DD1 is a very late August baby and after a disastrous reception year where she never progressed past level 2 reading books, she is in yr1, has moved school and is suddenly flourishing (reading level 9) but too fast for me to find out enough about phonics to answer her questions.
Tonight's question was 'why does the g in giant make a j sound and how can I figure out if it is a g or j sound when sounding out new words?'
Some letters can spell more than one sound -has she learnt th- ick & th-en? same spelling different sounds. g -et & g-em are just the same if /g/ doesn't work try /j/ (giant, ginger, general, age, magic)
Okay, g before e, i, y, ae, or oe normally is pronounced with a j sound (/dʒ/ in the IPA) like in gental, page, magic. Though sometimes can be pronounced /g/ as in get, or /ʒ/ as in collage. If you have -gm, -gn, or gn- you get the sound in gnome or signing (mostly, sometimes you get things like signify and repugnant). Everywhere else g is pronounced /g/ like in go or guest (with again occasional exceptions such as margarine).