Manor Field Infant and Nursery School and Aslacton Primary School

Phonics support session for parents October 2016

In our daily phonics sessions, we use some technical, phonic specific vocabulary which the children become very familiar with.


Blending is saying the individual sounds that make up a word and then merging or blending the sounds together to say the word.  This is the skill needed to read a word.


This is the opposite of blending and is when the word is split into its individual sounds.  Segmenting is needed when spelling and writing.


A phoneme is a single sound made from one or more letters – e.g. s, p, z, ch, oa.


A digraph is where two letters together are making one sound, e.g – oa, ai, ch, sh.


This is like a digraph, but instead of two letters making one sound, three letters make one sound, e.g the ‘igh’ in ‘light’.


This is the written representation of a phoneme, or sound, e.g. the first sound in ‘chair’ is written as ‘ch’ and the first sound in ‘boat’ is written as ‘b’.

Tricky word

These are words that cannot be sounded out.  The first five tricky words that are introduced are – go, no, I, to, no.


Letters and Sounds

Letters and Sounds is a Government produced document detailing the teaching of phonics.  Each of the phases detailed below, builds on the learning in the previous phase.

Phase 1 – Usually started in Nursery and continued into Reception.  Children will experience a wealth of listening activities, including songs, stories and rhymes.  They will learn to distinguish between speech sounds and may be able to blend and segment words orally.

Phase 2 – This phase is started at the beginning of Reception.  Children begin by learning 19 letters of the alphabet, along with the first 5 tricky words.  The words are introduced in a particular order, in order for children to start building words more rapidly, ie, the most common letters are introduced early on.  The letters are usually introduced one set per week.

Set 1: s a p t

Set 2: i n m d

Set 3: g o c k

Set 4: ck e u r

Set 5: h b f ff ; ll ss

Phase 3

The purpose of this phase is to introduce another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising two letters (e.g. ‘oa’ as in ‘coat).  Children will continue to practice blending and segmenting and extend this to reading simple captions.  They will learn the names of the letters as well as some more tricky words (including she, he, we, be, me), some of which they will learn to spell.

j v w x y z zz qu ch sh th ng ai ee igh, oa oo ar or ur ow oi ear air ure er

Tricky words introduced in Phase 3 – he she we me be was my you her they all are

Phase 4

Children entering Phase 4 will be able write each of the 42 sounds learnt, as well as being able to read simple words and segment words in order to spell them.  The purpose of this phase is to consolidate children’s knowledge of graphemes and when reading and spelling longer words.  Further tricky words are introduced to read.

Tricky words – said so do have like some come were there little one when out what

Phase 5

The purpose of this phase is for children to broaden their knowledge of graphemes and phonemes.  They will learn some new ways of spelling and pronouncing graphemes they have learnt.

How can I support my child’s phonic development?

There are many ways of supporting and encouraging your child’s phonics development at home.

Use magnetic letters on the fridge and arrange them into simple words.

Put notes inside their lunchbox for your child to read at lunchtime.

Leave notes around the house, for your child to find and read.

Put up large letters at home, so your child becomes familiar with them.

Point out letter sounds whilst out shopping – look for specific sounds in signs or on label and packets.

Make up alien words for your child to read, where they have to use their phonics skills to decode words, rather than being able to recognise the whole word.  (ub, lub, zop)

The most important thing that you can do when supporting your child’s phonics development, is ensure that your pronunciation of each sound is clear.  The sounds should be spoken as a ‘pure sound’, ie. clearly and distinctly without adding additional sounds to the end e.g. ‘f’, not ‘fuh’.

p, t, c, k, h, j and ch Spoken without a voice and followed with a puff of air – a soft sound
m, n, l, z, r and v Spoken with a voice and can be lengthened – mmmmmm, nnnnnn, llllllll
s, f, th, sh Spoken without a voice and can be lengthened – mmmmmm, nnnnnn, llllllll
b, d, g, y, w and a,e,i,o,u Spoken with a voice but cannot be lengthened – buh, duh, guh


Please ask your child’s class teacher if you have any concerns or questions over the year regarding phonics.  We will be very happy to talk to you.


Phonics screening check