top of page


What is Phase 1 Phonics?

Phase 1 phonics is the first stage of the phonics teaching program. At this stage, the focus is primarily on developing speaking and listening skills. Speaking and listening are an important set of literacy skills that will create the foundation for a lot of your children's further learning. Listening requires the fundamental skill of focusing attention on the speaker to be able to hear and understand what the speaker is saying. Speaking skills require students to take turns, speak confidently, stay on topic and speak with clarity.

Phase 1 phonics also lays the foundation for further Phonics stages.

Examples of Phase 1 Phonics

Phase 1 phonics in the DfE Letters and Sounds document is broken down into seven different aspects:

  • Aspect 1 - Environmental Sound Discrimination

  • Aspect 2 - Instrumental Sound Discrimination

  • Aspect 3 - Body Percussion Sound Discrimination

  • Aspect 4 - Rhythm and Rhyme

  • Aspect 5 - Alliteration

  • Aspect 6 - Voice Sounds

  • Aspect 7 - Oral Blending and Segmenting

The purpose of these different aspects is to develop students’ language abilities in the following ways:

  • Learning to listen attentively

  • Enlarging their vocabulary

  • Speaking confidently to adults and other children

  • Discriminating between different phonemes (sounds)

  • Reproducing audibly the phonemes they hear

  • Using sound-talk to segment words into phoneme

Why is Phase 1 phonics important?

If children do not fully develop speaking and listening skills it can mean that they may struggle to hear the individual sounds in words, which can mean children find it much harder to spell and blend sounds for reading.

How can you help your children with Phase 1 Phonics?

It is important to remember that you don't have to teach children the 7 aspects in any particular order. You can just make teaching Phase 1 phonics part of your everyday activities by getting children to listen to the sounds around them.

You could try:

  • Listening and comparing the sounds of different toys or musical instruments

  • Making sounds a part of your storytelling

  • Singing songs and rhymes

  • Clapping along to words or songs

  • Introducing rhyming words

 Phase 1 Phonics Spring Term 1                          Phase 2 Phonics Spring Term 2

bottom of page