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Song of Sounds

The Song of Sounds is a phonics programme that teaches children their letter sounds (phonemes) through a song and a huge range of games and activities that help them to learn. The song teaches the children the letter sounds and how to read and write them. The tune, colourful pictures and actions for each letter sound all help the children to learn quickly. The 26 letters of the alphabet are covered first, followed by two- and three-letter sounds e.g. sh, air.


Phonics helps children learn to read and write by teaching them the letter sounds (known as phonemes), rather than letter names, for example, the sound that ‘c’ makes, not the alphabetic name.


There are 42 sounds in the English language that can be heard in words. These include the 26 sounds in the alphabet but also some more complex sounds that are made up of 2 or even 3 letters e.g. ‘sh’ in the word ‘shark’ or ‘oo’ in the word ‘moon’ or ‘igh’ in the word ‘night’.


Your child will be taught these letter sounds during the early stages of their learning. The letter sounds are not introduced in alphabetical order. The first group has been chosen because when put together they make more simple three-letter words than any other letters!


s a t p i n m d g o c k e u r h b f l j v w x y z qu ch sh th ng nk ai ee igh oa oo oo ar or er ow oi air ear ure


Sounds with more than one way of being written are taught first in one form only, for example, the sound ‘ay’ (play) is introduced first with the alternatives ‘ai’ (train) and ‘a-e’ (cake) being taught later.


For each sound in the Song of Sounds there is an action which helps the children remember the sound the letter makes and the song is sung every day! As the letter sounds are taught, it would be hugely beneficial if you can practice these sounds with your child every day.


Practise singing the song as much as you can, but practise in different ways to keep it interesting for your child. Here are some ideas….

  • Sing the song EVERYWHERE - at home, in the car, at Granny’s house, during bathtime etc.
  • You sing a song lyric and ask your child to perform the corresponding action. The swap over so your child sings and you perform the action. Make sure you make some mistakes – children love it when grown-ups get it wrong.
  • This time, perform an action and ask your child to sing the song lyric. To make this even more challenging, you could perform an action and your child should say the sound! Again, take turns with your child to make it lots of fun.
  • Sing a jumbled up version of the song – you sing the first word e.g. ‘sharks’ and your child must complete the lyric e.g. ‘on the shore sh sh sh’.
  • Use the song to help you with chores e.g. play musical get dressed in the morning (every time you stopsinging they must freeze!) play musical tidy up, sing-a-long at bathtime/mealtimes/bedtime, can they get dressed before the song finishes etc.
  • You could even challenge your child to sing the song backwards!

Song of Sounds - Stage 1 2022

This is the very catchy stage one song which the children use when in reception.

How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

When children are learning to read and write, it is much easier for them if you say the sounds in a very ‘pure’ way. E.g. ‘c’ rather than ‘cuh’, ‘mmm’ rather than ‘muh’. This makes it much easier for children to blend sounds together to read words as it is easier for them to put c-a-t together than ‘cuh’-a’-tuh’. Saying the sounds in this pure way also helps children to hear sounds in words much easier which helps them to write.

If you are finding it difficult to know how to pronounce some of the sounds we have been learning in school this video may help. Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter.