Phonics, Literacy and Handwriting in the EYFS
In Early Years, we teach letter names and letter sounds in tandem, but our main focus is the letter sounds, also known as 'phonics'. We teach this in order to support children's word building in both reading , enabling them to use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately, and writing, supporting them using their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.
Where does the word 'phonics' actually come from?
Phonics is derived from the Ancient Greek word phone, which means sound.
In phonics, a phoneme is a term given to the sound of particular words/letter groups, e.g. the phoneme in the words say, pay and stay is 'ay'.
Graphemes - the spelling patterns we use to write words - are so-called because they are graphic representations of spoken language.
Both classes in Reception support children's fine motor skills and handwriting, but this year Green Class has been trialling teaching cursive handwriting immediately, and Red Class wrote in the precursive style initially, with Mrs Hempstock introducing cursive when she felt it was appropriate as the year progressed. Both styles are supported by the skywriter program below.
If you're about to write, it's always a good idea to warm up your hands first!
Don't forget, if you need more/different ideas, we have dedicated sections on our pinterest pages.