Children entering Phase Three will know around 19 letters and be able to blend phonemes to read VC words and segment VC words to spell. While many children will be able to read and spell CVC words, they all should be able to blend and segment CVC words orally. (See Appendix 3: Assessment).
The purpose of this phase is to teach another 25 graphemes, most of them comprising two letters (e.g. oa), so the children can represent each of about 42 phonemes by a grapheme (the additional phoneme /zh/ found in the word vision will be taught at Phase Five). Children also continue to practise CVC blending and segmentation in this phase and will apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They will learn letter names during this phase, learn to read some more tricky words and also begin to learn to spell some of these words.
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 and captions and sentences made up of the words. They are for using in the activities – practising blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. These are not lists 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.
Set 6: j v w x*
Set 7: y z, zz qu*
Graphemes introduced: ch, sh, th, ng, ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er.
*The sounds traditionally taught for the letters x and qu (/ks/ and /kw/) are both two phonemes, but children do not need to be taught this, at this stage as it does not affect how the letters are used.