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Bushmead Primary School

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Phonics, reading and writing support

How to support your child with writing


At Bushmead we teach Phonics in different phases and follow the letters and sounds program. Each letter and sound is taught individually. The letters and sounds are taught in a sequence. You can make three letter words using set 1 and then can gradually uses sounds from other sets. These are called CVC words meaning consonant vowel consonant.

Phase 2 sets

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,ff,l,ll,ss

In phase 2 we also teach the children 'Tricky words' These are words that the children just need to know.

Phase 2 tricky words- I , go, to , the, no, into

Once all of phase 2 has been taught we then move onto to phase 3 we continue to revisit phase 2 regularly as it is key that children retain all their previous knowledge and build upon what they already know. 

Phase 3 sets

set 6- j, v, w, x

set 7- y,z,zz,qu

consonant digraph- ch, sh, th, ng

vowel digraphs/trigraphs- ai, ee, igh, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air,ure, er 

Phase 3 tricky words- he, she, we, me, be, was, you, they, all, are, my, her

The language used when teaching phonics to children can be complex just like the English language.

What is a phoneme?

A phoneme is the sound that the letter makes.

Your child may use their phoneme fist when blending sounds together. This is to support them in breaking up (segmenting) the word into individual sounds. Sometimes the children may segment the correct sounds but say a word that is completely different. Don't panic this is all part of the reading process. 


What is a grapheme?

A grapheme is the name of the letter

What is a digraph? 

A digraph is two letters making one sound. Examples in the words below

luck   rain   shop  rich 


What is a trigraph? 

A trigraph is three letters making one sound. For example 'igh' is a trigraph in the words light, fight, might and bright. All trigraphs are taught within phase 3.


Why are tricky words called tricky words? 

Children can not use their phonics knowledge to sound them out as they are not phonetically plausible. 


Phase 2 Phonic Sound Help with Pronunciation

Phonics Phase 3 Sounds for Pronunciation

Tricky words