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Learning Phonics at Hobbayne


At Hobbayne Primary, we use Letters and Sounds to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right, as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.


What Are Phonics Phases?

Phases are the way the Letters and Sounds Programme is broken down to teach sounds in a certain order.

At the same time whole words that cannot be broken down easily, (we call “tricky words”) are taught to the children.


Phase One

 Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase Two

(Reception) up to 6 weeks
 Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.

Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks
 The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.

Phase Four

(Reception) 4 to 6 weeks
 No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase Five

(Throughout Year 1)
 Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase Six

(Throughout Year 2 and beyond)
 Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

What are “Tricky words”?

Tricky words are words that cannot be ‘sounded-out’ but need to be learned by heart. They don’t fit into the usual spelling patterns. In order to read simple sentences, it is necessary for children to know some words that have unusual or untaught spellings. It should be noted that, when teaching these words, it is important to always start with sounds already known in the word, then focus on the 'tricky' part.


What are High Frequency words?

High frequency (common) are words that recur frequently in much of the written material young children read and that they need when they write.


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 recognise (‘sound out’) each grapheme, not each letter (e.g. ‘th-i-n’ not ‘t-h-i-n’), and then mergethe phonemes together to make the word.

Mnemonics: a device for memorising 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.


Actions for Letters and Sounds based on Jolly Phonics


s,ss - Weave hand in an s shape, like a snake, and say ssssss
a - Wiggle fingers above elbow as if ants crawling on you and say a, a, a.
t - Turn head from side to side as if watching tennis and say t, t, t.
I - Pretend to be a mouse by wriggling fingers at end of nose and squeak i, i, i.

p - Pretend to puff out candles and say p, p, p.
n -  Make a noise, as if you are a plane - hold arms out and say nnnnnn.



c k (c, k) - Raise hands and snap fingers as if playing castanets and say ck, ck, ck.
e - Pretend to tap an egg on the side of a pan and crack it into the pan, saying eh, eh, eh.
h -  Hold hand in front of mouth panting as if you are out of breath and say h, h, h.
r - Pretend to be a puppy holding a piece of rag, shaking head from side to side, and say rrrrrr.
m - Rub tummy as if seeing tasty food and say mmmmmm.
d - Beat hands up and down as if playing a drum and say d, d, d.


g - Spiral hand down, as if water going down the drain, and say g, g, g.
o - Pretend to turn light switch on and off and say o, o; o, o
u - Pretend to be putting up an umbrella and say u, u, u.
l, ll - Pretend to lick a lollipop and say l l l l l l.
f, ff - Let hands gently come together as if toy fish deflating, and say f f f f f f.
b - Pretend to hit a ball with a bat and say b, b, b.


ai - Cup hand over ear and say ai, ai, ai.
j - Pretend to wobble on a plate and say j, j, j.
oa - Bring hand over mouth as if you have done something wrong and say oh!
igh - Stand to attention and salute, saying ie ie. (or point to eye)
ee, or - Put hands on head as if ears on a donkey and say eeyore, eeyore.


z, zz - Put arms out at sides and pretend to be a bee, saying zzzzzz.
w - Blow on to open hand, as if you are the wind, and say wh, wh, wh.
(ng) - Imagine you are a weightlifter, and pretend to lift a heavy weight above your head, saying ng...
v - Pretend to be holding the steering wheel of a van and say vvvvvv.
oo, oo - Move head back and forth as if it is the cuckoo in a cuckoo clock, saying u, oo; u, oo. (Little and long oo.)


y - Pretend to be eating a yogurt and say y, y, y.
x - Pretend to take an x-ray of someone with an x-ray gun and say ks, ks, ks.
ch - Move arms at sides as if you are a train and say ch, ch, ch.
sh - Place index finger over lips and say shshsh.
th, th - Pretend to be naughty clowns and stick out tongue a little for the th, and further for the th sound (this and thumb).

qu -  Make a duck's beak with your hands and say qu, qu, qu.
ow - Pretend your finger is a needle and prick thumb saying ou, ou, ou.
oi - Cup hands around mouth and shout to another boat saying oi! ship ahoy!
er -  Roll hands over each other like a mixer and say ererer.
ar - Open mouth wide and say ah. (UK English) Flap hands as if a seal, say ar,ar
ur - Hold knee as if hurt and say ur,ur
air - Brush hair and say air, air, (or make circle in the air)
ear - Touch ear and say ear, ear
ure - Hold nose as if you were smelling manure and say ure, ure

Jolly Phonics | Sounds and Actions

What is Phonics? | Jolly Phonics