St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

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At St. Joseph’s, we use a scheme called 'Floppy's Phonics' to support the children to become readers and writers. 

What is Floppy's Phonics?

Floppy's Phonics is a systematic approach for teaching children to read using phonics. It is used in many schools in England. It is split into phases, from starting to learn about sounds at nursery to becoming fluent readers around age 7.


The phonic approach encourages us to directly link letters (graphemes) to sounds (phonemes). Children can then use these ‘phonemes’ and blend them together, or segment words to help them with their reading and writing.


Phase 1 

Phase 1 supports children’s developing speaking and listening skills and linking of sounds and letters. Activities are divided into seven groups:


Environmental sounds.

Instrumental sounds.

Body percussion.

Rhythm and rhyme.


Voice sounds.

Oral blending and segmenting.


Children should be encouraged to enjoy books from as early an age as possible. However, the focus of this phase is on listening to and repeating sounds, rather than on directly reading words.


Phase 2 

Phase 2 introduces simple letter-sound correspondences. As each set of letters is introduced, children are encouraged to use their new knowledge to sound out and blend words. For example, they will learn to blend the sounds s–a–t to make the word sat.

Parent and carers guide to pronouncing phonemes

Watch to find out how to pronounce the sounds we use in the lesson videos.Ne


Set 1:

s, a, t, p

at, a, sat, pat, tap, sap, as






Set 2:

i – it, is, sit, pit, tip

n – an, in, nip, pan, nap

m – am, man, mat, map, Tim

d – dad, and, sad, dim, Sid


Set 3:

g – tag, gag, sag, gas, pig

o – got, on, not, top, dog

c – can, cot, cop, cap, cod

k – kid, kit, Kim, Ken


Set 4:

ck – kick, sack, dock, sick, pocket

e – get, pet, ten, net, pen

u – up, mum, run, mug, cup

r – rip, ram, rat, rocket, carrot

Set 5:

h – had, him, his, hot, hut

b – but, big, back, bed, bus

f, ff – of, if, off, fit, fog, puff



Set 6:

l, ll, le – let, leg, lot, bell, doll, little, bottle

ss – less, hiss, mass, mess, boss






Tricky words: the, to, no, go, I, into



Phase 3 
In Phase 3, children build on the letter-sound correspondences learned in Phase 2. They learn consonant digraphs (sounds made up of two letters together such as ‘ch’ or ‘ll’) and long vowel sounds (such as ‘igh’ or ‘ai’).


Set 7:
j  jet, jam, jog, Jan
v  van, vet, velvet
w  wig, will, web

Set 8:

x  fox, box, six

y  yes, yet, yell
z  zip, zig-zag

Set 9:
zz  buzz, jazz
qu  quit, quick, liquid

ch  chip, chat, rich

Set 10:

sh  shop, shed, fish
th  thin, moth, that
ng ring, thing, song

Revise and Stretch:

dge  bridge, fridge
ve  love, hive, give

wh  where, when, what

Revise and Stretch:

cks  blocks, bricks
tch  twitch, witch

nk  pink, wink

Set 13:
ai  rain, tail, aim
  bee, leek, see
  high, sigh, might

Set 14:

oa  boat, toad, foal
  boot, food, moon
  book, wood, foot

Set 15:
ar  park, art, car
  for, torn, fork

ur  hurt, fur, surf

Set 16:
ow  cow, owl, town
  coin, boil, oil
  dear, shear, year

Set 17:
air  fair, pair, hair

er  dinner, summer, letter

Set 18:
Revision of previously taught sounds (plus ue from Phase 5 to stretch able decoders).
Phase 3 tricky words: he, she, we, me, be, was, you, they, all, are, my, her



Phase 4 
Children will consolidate their knowledge during this phase and they will learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants (for example, trap, strong, milk and crept).

Phase 4 tricky words: said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what



Phase 5 

Children will learn some new graphemes for reading. They will also be taught alternative pronunciations for known graphemes. For example, they have already learned ow as in cow and will now learn ow as in blow.

In addition, they will learn alternative spellings for known phonemes. For example, the sound /igh/ has been learned as the grapheme igh as in ‘night’, but can also be spelled y, ie, and i-e.


New graphemes for reading:

/ai/ ai ay*   /oi/ oi oy*

/ee/ ee ea*   /igh/ igh ie*

/oa/ oa ow*   /yoo/ ue ew*

/oo/ oo ew*    /ou/ ow ou*

/ur/ ur ir*   /or/ or aw*

/eer/ ear eer*   /air/ air are*

/s/ s ce*   /e/ e ea*

/u/ u o*   -ed /d/ /t/

/ai/ ai ay eigh ey a a-e ae ea

/ee/ ee e y ey ea e-e ie

/igh/ igh i y ie i-e

/oa/ oa ow o oe o-e ough eau

/s/ s ss se ce c(e) c(i) c(y) sc st

/e/ e ea

/j/ j g(e) g(i) g(y) ge dge

/ul/ le el al il


/yoo/ ue u ew u-e eu

/oo/ oo u-e o ou -ough ue ew ui u

/oi/ oi oy

/ou/ ow ou ough

/or/ or our aw au al (w)ar (qu)ar

/ur/ ur ir er ear (w)or

/u/ u o ou our

/ar/ ar a al

/zh/ s si ge

/w/ w wh u

/f/ f ff ph gh

Alternative pronunciations

ch /ch/ /k/ /sh/ ie /igh/ /ee/

ow /ou/ /oa/ a /a/ /ai/ (w)a a(lt) /o/

/ch/ ch tch

/chu/ ture

/sh/ sh ch ti ci ssi sci

/g/ g gu gue gh

/eer/ ear eer ere ier

/air/ air are ear ere

/n/ n nn kn gn

/r/ r rr wr rh

/m/ m mm mb mn

/k/ c k ck ch qu que

/or/ or ore our oor oar aw al augh ough

Phase 5 tricky words: oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could


Phase 6 

In Phase 6 children will read with increasing fluency. They will have learned most of the common letter-sound correspondences and can read familiar words automatically without needing to sound out and blend.

Children will work on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters, and so on.