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Phases 2-4 are a main focus in Reception.

Phase 2

In Reception, children are taught the phonemes (letter sounds) to match the graphemes (the written letters). The order that phonemes are taught is laid out in the ‘Letters and Sounds’ document. Phonics is taught using songs, actions and fun multi-sensory activities. During the phonics sessions children are taught to blend sounds, to read words and to segment (break up) words to hear single sounds for spelling. They are also taught ‘tricky’ words which do not follow the phonic rules.


Phase 2 Phonemes

Below are a list of the phonemes your child will learn in Reception. It’s important that your child learns the sound each letter makes to help them blend, but they also need to understand that every letter has a name.   For example its name is A (as in ai)  its sound is a, its name is B (as in be) its sound is b. Singing the alphabet song and matching upper and lower case letters is a good activity to help children with this.  Please be aware it is very important your child knows the letter C is not a curly c but a C (as in see) and a K is not a kicking k but a K (as in kay).  See the letter name and sound video below.


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



All the phase 2 sounds and how to say them.


Phase 3

Phase 3 digraphes (two letter sounds) and trigraphes (three letter sounds).

Click on the video to hear how the sounds are pronounced.


Set 6 j v w x
Set 7 Y z,zz qu  


Grapheme Sample Word Grapheme Sample Word
ch chip ar farm
sh shop or for
th thin/then ur hurt
ng ring ow cow
ai rain oi coin
ee feet ear dear
igh night air fair
oa boat ure sure
oo boot/look er corner


All the phase 3 sounds and how to say them.


Phase 4 

Phase 4 is a consolidation phase where no new phonemes are introduced but some new tricky words are. This phase also helps children to learn to read and spell bigger words. They think more about the syllables in words.