Letters and Sounds
'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'