Our Phases Explained
Phase 1 focuses on developing key listening, vocabulary and speaking skills. Children explore and identify sounds around them, there are lots of rhyming songs with actions. Adults start modelling, segmenting and blending, for example: you might say to a child can you pick up the B O X box and the child will then get used to the idea of segmenting (breaking down words for spelling) and blending (putting letters together for reading) which they will start learning how to do later. Games like I Spy and other vocabulary games are also really great for Phase 1 Phonics. Noisy sound books are very good for encouraging young children to listen to and identify sounds. Our most recommend books can be found in our shop:
In phase 2 children are introduced to the first 19 sounds and the corresponding grapheme (written form of the sound). The sounds the grapheme makes is known as a phoneme, the letter, the way it looks is known as a grapheme.
Sounds are not taught in alphabetical order they are instead taught in an order that helps children to start making words more quickly so the sounds are taught using the most commonly used sounds first. Depending on the scheme children will learn these in a slightly different way but usually the first sounds they will learn are: s, a, t, p, i, n. (our order of sounds is cleverly colour mapped across the phases and can be seen on our best selling wristbands below. Some schools, start off with: s, a, t, m. It just depends on the scheme. After the most commonly used: s, a, t, p, i, n. Children then learn: m, d, g, o, c, k, e, u, r, h, b, f and l. When children have learnt some of these sounds they will start learning how to segment (break up) and blend together the different sounds to read and spell different words.
Children will focus first on CV (Consonant Vowel) and CVC (Consonant Vowel Consonant) words. Examples for these would be: a, t(at) – for a CV word and c, a, t (cat) for a CVC word. At this point children are also introduced to some non-decodable words so words that can’t be sounded out phonetically such as: I, go and no. Again depending on the school scheme being used children will learn these in a slightly different order.
Our Fun Phonics Phase 2 Ping Pong Balls are a great way of introducing this phase in a fun way. Children can enjoy endless hours of fun by playing catch with them or developing gross motor coordination and muscle strength with the catchers or shooters in our shop.
This is where the remaining seven letter sounds are introduced. These are: j, v, w, x, y, z and qu. Children are then introduced to some digraphs and some trigraphs. Digraphs are sounds that are made using two letters and trigraphs are sounds that are made using three letters, for examole: ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, ie, igh, oa. Children will also start learning more non decodable words or sight words. These are often referred to as: ‘Tricky Words’ also depending on the school, for example: he, she, was and my. Children are also now introduced to names using the alphabet song but of course they are still using the sounds when sounding out words. Children now will continue to segment and blend using all of the new sounds that they have learnt. We have broken phase 3 into two more manageable parts: 3a orange and 3b green and you can find many phase 3 resources in shop. The blending kit is particularly useful during this phase we also have phase three balls available in our shop:
It is a good idea to assess the children regularly to see how many of the graphemes they have remembered.
In this phase no new graphemes are introduced. Children are encouraged to segment and blend more complex words moving on from CV and CVC words to words that have more than one consonant following on from each other, for example: a CVCC words such as; milk, as well as other sometimes longer vowel consonant combinations. Children are now working on spelling words but at this point mostly just phonetically and some more non decodable sight words are introduced. Some of these may include: ‘said’, ‘have’, ‘like’ and ‘when’. We do have some phase 4 PDF flash cards in our shop for just 99p and word searches too.
In phase 5 children are now introduced to more graphemes for sounds they already know, for example: by this point children will now know the digraph ‘ai’, represented by the letters a and i. They will now be introduced to the digraph ay, represented by the letters a and y. Children are also introduced to alternative sounds for graphemes that they may already know, for example: the digraph represented by the letters: e and a is different in: ‘team’, ‘head’ and ‘break’. Children are also in this phase introduced to the split digraph. This was once known as the magic ‘e’. This is another way of representing sounds that children will already be familiar with or they know the sounds of o, but with a split digraph it is represented by an ‘o-e’, such as in: ‘rope’. Again children are now introduced to more non decodable words, such as: ‘there’, ‘people’, ‘mr’, ‘mrs’, ‘could’ and so on.
Again, we have split phase 5a yellow and 5b blue The ping pong balls in our shop are perfect for encouraging active, play based learning.
Once the children are working on phase 5 all of our wristbands, blending kit, hexagons, hearts, stars, word searches and books will be useful. Please have a good look through our resources and let us know if we can assist you further.