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Letters & Sounds


Q : What is 'Letters and Sounds' ?

A :
In their Primary National Strategy, The Department for Education and Skills recommends a phased approach to phonics teaching in schools, ‘Letters and Sounds’. The system is divided into 6 phases.

- Phase 1, listening and speaking
- Phase 2, introduces the alphabet and the first simple graphemes (letter groups)
- Phase 3, concludes the alphabet and the remaining graphemes to give one for each of the first 42 phonemes
- Phase 4, recaps the previous phases
- Phase 5, alternative graphemes for the phonemes learnt in phases 2 and 3.
- Phase 6, covers suffixes.

To try and make this clear the grapheme (letter group), ‘ch’ appears within the initial phases as ‘ch’ in chip. It appears again in phase 5 as ‘ch’ in chemist.

Phases 2 and 3 include the letters ‘a' to 'z' and the following letter groups:

ai, air, ar, ch, ck, ear, ee, er, ff, igh, ll, qu, ng, oa, oi, oo, or, ow, sh, ss, th, ur, ure, zz

Phase 5, as well as adding alternative pronunciations for some of the graphemes learnt earlier, this phase adds new graphemes including:
al, ay, are, au, aw, aigh, augh, dg, dge, ea, ei, ew, ere, eo, eer, eigh, eir, ey, ge, gh, gn, ir, ie, le, kn, mb, mm, mn, nn, ph, oe, ore, oy, ou, oul, ough, tch, tt, sc, se, st, su, ue, ve, wh, ye, a_e, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e

The suffixes introduced in Phase 6 include:
est, ful, s, ly, ed, ness, ment, ing, er, es, ment, y








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