version of the programme is also available for children in Key Stage 2 who need it.

Letters and Sounds begins with a focus on listening skills and sound-making in phase one. The teaching of systematic synthetic phonics begins with phase two, where children start to be taught the relationship between written letters (graphemes) and the sounds of spoken English (phonemes). Blending and segmenting skills are taught from the start, and applied into reading fully decidable captions and phrases. The programme includes the teaching of high frequency words. By the end of the programme, children are expected to have developed strong decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) skills. Children usually secure accurate word reading before they secure comparable accuracy in spelling; therefore the teaching and learning of spelling continues beyond the programme.