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Phonic Phase 2
Phonic Phase 3
Phonic Phase 4
Phonic Phase 5
High Frequency Words
Glossary
Phonic Phase 2
The phoneme/grapheme correspondences of 19 single letters of the alphabet are introduced in Phonic Phase 2 of 'Letters and Sounds'.

These are 'a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, t, u'. 

'Letters and Sounds' introduces these letters in the order below:

Week 1:    a, s, t, p   Week 2:   i, n, m, d    Week 3:  g, o, c, k    Week 4:   (ck), e, u, r   Week 5:   h, b, f, l, ll, ff, ss.       

The non-decodable vocabulary 'the, to, I, go, no' is also introduced.

The new Follifoot Farm First Words Series introduces all 19 letters, 'ff, ll' and the very high-frequency sight vocabulary words 'theI'.

'I' is the only capital letter in the whole series and it is used in books 6, 7 and 8. 

The decodable high frequency words introduced are:  'on, in, and, a, am, can, not, big, off, his, of'.

Books 1-7 in the Jelly and Bean A Series and books 1-7 in the B Series also introduce the 19 letters as well as 'ff, ll, ss'.

They also use the letter 'x' in the word 'box' from book 2 onwards in both series.

They use the letter 'y' (please see the bottom of this page) in its role as a vowel phoneme at the end of the words 'puppy', (book 4A) 'Jelly', (Books 5A and 5B onwards) 'happy, Lotty' (book 7A).

The word 'see'  (please see the bottom of the page) is introduced in both books 6A and 6B.

The word 'look'  (please see the bottom of the page) is introduced in both books 7A and 7B.

The word 'me' is used in books 7A.

Photocopiable Worksheets Volumes 1 and 2 provide over 90 different sheets of writing material and handwriting practice in the Sassoon Primary Infant Font for books 1-5 of both the A Series and the B Series.

Photocopiable Follifoot First Words Worksheets is a wire bound volume of 48 A4 writing activities to accompany the books. These activities are also available as PDF files on a CD and they can be printed from a computer using Adobe Acrobat software. Both versions of the letter 'k'  in the Sassoon Primary Infant Font are used.

Photocopiable Follifoot Letters of the Alphabet is a wire bound volumes of A4 sheets for writing each of the lower case letters of the alphabet separately. There are also separate sheets for writing both lower and upper case letters together. These activity sheets are also available as PDF files on a CD and they can be printed from a computer using Abobe Acrobat software. Both versions of the letter 'k' in the Sassoon Primary Infant Font are used.

We also have sets of cards.

Sound cards have a lower case letter of the alphabet on one side and a picture on the other.

Alphabet cards have both upper and lower case letters on one side together with a picture. There are four CVC words on the reverse for children to practise blending the phonemes together.

Word Cards Set 1 are for the CVC words and the sight vocabulary introduced in the A Series.

Word Cards Set 2 are for the CVC words in the B Series and the sight vocabulary in the A Extra Series and the A Digraphs Series.

The letter 'y'

This letter has 3 distinct roles in the English language, two as a vowel grapheme and one as a consonant grapheme. Examples are in the words 'sorry (vowel), my (vowel), yes (consonant)'. It is not clear where Letters and Sounds deals with the first role, and yet this is probably the most common use of the letter 'y'. Word examples are 'mummy, daddy, happy, jolly, sorry, funny, silly'.

The rule 'Shy 'i', Toughy 'y'' gives a plausible explanation for young children. The letter 'i' is very small and very shy. It does not like to be on the end of a word. The letter 'y' is big, tough and generous. So it helps 'i' out by taking its place at the end of the word.

This rule also works with the vowel graphemes 'ai/ay' and 'oi/oy' where the 'ai/oi' versions are generally in the centre of words and 'ay/oy' versions are usually at the end of words.

The words 'see' and 'look'

Both 'see' and 'look' have a pair of letters the same in the middle. If we draw the pupil of an eye in each, we will see that they both perfectly represent what they mean. We 'see' with a pair of eyes and we 'look with a pair of eyes. We ask children if they can 'see' something and we tell them to 'look' at something. These examples provide perfect mnemonics for introducing the vowel phonemes |ee| and |oo| later.

see look lolli lollyy
Phonic Phase 3
Phonic Phase 3 of Letters and Sounds introduces

(i) the rest of the letters of the alphabet 'j, w, v, x, q, y,*'       *(see below - at the bottom of the page)

(ii) the consonant digraphs 'ch, sh, th, ng',

(iii) and one grapheme for each of the 44 vowel phonemes of the English language.

The vowel graphemes suggested by Letters and Sounds are 'ai (rain), ee (sleep), igh (night), oa (boat), oo (moon), oo (good),  ar, (star), or (fork, ur (hurt), oi (boil), ow (down), er (other), air (hair), ear (year), ure (pure)'.

(Other phonic programmes suggest 'ie (pie)' instead of 'igh' and 'ou (about)' instead of 'ow'. They also do not include 'air, ear' or 'ure'.)

There is also a list of high-frequency non-decodable words in Letters and Sounds to be taught as 'sight' or 'tricky' words. These are 'he, she, we, me, be, was, my, you, they, her, all, are'.

The following series cover this phase:

(i) Books 8-10 of the A Series introduce the letters 'j, w, v, ck, y (Jelly)' and the non-decodable words 'no, my'. They also use the words 'see, look, play'.

(i) Books 8-10 of the B Series introduce the letters 'j, w, v, ck, q (qu), z, y (Jelly)' and use the words 'see, look'.

(ii) The books in the A Extra Series and the B Extra Series introduce the consonant digraph 'ng', the high-frequency non-decodable words 'we, you, are, go, said' and the words 'down, out, for'.

(ii) The books in the A Digraphs Series introduce the letter 'z' the consonant digraphs 'sh, th, ch' and the high-frequency non-decodable words 'he, she, was, they, all, come'. 

(ii) The books in the Pig Family Series reinforce all the phonics and high-frequency non-decodable words in the books listed above.

(ii) The books in the Rhyming CVC Series reinforce all the high-frequency non-decodable words and vowel graphemes listed above. 

(iii) The books in the Follifoot Farm Series 1 use words containing the vowel graphemes 'ai, ay, ee, ea, oo (look), oo (moo),  ou, ow, ar, er, oa' in every book.

(iii) Books 1-6 of the Long Vowel Series introduce the vowel graphemes 'ay, ee, oo (moon),ea, ai,  oa' separately in each book, but also cumulatively.

(iii) Books 1-5 of the English Vowels Series introduce the vowel graphemes 'ow, ou, er, ar, or, oo (good)' separately and cumulatively in each book

(iii) The vowel graphemes 'igh, oi, air, ear' are covered in later books in the Long Vowel Series and the English Vowel Series.

The writing activities we provide for this phase consist of:

A photocopiable volume of worksheets entitled Follifoot Phase 3 Consonants. This wire bound volume has 46 A4 activity sheets for the letters 'j, v, w, x, y, z, ff, ll, ss, ck, th, sh, ch, ng' and all the non-decodable words of phases 2 and 3. The 'loopy k' of the Sassoon Primary Infant Font is used in this volume. A CD version of these activities, using the 'non-loopy k', and can be printed by the teacher from a computer using Adobe Acrobat software.

A CD entitled Follifoot Phase 3 Graphemes. This has PDF files for writing activities for the vowel graphemes 'ai, ay, ee, ea, oo (moon), oo (good), oa, ar, er, or, ow (town), ou, igh, oi, ur, air, ear, ure'. The activities on this CD are a selection from the the original Jelly and Bean Long Vowel Worksheets and More Vowel (English Vowel) Worksheets.

A set of Alphabet Cards covers the letters of the alphabet and the consonant digraphs.

A set of Grapheme Cards covers all the vowel graphemes for this phase.

Some of the Word Cards described in Phonic Phase 2 resources are also appropriate.

The letter 'y'

This letter has at least three different roles in the English language. One of its roles is as a consonant at the beginning of a word, e.g. in the words 'yes, you, yacht, yoghurt'. Children usually learn this role as the first phoneme/grapheme correspondence of 'y' in Phonic Phase 3.

They also learn the word 'my' as a non-decodable word in Phonic Phase 3. Here 'y' is used as a vowel grapheme for the phoneme |ie|. Later, in Phonic Phase 5, they will learn that 'y' is an alternative spelling for the phoneme |ie| in the words 'sky, try, by, fly, cry, why, spy'.

Also 'y' is commonly used as a vowel phoneme at the end of English words ending with the phonemes |i| and |ee| (depending on regional accent). Examples are the words 'mummy, daddy, sorry, happy, dizzy, penny, funny, jolly, hobby, jelly, fizzy, silly '. It is not clear where Letters and Sounds deals with this use, although it does appear to be Phonic Phase 5.

Whilst the rule of Shy 'i', Toughy 'y' does not fit synthetic phonic principles, it does provide a plausible explanation for young children. So we say that 'i' is a shy little letter who does not like to be at the end of a word, and 'y' is a big tough letter who helps him out by replacing him.

The letter 'y' also appears in words like 'gym' and 'crystal'

Phonic Phase 4
Phonic Phase 4 of Letters and Sounds relates to the blending of adjacent consonants at the beginning and end of simple words where the single letter phonemes are blended together.

The adjacent consonants found at the beginning of English words are 'bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl, br, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr, sk, sm, sn, sp, st, sw, tw' in words like 'blob, clap, flag, glad, plop, slip, bran, drip, frog, grab, pram, tram, skip, smell, snip, stop, swim, twig'.

The adjacent consonants found at the end of English words are 'mp, nd, nk, nt, st, ft, ld, lp, lt, sk' in words like 'jump, hand, bank, bent, lost, left, held, help, belt, ask'.

There are also some combinations of three adjacent consonants such as 'spr, str, spl' as in the words 'spring, street, split'.

Some adjacent consonants e.g. 'ch, sh, th' do not belong to this category as the sound made by them is different to the sound of the two separate letters. When two consonants next to each other represent one sound they are known as consonant digraphs. These are 'ch (chip), th (thank), sh (ship), qu (quack), ng (ring), ph (phonics)'.  (The sound of 'ck' is the same as both its adjacent consonants and its classification is debatable.)

Sometimes digraphs are blended with another consonant to give 'shr, thr, nch, tch' as in the words 'shrub, thrush, branch, catch'.

We have two series of books for children to practise reading at this phase.

The easier series is the Pig Family Blends Series.

The more difficult series is the Consonants, Blends and Clusters Series. This series also revises the consonant digraphs 'th, sh, ch, ng'. 

The blending of adjacent consonants in both these series occurs only in words where the medial vowel is 'a, e, i, o, u'. This is to avoid confusion with any vowel graphemes in words like 'brown, burnt, bright, start, first, grown.'

We have a photocopiable volume of 48 worksheets for writing activities. This is Blending Consonants Worksheets.

Phonic Phase 5
Phonic Phase 5 of Letters and Sounds teaches most of the alternative spellings of the vowel phonemes of the English language.

We have 3 series of decodable books for this work.

 

Follifoot Farm Series 1 uses the graphemes 'ay, ai, ee, ea, oa, oo, oo, ar, er, or, ow, ou' throughout all the six books in easy words connected with the farm, e.g. farm, sheep, cow, rain, flood, road, cloud, hay, eat, soon, water.' 

Only the graphemes 'ay, ea, ou' are classed as Phase 5 graphemes by Letters and Sounds, the rest are classed as Phase 3 graphemes.


The 16 books in the Jelly and Bean Long Vowel Series introduce each of the graphemes separately so that the books are sequential and cumulative.

The graphemes covered are 'ay, ee, oo, ea, ai, oa, a-e, i-e, o-e, ow, y, ie, ue, ew, igh, u-e'.

Of these graphemes 'ay, ea, a-e, i-e, o-e, ow, y, ie, ue, ew, u-e' are classed as Phase 5 graphemes by Letters and Sounds.

The graphemes 'ee, oo, ai, oa, igh' are classed as Phase 3 graphemes.

Similarly, the 12 books of the Jelly and Bean English Vowels Series introduce each of the other vowel graphemes separately so that the books are sequential and cumulative.

The graphemes covered are 'ow, er, ou, oo, ar, or, ur, ir, oi, ear (near), aw/au, ea (heavy), air/are'.

Of these graphemes 'ou, ir, aw, au, ea, are' are classed as Phase 5 graphemes by Letters and Sounds.

The graphemes 'ow, er, oo, ar, ur' are classed as Phase 3 graphemes.

There are 4 volumes of worksheets for this phase. Some of them are very easy and others provide more difficult comprehension.

These are the Jelly and Bean Long Vowel Worksheets Volumes 1 and 2, available as photocopiable volumes or on a CD and the photocopiable English Vowel Worksheets Volumes 1 and 2

These provide 190 activities to reinforce reading, writing and comprehension.

High Frequency Words

The 100 most frequently used words in written English are introduced in the Follifoot Farm and Jelly and Bean books as shown below.

Follifoot First Words Series

a  on  in  and  the  I  am  big  not  can  his  of  off

A Series

see  look  at  me  is  no  with  my  dad

B Series

put  oh  up  will

A Extra Series

went  to  get  it  got  go  down  you  are  we  for  said

B Extra Series

out  an  back

A Digraphs Series

he  but  had  they  she  come  this  have  all  was  day  then  as  him

Pig Family Series

little  mum  help  if  one

Rhyming CVC Series

from  very  her  that  so  by  them

Pig Family Blends Series

too

Consonants Blends & Clusters Series

do  like  saw  some  now  were  looked

Long Vowel Series

there when just could what about here make made time came don't your old

English Vowels Series

be their

 

Words not used: Mr Mrs people children asked I'm called house

Glossary
Grapheme

A grapheme is the written representation of a sound. This can be a single letter or a combination of letters because there are more sounds in the English language than there are letters in the alphabet. This is why sh represents the single sound |sh|.

Phoneme

The smallest unit of sound in a word, e.g. the three sounds in rain, |r|-|ae|-|n| are represented by the graphemes r-ai-n.

Digraph

Two letters representing one phoneme (sound). There are consonant digraphs e.g. |sh| as in ship and vowel digraphs e.g. |ow| as in down.

Trigraph

Three letters representing a sound, e.g. l-igh-t, y-ear, h-air.

Vowel

A phoneme produced without audible closure.

Short Vowels

a, e, i, o, u as in c-a-t, b-e-d, t-i-n, h-o-p, s-u-n

Long Vowels

These vowels sound like the letter names A, E, I, O, U. The most common ways to write these are:

ai, (rain) ay, (day) ee, (see) ea, (dream) ie, (pie) igh, (night) y, (sky) oa, (boat) ow, (yellow) ue, (rescue) ew, (new), oo (zoom).

and the split digraph or 'magic e': a-e (cake), e-e (these), i-e (bike), o-e (nose), u-e (tune).

Consonants

A sound produced by using lips, tongue and teeth to cause some friction. The following letters are consonants:

b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, q, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z,

The letter 'y' can act as a consonant or vowel. It is a consonant in the words y-e-s, y-ear, but it is a vowel in the word J-e-ll-y and in the word s-k-y.

Consonant digraphs

Two different letters representing a consonant sound, e.g. ch (chip), sh (shop), th (this), ng (bang), ck (neck).

English Vowel digraphs

As well as the long vowel digraphs above, other vowel digraphs are:

ar (car), ou (out), ow (down), ur (curl), ir (bird), er (water), oi (soil), oy (boy), or (for), aw (saw).

English Vowel trigraphs

These include air (hair), are (stare), ear (dear).

Segmenting

To break a word down into its phonemes, e.g. c-a-t, sh-i-p, n-ee-d,

Blending

The process of combining phonemes together in the order in which they appear in a word from left to right. i.e synthesizing.

High Frequency Words

These are the words used most often in written English. These include:

the, and, to, of, a, in, on, I, is, it, for, not, no, he, with, that, as, you, do, be, my, we, he, she, have, they.

Most of these are short words and they are used to join other meaningful words in sentences.

Decode

Decoding is the process of looking at the graphemes in a word, knowing the phoneme correspondences for each, and then being able to say the word.

Encode

Encoding is the process of writing down the graphemes of the phonemes heard in a word.

Decodable text

This is written text that children can decode using the phonic skills they have already been taught.

Rose Review

This is the independent review of the teaching of reading in primary schools commissioned by the government in June 2005 and led by Jim Rose. The final report was published on 20th March 2006. Its recommendations have been incorporated in the renewed Primary Framework for Literacy.