New phonics content added to Discovery Education Espresso primary service in response to needs of school partners Discovery Education announced today the addition of 230 learning activities based on the Department for Education’s Letters and Sounds programme to its award-winning Discovery Education Espresso service for primary schools. These new learning tools were developed in response to requests from teachers using the service who expressed a need for additional, high-quality activities supporting Foundation and Key Stage 1 phonics. Literacy consultant, Gill Budgell, well known for her work in phonics and early literacy, provided additional expertise in the creation of the new resources and the accompanying teacher guides. “We are continuously updating our services, because we want to support teachers in delivering great teaching and learning. In our conversations with our school partners about areas of need in curriculum resourcing, greater understanding and reinforcement of phonics teaching was identified as a strong requirement” explains Lewis Bronze MBE, Director of Content at Discovery Education UK. The innovative activities have been developed and designed to be highly engaging for four to six year olds, providing pupils with the opportunity to practice the foundational phonics skills, such as blending and segmenting letter sounds, which is the groundwork for reading and spelling. Lessons include high-frequency or “common exception” words; questions encouraging pupils to read the words in context in order to give a response; and alien words, where students use their phonemic awareness to distinguish real words from nonsense words, practising the skills required for the phonics reading check. Audio support is provided in the early phases to model the blending of sounds, and is reduced in the later phases. The engaging activities accompany videos, hosted by student-friendly presenters Cat and Radzi, which give pupils the opportunity to practise and consolidate learning. These videos can be used as stand-alone activities with the whole class, in groups, or with individual students. All of these resources are available within the schools’ Discovery Education Espresso subscription. Discovery Education Espresso is an award-winning, video-rich, cross-curricular service that supports the National Curriculum and the successful integration of digital media into teaching and learning. With these updated activities, the service also supports the collaborative and growing partnership between Discovery Education and its schools.