Part 1: Learning the letter sounds

Sound books

Each child should have their own sound book. This could be a plain exercise book that has been cut horizontally in half. As soon as the letter sound has been taught, it is stuck on to the next clean page. (Copies of the letter sounds for this purpose are in Photocopy Section 4, Phonics Handbook).

The Sound Book should be taken home every day so that parents can help their child become fluent at knowing the letter sounds. The importance of this can be explained at the initial parents meeting. The next day the teacher listens to the children saying the sounds in their Sound Books. This is the idea. In large classes it is impossible without extra adult help, such as a parent helper or assistant. If these are not available then a compromise has to be made, such as a group at a time, or only the weakest every day and some of the others.

When they know their first six sounds, a coloured star can be stuck in their book to show they have achieved this. A different coloured star can be used for when the next group of letters is known. This acts as an encouragement to the children.