Phonics Sounds

Phonics Sounds

Phonics Sounds


Phonics explained

How are there 44 sounds taught in phonics, but only 26 letters? In which phase is each sound taught? What order do I teach the sounds? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about phonics...

Letters and sounds

There are only 26 letters in the English language, but 44 sounds. This is because the letters can be combined to make different sounds and some letters can make more than one sound. Children are introduced to new letters and sounds in Phase 2, Phase 3 and Phase 5.

Phase 2

Letters and their sounds are not taught in alphabetical order. Letters and sounds are introduced in a specific order to allow children to begin to read and write lots of words straight away.

The letters and sounds taught in our Phase 2 pack are:

  • s/ss, a, t, p

  • i, n, m, d

  • g, o, c, k

  • ck, e, u, r

  • h, b, f, l/ll


Phase 3

The remaining single letter sounds are introduced as well as digraphs and trigraphs

The letters and sounds taught in our Phase 3 pack are:

  • 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

Phase 5

Alternative graphemes are introduced. Children are taught different ways to write the sounds they have learnt in the previous phases. 

The letters and sounds taught in our Phase 5 pack are:

  • /c/ - c, ch, ck, k
  • /e/ - e, ea
  • /f/ - f, ph
  • /j/ - dge, g, j
  • /m/ - m, mb
  • /n/ - gn, kn, n
  • /r/ - r, wr
  • /s/ - c, s, sc, se, st
  • /w/ - w, wh
  • /z/ - se, z, zz
  • /ch/ - ch, tch
  • /sh/ - c, ch, s, sh, ss, t
  • /ai/ - ai, a-e, ay, ei, high, ey
  • /ee/ - ea, ee, e-e, eo, ey, ie, y
  • /igh/ - i, ie, i-e, igh, y
  • /oa/ - o, oa, oe, o-e, ow
  • long /oo/ - ew, oo, ou, ue, u-e, ui
  • /yoo/ - ew, u, ue, u-e
  • short /oo/ - oo, our, u
  • /or/ - al, au, aw, or, our
  • /er/ - ear, er, ir, or, ur
  • /ow/ - ou, ow
  • /oi/ - oi, oy
  • /ear/ - ear, eer, ere
  • /air/ - air, are, ear, ere