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Phonics

Letters and Sounds

Overview

'Letters & Sounds' is the government programme for teaching phonics and high frequency words.

It is split into 6 phases:

Phase 1: Children learn rhymes. Keep rhythms and start to relate letter sounds to (starting in Nursery) words. E.g. b for bag.

Phase 2: Children learn initial letter sounds and build 3 letter words.

Phase 3: Children learn all 44 phonemes and blend sounds to read and write words.

Phase 4:  Children blend consonants together to read difficult words e.g. blue, grab.

Phase 5: Children learn how to spell letter sounds in more than one way e.g. rain, day, make.

Phase 6: Children learn how to spell word specific spellings. E.g. turned, beautiful, shopping.

 

What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Children are taught how to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes.
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘oo’.
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

The aim of this page is to give you a clear picture of how we approach the teaching of phonics and word recognition and how, as a parent or carer, you can support and encourage your child at home. 

 

Here's some of the technical vocabulary explained.

Blend(ing) - to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p

CVC - Consonant - Vowel - Consonant (cat)

CCVC - Consonant - Consonant - Vowel - Consonant (pram)

Grapheme - Written representation of the sounds

Phoneme - Smallest unit of speech sounds sh/i/p 

Segment(ing) - to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it.

Suffix(es) - a unit of letters such as 'ed' 'ing' that are added to a word to change its meaning e.g. play'ed'

How to pronounce pure sounds

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples.

How to blend sounds to read words

This video explains how letter sounds can be blended to read words, and gives tips on how to practise phonics with your child.

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