What is Phonics?

What is Phonics?

What is Phonics?


Phonics is a way of helping children to read and write by teaching them the 44 sounds in the English language and the letters used to write each sound. It is a great way to help children begin to read and write quickly and with confidence. 

Phonics is split into six phases. Each phase teaches a different skill which will help children become successful readers and writers.

Throughout their phonics journey children will become more confident at recognisingthe sounds that different letters make and will become experts at blending and segmenting.

Phonological awareness 

Phase 1

Phase 1 introduces children to listening to and hearing different sounds. Phase 1 lays the foundation skills for all of the higher phases.

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Single letter sounds

Phase 2

Phase 2 introduces children to 20 letters and their corresponding sounds. Children use these letters to read and write simple CVC words (words with a consonant, a vowel and then a consonant).

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Digraphs and trigraphs 

Phase 3

Phase 3 introduces children to 25 letter combinations and their corresponding sounds. Many of the sounds taught in this phase are digraphs and trigraphs. Children use these letters to read and write words.

Adjacent consonants and polysyllabic words

Phase 4

Phase 4 introduces children to consonant blend words, polysyllabic words and reading and writing sentences.


Alternative graphemes

Phase 5

Phase 5 introduces children to alternative graphemes. Children use these alternative graphemes to read and write sentences.

Tenses, suffixes, prefixes and spelling rules

Phase 6

Phase 6 introduces children to spelling rules. Children learn how to use past and present tenses and how to add prefixes and suffixes. Children begin to read and write longer texts.

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