Phonics at Woodbridge Primary

What is Letters and Sounds?

Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. There are six overlapping phases. The table below is a summary based on the Letters and Sounds guidance for Practitioners and Teachers. For more detailed information please click on the individual ‘More Information’ sheets or visit the Letters and Sounds website. Below is Phonics ‘Glossary’ and two useful videos to help with the sounds articulation.

PhasePhonic Knowledge and Skills
Phase One
(Nursery/Reception)
Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental
sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme,
alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and
segmenting.
Phase Two (Reception) up
to 6 weeks
Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each.
Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into
their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception)
up to 12 weeks
The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each.
Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining
phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions,
sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children
will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each
phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four (Reception) 4
to 6 weeks
No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this
phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with
adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout
Year 1)
Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more
graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus
different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six (Throughout
Year 2 and beyond)
Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and
dropping letters etc.

Phonics Glossary

TermMeaning
CVCA consonant-vowel-consonant word, such as cat , pin or top . You may also
come across the abbreviation CCVC for
consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant words such as clap and from . Also
CVCC for words such as mask and belt .
PhonemePhonemes are the smallest unit of speech-sounds which make up a word. If
you change a phoneme in a word, you would change its meaning. For
example, there are three phonemes in the word sit /s/-/i/-/t/. If you
change the phoneme /s/ for /f/, you have a new word, fit . If you change
the phoneme /t/ in fit for a /sh/, you have a new word, fish - /f/-/i/-/sh/.
GraphemeGraphemes are the written representation of sounds.
DigraphA combination of two letters representing one sound, as in ph and ey.
TrigraphA trigraph is a single sound that is represented by three letters, for example: In the word 'match', the three letters 'tch' at the end make only one sound. Other examples of trigraphs are: igh as in sigh.
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