March St, Burnley, BB12 0BU

01282 454 473

Stoneyholme Nursery School with Forest School

Laying the foundations for life-long learning - Tel: 01282 454473

Early Reading, Phonics & Maths


The school’s approach to early reading and phonics

The ability to read and write well is a vital skill for all children, paving the way for an enjoyable and successful school experience. Reading and writing are like a code: phonics is teaching the child to crack the code.  Phonics helps children to develop good reading and spelling skills.  To teach phonics we use a scheme called “Letters and Sounds” as our teaching resource.

Phase One of Letters and Sounds concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2.  The ways in which practitioners model speaking and listening, interact and talk with children are critical to the success of Phase One Activities.  These activities are designed to help children:  listen attentively, enlarge their vocabulary, speak confidently to adults and other children; discriminate phonemes; reproduce audibly the phonemes they hear, in order all through the word; use sound talk to segment words into phonemes.  The children will also be introduced to writing and letter formation using whiteboards, chalks, sand trays, paint, water, air; and outdoors – sticks, pebbles.

The children will move on to Phase 2 Phonics when they are able to hear and say the initial sound in words and link sounds to letters. This is the start of early reading and writing.

How you can help at home:

    • Talk about everything you are doing
    • Model language providing key words for your child to repeat
    • Increase vocabulary and identify sounds (I spy)
    • Talk about stories you read together
    • Retell familiar stories together (traditional stories)
    • Give one/two words instructions of little jobs for your child to do

** See ‘Curriculum Links’ to phonics websites

Maths is everywhere!

How children learn about numbers and develop mathematical understanding during their early years is vitally important and sets them on a path towards numeracy skills and confidence in later life. Your home is a rich learning environment. You only need to look around your home to see the opportunities to promote children’s mathematical development in meaningful ways.  If children see and hear you using mathematical terms when you go about your daily chores, they will be keen to do the same.  Children love to take part in whatever you are doing, so encourage your child to pass the pegs one by one when you are hanging out the clothes and include them when you are putting the shopping away.  “Will you carry two tins of beans?”

How you can help at home:

    • Count the houses as you go past, all the red cars, the doors
    • Count out coins to pay the shopkeeper
    • Play card and board games – snap, pairs, dominoes
    • Sharing out cake so that everyone has the same
    • How many more slices of toast do we need?
    • How many apples do we need so everyone has one?
    • Put two sausages on each plate; count out four raisins for you and four raisins for me; are there any more? How many?
    • Look for numerals on television , the microwave or the DVD
    • Find numbers on a door, a car number plate or bus number
    • Find numbers on the telephone or calculator or the clock
    • Look for patterns on materials, clothes or wrapping paper
    • Finding shapes in the environment eg. windows (squares and rectangles) and wheels (circles)


Learning Journeys and Unique Stories

Learning Journeys and Unique Stories are a way of documenting children’s learning. They are a positive way of identifying how children like to learn and highlight significant moments. We would like your contributions so that whilst your child is with us we can celebrate their achievements. You can share events with your child’s key person at any time or use the ‘Wow’ moment cards to bring into school to share.