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St Joseph's Catholic Primary School

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Phonics

Phonics

 

At St. Joseph’s, we use Letters and Sounds to support the children to become readers and writers. 

 

What is Letters and Sounds?

Letters and Sounds is a systematic approach for teaching children to read using phonics. It is used in many schools in England, but is not a mandatory part of the National Curriculum. It is split into six 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 Letters and Sounds

Approx age: 3–4 | Nursery/Reception

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.

Alliteration.

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 Letters and Sounds

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.

 

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

l, ll – let, leg, lot, bell, doll

ss – less, hiss, mass, mess, boss

Phase 2 tricky words: the, to, no, go, I, into

 

Phase 3 Letters and Sounds
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 6:
j  jet, jam, jog, Jan
v  van, vet, velvet
w  wig, will, web
x  fox, box, six

 

 

Set 7:
y  yes, yet, yell
z  zip, zig-zag
zz  buzz, jazz
qu  quit, quick, liquid

 

Consonant digraphs:
ch  chip, chat, rich
sh  shop, shed, fish
th  thin, moth, that
ng ring, thing, song

 

Vowel digraphs and trigraphs:
ai  rain, tail, aim
ee
  bee, leek, see
igh
  high, sigh, might
oa
  boat, toad, foal
oo
  boot, food, moon
oo
  book, wood, foot
ar
  park, art, car
or
  for, torn, fork


ur  hurt, fur, surf
ow
  cow, owl, town
oi
  coin, boil, oil
ear
  dear, shear, year
air
  fair, pair, hair
ure
  sure, pure, manure
er
  dinner, summer, letter

Phase 3 tricky words: he, she, we, me, be, was, you, they, all, are, my, her

 

 

Phase 4 Letters and Sounds
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 Letters and Sounds

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:
ay  day, play, crayon
ou
  cloud, sound, about
ie
  pie, tie, cried
ea
  sea, meat, read
oy
  toy, enjoy, boy
ir
  bird, shirt, first
ue
  blue, true, glue
aw
  paw, claw, yawn
wh
  wheel, whisper, when

 

ph  photo, dolphin, alphabet
ew
  new, crew, flew
oe
  toe, foe, tomatoes
au
  Paul, launch, haul
a-e
  make, game, snake
e-e
  these, Eve, extreme
i-e
  like, time, slide
o-e
  home, bone, pole
u-e
  rule, June, flute

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

 

Phase 6 Letters and sounds

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.

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