McMillan Nursery School

Phonics in Nursery


At McMillan Nursery School we understand the importance of teaching early phonics to ensure children have good foundations for early reading and are ‘school ready’.   

We have created a phonics curriculum using a systematic teaching approach with a clear progression of knowledge and skills.  

Our phonics curriculum primarily focuses on Phase 1 phonics focussing on speaking and listening skills, tuning into and distinguishing between sounds and oral blending and segmenting.  Phase 1 lays the foundations for phonic work which starts in Phase 2.  

 Phonics is taught in small focus groups; following the structure – recap, teach, practice and apply.  Teaching is interactive and multisensory and is applied throughout the nursery curriculum to extend children’s learning and ensure maximum retention of the taught phonics knowledge and skills.

We hold a phonics workshop for parents of school leavers in January each year.
If you require and further information, please do not hesitate to contact the Ms Cathy Stokes, Headtecacher or Miss Carla Bowden, teacher. 

How can you help your child continue phonics learning at home?

Sounds around us

Children need to be aware of the different sounds they hear every day. Such as the doorbell, the telephone, the sound of the washing machine. It is important to encourage children to listen to sounds carefully and talk about the sounds around them.





Rhythm and body beats

 Learning about rhythm is important for children to learn how to read. Sing action songs with your child such as ‘If you’re happy and you know it’, making sounds using different parts of their body, like clapping their hands, stamping their feet and patting their knees. 


Musical Instruments

 Children can have a go at making their own sounds and experimenting with lots of different sounds. They can play different musical instruments, they can make their own instruments and they can use everyday items, such as pots and pans, to make music.




Fun with Rhymes

Rhyming is when words sound the same at the end– such as HAT and CAT. Children can learn about rhyming by singing lots of nursery rhymes and by hearing rhyming stories. Children can fill in the missing rhyming words and then change them to make their own silly rhymes.



Alliteration games

Alliteration is when words sounds the same at the beginning. It is important for children to recognise words that begin with the same sound, such as sock, snake, slide, stick. Eye spy is a great game to play to support this skill.




Making voice sounds

 Children need to hear the differences between the different sounds we make with our mouths. It is good for children to look at their mouth in a mirror while they make different sounds. Animal sounds are great sounds to make with our voices.


Here are some other phonics activities you can try at home with your children.


Alliteration Challenge

Body Percussion Challenge 

Environmental Sounds Challenge

Rhyme Challenge

Voice Sounds Challenge

Railway Street, Nelson, Lancashire,
Entrance on Brunswick Street, Nelson

01282 612709