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Rednal Hill Infant School & Nursery Class

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Letters and Sounds for Parents


Phonics is the word we use to describe how we break down sounds in words to read and spell them.  Research has shown that the best way to teach the skill of reading and writing is tough a systematic approach, which builds up children’s knowledge of sounds and how to apply them when reading and writing.

Letters and Sounds

is the Government’s scheme to support the teaching of phonics for Primary Schools. 

Phase 1


Phase One of Letters and Sounds concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.


Phase 2


Set 1: s a t p

Set 2: i n m d

Set 3:g o c k

Set 4: ck e u r

Set 5: h b f ff l ll ss

Tricky Words

The, to, no, go, I

Phase 3


Set 6: j v w x

Set 7: y z zz qu

Consonant diagraphs: ch, sh, th, ng

Vowel diagraphs: ai ee igh oa o oar or ur ow oi ear air ure er

He, she, we, me, be, was, you, they, all are, my, her

Phase 4

Reception/ Year 1

In Phase 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk.

Said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out, what

Phase 5

Year 1

Children entering Phase Five will already be able to read and spell words with adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and flask. They will also be able to read and spell some polysyllabic words.

ay oy ea ir ou oe aw ou ie wh ph ue ew a-e i-e e-e o-e u-e ey

Oh, their, people, Mr, Mrs, looked, called, asked, could

Phase 6

Year 2

At this stage children should be able to spell words phonemically although not always correctly. In Phase Six the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers.





























It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting in Reception, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.

Learning is broken down into 6 phases which children will work through.  Children will need to be secure in each phase before moving on to the next.

To help children learn and remember each of the sounds our children decided which pictures we should use based on the images that they were most familiar with. These are the different sounds mats that we use throughout our school.

Phase 2 mat to aid Handwriting

Phase 3 and 5 mats

What do the Phonics terms mean?

Phoneme: The smallest unit of sound in a word, e.g. c/a/t, sh/o/p, t/ea/ch/er.

Grapheme: A letter or group of letter representing one sound, e.g. sh, igh, t.

Clip Phonemes:  when teaching sounds always clip them short ‘mmmm’ not ‘muh’

Digraph: Two letters which together make one sound, e.g. sh, ch, ee, ph, oa.

Split digraph: Two letters, which work as a pair, split, to represent one sound, e.g. a-e as in cake, or i-e as in kite.

Trigraph:  three letters which together make one sound but cannot be separated into smaller phonemes, e.g. igh as in light, ear as in heard, ‘tch’ as in watch.

Segmentation: means hearing the individual phonemes within a word – for instance the word ‘crash’ consists of four phonemes: ‘c – r – a – sh’. In order to spell this word, a child must segment it into its component phonemes and choose a grapheme to represent each phoneme.

Blending: means merging the individual phonemes together to pronounce a word. In order to read an unfamiliar word, a child must recognize (‘sound out’) each grapheme, not each letter (e.g. ‘th-i-n’ not ‘t-h-i-n’), and then merge the phonemes together to make the word.

Mnemonics: a device for memorizing and recalling something, such as a hand action of a drill to remember the phoneme /d/.

Adjacent consonants:  two or three letters with discrete sounds, which are blended together e.g. str, cr, tr, gr. (previously consonant clusters).

Comprehension: understanding of language whether it is spoken or written

Please click on the link below to hear the sounds pronounced correctly....

Rednal Hill Infant School, Irwin Avenue, Rednal, Birmingham, B45 8QY

0121 453 2636

Enquiries to Mrs D Brooke at