Brunswick Primary School

Enjoy, Exceed, Excel

Phonics & Spelling

Phonics teaching is the teaching of the relationship of letters and sounds in English. There are about 44 sounds that make up the words we speak in English, but there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet. This means that there is not a 1-to-1 relationship of 1 letter to 1 sound making our spelling system quite complicated to learn! For example, the letter a is often referred to as an /a/ (as in cat), but it also makes a wide range of other sounds, depending on what letters it is next to e.g.

          /ai/ as in rain              /oa/ as in boat           /air/ as in hair             /ar/ as in car                                       /ea/ as in beach              /e/ as in bread         /o/ as in swan

Phonics teaching focusses on two areas – phonics knowledge and phonic skills. Phonics knowledge is about children knowing which letters and combination of letters (graphemes) make which sounds (phonemes). Phonics skills is about teaching the children how to use their knowledge for reading and for writing.

In Reception

We start by teaching the children one way to make each of the 44 sounds, using the Jolly Phonics scheme. Children are introduced to four new sounds each week. As soon as the children have learnt the first six sounds they are taught to use these to make words. At this stage, the focus of the work is on listening and not writing down, so teachers will play games and activities that practise two skills – blending and segmenting. Blending means that the teacher will say three sounds e.g. c-a-t and the children work out the word cat. Segmenting activities work the other way round – the teacher says a word, e.g. dog, and the children have to ‘stretch out’ the words to try and hear the sounds within it – d-o-g. These two skills are essential. Blending sounds will lead children to be able to read by sounding out and segmenting will enable children to spell. In YR, children will also have been introduced to ‘consonant clusters’ – 2 or 3 consonants next to each other, either at the beginning of end of a word, which can be quite hard to distinguish, e.g. flat, hand, string. Any child who seems to be having difficulty with this early work will be given additional support. In YR children are introduced to phonics through some of the ‘Jolly Phonics’ resources.

Phonics Taught

(as in sit)  (as in cat) (as in tap) (as in pin) (as in bit)
n (as in not)  m (as in man) d (as in dog) g (as in dog) o (as in dog)
k (as in king) ck (as in kick) e (as in pen) u (as in up) r (as in rat)
h (as in hat) b (as in bat) f/ ff (as in fit, puff) l/ ll (as in lip, bill) ss (as in miss)
j (as in jug) v (as in van) w (as in web) x (as in fox) y (as in yes)

z/ zz(as in zip, fizz)

qu (as in queen) ch (as in chat)

th/th(as in this, thin)

sh (as in shop)
ng (as in ring) ai (as in rain) ee (as in feet) oa (as in boat)

oo/oo(as in book, moon)

igh (as in light) ar (as in car) or (as in fork) ur (as in hurt) ow (as in now)
oi (as in coin) ear (as in near) air (as in hair) er (as in dinner)

c (as in cat)

 

Consonant Clusters

cl (as in clap) fr (as in frog) -nd (as in hand) sm (as in smile) sn (as in snow)