Initially, we use Tactile letters to teach children the phonetic sounds of the alphabet. This is strengthened with the use of reading programmes, including Oxford Reading Tree literacy resources, to help reinforce the sounds through songs and actions.Using the phonics method, sounds are gradually blended together to form three (and more) letter words. Once a child is comfortable with ‘sounding out’ words, we progress to reading phrases and sentences within our reading programme.
By tracing the Tactile Letter sounds children learn the sound and shape of the letter, and gain muscular memory of the shape as a prelude to writing. Children are helped to understand that written symbols carry a meaning, to be aware of the purposes of, and when they are ready, to use drawn and written symbols for themselves. Our teachers take great care to ensure that letters and numbers are correctly formed. We encourage a firm pencil grip, creating smooth outlines and good clear shapes.
By means of adult-supported practical experience, children become familiar with sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities that form the basis of early mathematics. As they use their developing mathematical understanding to solve practical problems, children are assisted to learn and use the vocabulary of mathematics, identifying objects by shape, position, size, volume and number. Songs, games and picture books help children become aware of number sequences and when they are ready, to use simple mathematical operations such as adding, subtraction and measurement.