Letters & sounds


What is letters & sounds?

  • Principles and practice of high quality phonics.
  • A department of education and skills document guidance for early years and school provisions, to promote communication and language for children.
  • Develops children’s speaking and listening skills, that continues and develops at school.
  • Includes 6 phases.
  • Phase 1 only is for early years provisions.


Letters & sounds phase 1

  • Phase 1 is mainly the Communication, Language and Literacy sections of the EYFS.
  • Supports the linking of sounds and letters in order of which they occur in words, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.
  • Promotes the EYFS Personal, social and emotional/Expressive art and design areas.
  • Activities within this phase are generally adult led, with the intention of teaching young children important basic elements of the letter and sounds programme.



Phase 1 is made up of 7 aspects:

  • Environmental sounds.
  • Instrumental sounds.
  • Body percussion.
  • Rhythm and rhyme.
  • Alliteration.
  • Voice sounds.
  • Oral blending and segmenting.


How does Choochoos use letters & sounds?

  • Choochoos have 7 letters and sounds boxes, each representing an aspect, with the activities/activity cards inside.
  • Practitioners will access the activities out of these boxes daily, rotating and repeating the activities as needed.
  • Activities range from sound walks, sound stories, rhyming bingo, exploratory bags/boxes, toy talk and much more.
  • Letters and sounds is part of the children’s daily routine within their activities, e.g. music time, group time or free play, varying with age.
  • Practitioners will lead these activities and observe the children while taking part.
  • Used with all ages 0-5 years. However our preschool children are provided with letters and sounds group time during each session, younger children weekly.
  • All staff receive letters and sounds training as part of their professional development.
  • Each room has a copy of the letters and sounds government guidance to access at all times.


‘Research shows that children who start school as confident speakers with good language skills become successful learners and achieve in life’.



Please click on this link to find out more about the letters and sounds guidance.