Classes in Exeter and Exmouth set to re-open

Phonics classes resume in Exmouth, Lympstone and Topsham

Phonics classes resume in Exmouth, Lympstone and Topsham - Credit: Jessica Jenner

Parents can breathe a sigh of relief as baby and children’s classes finally reopen after the most recent lockdown.

But as well as having to adapt to the new Covid social distancing restrictions, Exeter and Exmouth’s Phonics with Robot Reg classes will also look a bit different.

Instead of just focussing on the children the classes will also be supporting the parents.

Local class leader Jessica Jenner said: “So much has changed in the last 13 months and we have realised that our classes do more than teach the foundations of reading and writing.

“They also provide a safe and supportive space for parents of young children. As a mum myself I know that being at home with a young child can feel isolating without being in a global pandemic.

“We recognise that our classes provide a vital service for parents who need to get out of the house and make friends in their community."

Another change to classes will be a greater emphasis on making sure parents understand how to help their child with phonics at home should another lockdown happen again.

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Jessica added: “As well as teaching phonics we also teach fine and gross motor skills. People who come to classes sometimes think that we use playdoh and props for fun but it’s also to help children develop the skills and muscle strength to be able to write.”

“We have listened to what parents missed about the face to face classes and we are doing our best to make it the best experience for everyone that attends.”

Phonics with Robot Reg classes teach young children how to recognise letters and sounds and blend them together through activities, music and games.

The highlight of every class is the appearance of Robot Reg, the cheeky class mascot who struggles to speak properly and needs the children’s help.

The classes were devised by primary school teacher Alex Burnside and her drama teacher sister Charlie Day in 2016 and there are now franchises teaching with Robot Reg all across the globe.

Classes, which were forced online for the second time in a year in January reopened on Tuesday (April 20) and run in Exmouth, Lympstone and Topsham.

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