Birkenshaw CE (C) Primary School

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 What is Phonics?


Phonics is the method of teaching we use in school to help children learn how to read and write.


It's all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, like 't', and some by two or more, like 'ck' in duck and 'air' in chair. 

Children are taught the sounds first, then how to match them to letters, and finally how to use the letter sounds for reading and spelling. 

Synthetic phonics refers to 'synthesising', or blending, the sounds to read words. It's based on the idea that children should sound out unknown words and not rely on their context.

Click on this link to open a PowerPoint Phonics Chart and with Audio Sounds for Phase 2,3,& 5

In order to hear the sounds you will need to open this PowerPoint as a slide show.

What are High Frequency Words?

 High frequency words are quite simply those words which occur most frequently in written material, for example, "and", "the", "as" and "it". They are often words that have little meaning on their own, but they do contribute a great deal to the meaning of a sentence. Some of the high frequency words can be sounded out using basic phonic rules, e.g. "it" is an easy word to read using phonics. However, many of the high frequency words are not phonetically regular and are therefore hard to read in the early stages. These words are sometimes called tricky words, sight words or camera words.

 Click on this link to see the First 100 High Frequency WordsPDF icon

Click on this link to see the Next 200 High Frequency Words PDF icon

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