5 RationaleLearn the sound made by letters before the name of the letterLearn letters in an order where you can make words as soon as possibleRecognise that some words cannot be blended (read with phonics knowledge) and need to be learnt by sightLink the sound to the letter in listening, speaking, reading and writing
6 First set of letters s a t p i n Learn to read these sounds wherever they are in the word, e.g. s always says s, whether sat, cats,Learn to blend the sounds into words – at, sat, sap
7 First ‘tricky’ words I Was He She Me We Talk about why they are tricky. Learn them by sight.
8 Progresssion through KS1 New letter sets – e.g. gockNew tricky words – said, wentLess common letter combinations – ch, shVowel digraphs and trigraphsConsonant digraphs and trigraphsBlendsAlternate spellings of a sound – ai, a, ay, a-eRegular and irregular tense endings – ed, ingLearning spelling patterns
9 The Challenges Most children can identify the sound – can hear and say Most children can make the link to the letter by the end of EYFSMost children find it hard to BLEND individual sounds into words and need to practise, practise, practise!Most children find it harder still to write the letter and segment words for spelling, e.g. I a-m a c –a –t.
10 What might helpMaking a sounds scrapbook to refer to regularly – helps child take ownershipBlending – magnetic letters, scraps of paper, foam letters, letters in chalk etcUsing free web–based resources, e.g. Letters and Sounds site has games, BBC also goodJolly Phonics songs and actionsAlphablocks – TV, DVD and magazine produced by BBC makes blending very easy to understand.Cursive writing practise – many free sheets available online, including sparklebox.
11 Top TipTry to say the smallest sound possible, to avoid adding other letters to your sound, e.g. ‘u’ not ‘uh’, ‘d’ not ‘durr’Try listening online to how the sounds should be said, e.g. on Mumsnet
12 Jargon bustingPhoneme – unit of sound, can be more than one letter (e.g. s, or ch, or ai)Grapheme – how the sound is represented in writingBlend – letters that make their sound very close together or blended e.g. bl, slAlso to blend phonemes (to put sounds together to make words)Digraph – two letters together making a new phoneme, e.g. ch, shTrigraph – three letter phoneme igh,Segment – to take a word apart into the separate phonemes for spelling
13 Finally No shortcuts – you will need to work at it Most children love phonics lessonsTry to link the writing (or at least making the letter shape with the arm or finger) as soon as possibleThank you for your support!