Children entering Phase Two will have experienced a wealth of listening activities, including songs, stories and rhymes. They will be able to distinguish between speech sounds and many will be able to blend and segment words orally. Some will also be able to recognise spoken words that rhyme and will be able to provide a string of rhyming words, but inability to do this does not prevent moving on to Phase Two as these speaking and listening activities continue.
The purpose of this phase is to teach at least 19 letters, and move children on from oral blending and segmentation to blending and segmenting with letters. By the end of the phase many children should be able to read some VC and CVC words and to spell them either using magnetic letters or by writing the letters on paper or on whiteboards. During the phase they will be introduced to reading two-syllable words and simple captions. They will also learn to read some high-frequency ‘tricky’ words: the, to, go, no.
The teaching materials in this phase suggest an order for teaching letters and provide a selection of suitable words made up of the letters as they are learned. These words are for using in the activities – practising blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. This is not a list to be worked through slavishly, but to be selected from as needed for an activity. It must always be remembered that phonics is the step up to word recognition. Automatic reading of all words – decodable and tricky – is the ultimate goal.
Letter progression (one set per week)
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
Magnetic boards and letters Magnetic boards and letters are very effective in helping children to identify letter shapes and develop the skills of blending and segmenting.