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How to say the sounds

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Letters and Sounds

Throughout Foundation stage and Key Stage one children are taught Letters and Sounds phonics.


Foundation Stage 1 children are taught phase one.

Phase one activities are arranged under the following 7 aspects        (During F1)

Aspect 1: General sound discrimination – environmental sounds

Aspect 2: General sound discrimination – instrumental sounds

Aspect 3: General sound discrimination – body percussion

Aspect 4: Rhythm and rhyme

Aspect 5: Alliteration

Aspect 6: Voice sounds

Aspect 7: Oral blending and segmenting

Jolly phonics is used alongside this. It gives us an action and song for each letter sound. This helps the children to remember the sounds.


Foundation Stage 2 children are taught phase two                       (During F2)

Children entering Phase Two will have experienced a wealth of listening activities, including songs, stories and rhymes. They will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally. Some will also be able to recognise spoken words that rhyme and will be able to provide a string of rhyming words, but inability to do this does not prevent moving on to Phase Two as these speaking and listening activities continue.

The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of this phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During this phase they will be introduced to reading two syllable words and simple captions. They will also learn to read some high frequency 'tricky words'.


Phase 3                                                                        (During F2)

Children entering Phase Three will know around 19 letters and be able to blend phonemes to read VC words and segment VC words to spell. While many children will be able to read and spell CVC words, they all should be able to blend and segment CVC

words orally.

The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising of two letters (eg oa as in boat), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a grapheme. Children also continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation in this phase, and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They will learn letter names to read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words.


Phase 4                                                                        (During Year 1)

Children entering Phase Four will be able to represent each of 42 phonemes by a grapheme, and be able to blend phonemes to read CVC words and segment CVC words for spelling. They will have some experience in reading simple two-syllable words and captions. They will know letter names and be able to read and spell some tricky words.

The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children's knowledge of graphemes in reading and spelling words containing adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words.


Phase 5                                                                         (During Year 1/2)

Teaching children to recognise and use alternative ways of pronouncing the graphemes and spelling the phonemes already taught.


Phase 6                                                                         (During year 2)

By the beginning of Phase Six, children should know most of the common grapheme– phoneme correspondences (GPCs). They should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways:

reading the words automatically if they are very familiar;

decoding them quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established;

decoding them aloud.

Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times. Spelling usually lags behind reading, as it is harder. 


The daily phonics lesson follows a clear pattern:


Revisit and review- no new learning; practising what we already know.

Teach- a new phoneme/grapheme correspondence or tricky word(s).

Practise- the new phoneme/grapheme correspondence in individual words; the tricky word(s).

Apply- the new phoneme/grapheme correspondence in individual words; the tricky word(s) into a sentence for reading or writing.


Pupils will learn to use specific terminology from the beginning.

A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a word (c-a-t, s-h-o-p).

A grapheme is the phoneme written down. This may consist of one letter (t), two letters (ch), or more than two letters (igh,aigh).

A di-graph is a group of two letters that represent one phoneme (ch,sh,ee).

A tri-graph is a group of three letters that represent one phoneme (igh, tch,ere).