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Phonics phase 3 in Year 2 - confused

(21 Posts)
NumptyNu Thu 06-Nov-14 11:37:54

Hi there,
can anyone help me decipher what is going on here?

DD finished Year 1 with a 2c in literacy. She has started Year 2 in a phase 3 phonics group. Does that sound right to you? It sounds out of sync to me, but I am fairly new to all of this, so am looking for some help to understand how it all works.

Failing that, feel free to suggest any constructive questions I could take to parents evening next week......

Many thanks!

Billybo Thu 06-Nov-14 11:53:44

Could it be to do with the phonics screening test result?

From my understanding it is possible to have a good score in literacy but not be so good at phonics - the two are not linked.

Could it be that the phonics screening test highlighted areas where DD needed help with phonics - thus being put in a phase 3 group?

Other than that haven't got a clue, sorry.

NumptyNu Thu 06-Nov-14 12:03:09

Hi billybo,

Thanks for replying. She did pass the phonics test without any issues back in the summer. Is it possible to pass the test but still be in phase 3?

Am I worrying about nothing and should just trust that the phonics will come?

catkind Thu 06-Nov-14 12:10:50

What's she actually learning in the group? Is it phase 3 as in phase 3 "Letters and Sounds", or could it be phase 3 of something else?

If Letters and Sounds, does she in fact spell and read confidently with the phase 3 sounds? But if you just go to the parents' evening and say I thought she was working on phase 5 or whatever she was doing last year, I'm sure they'll explain.

NumptyNu Thu 06-Nov-14 12:32:36

Thanks catkind. I will certainly do that. I'm attempting to get some context first so that I can ask some relevant know how it can be!

It hadn't occurred to me that it could be phase 3 of 'something else', so I will definitely check that out with the teacher too.

Dd gets 10/10 in spellings each week, without needing much practice (ie she gets them all right on the first practice at home). Examples of words this week are: smart, crash, smooth, brown.

At the end of year 1 she was being asked to spell: anxious, chemist. Not sure if that tells you anything additional.

LittleMissGreen Thu 06-Nov-14 12:47:09

Those spellings do look consistent with phase 3 of letters and sounds. Seems odd for year 2 if already a 2c.

catkind Thu 06-Nov-14 12:58:47

Hmm yes, that does sound like phase 3 letters and sounds. Odd. I'm sure they'd have some kids who are still needing help on phase 3 sounds in Yr 2, but it doesn't sound like your daughter is one of them. Hope they're helpful next week!

catkind Thu 06-Nov-14 13:00:12

Oh no hang on a sec, they don't do two consonants together at phase 2 do they? Maybe phase 4 then.

catkind Thu 06-Nov-14 13:00:53

Gah, that 2 was supposed to be a 3.

NumptyNu Thu 06-Nov-14 13:53:26

Thanks all, and thanks for the info Missgreen. Best thing to do is ask I think!

Mashabell Thu 06-Nov-14 16:45:46

If she is doing ok in literacy and even passed the phonics test, then u have nothing to worry about.

Just ask the teacher what phase 3 phonics means.

maizieD Thu 06-Nov-14 19:03:38

Looking at my copy of Letters & Sounds it seems clear that it is intended that the whole 'programme' should be completed by the end of Y1 (though, 'Phase 5' being consolidation and extension I could see it being continued in Y2.)

'Phase 3' covers the 'advanced code' (2, or more, letter graphemes) and no more graphemes (sound spellings) are taught in the remaining phases. If your DD achieved the standard in the PSC it would imply that she has 'learned' the Phase 3 stuff.

The phases were never intended to be the basis for differentiation; they're just an extremely stupid and badly interpreted teaching sequence. Children who are slower to learn should be being given extra help, not held back in a 'phase'.

I actually agree with marsha for once - ask the teacher what is meant by 'phase 3'. It might have nothing to do with Letters & Sounds...

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Thu 06-Nov-14 19:54:56

Are you sure you are reading that right, maizie?

Phase 2 covers the first 20 GPCs, phase 3 is the remaining 24+ to make one way of writing each of the 44+ sounds. Phase 5 then teaches all/most of the alternative spellings.

Seems unlikely that you could pass the screening check while working within phase 3, even if you got all the real words correct. I think something might have gone a bit wrong if they mean Letters and Sounds but it is possible they are using something else.

PinkaColada Thu 06-Nov-14 21:02:15

It could be Set 3 of Read, Write, Inc. It contains graphemes such as tious/cious and other ways of writing sounds they already know.

mrz Thu 06-Nov-14 21:11:43

A child working at phase 3 is unlikely to be working at level 1 never mind 2C

mrz Thu 06-Nov-14 22:06:45

Phase 3 is meant to be taught in reception and covers sound j, v,z,ch, sh, th, w,x, y,qu,ng,ai,ee, ugh,oa,oo,ar,or,ur,ow,oi ear,air,ure and re (single spelling) not enough for the phonics check which covers phase 5

odyssey2001 Thu 06-Nov-14 22:12:48

At our school, we have a spelling diagnostic where it is a threshold style test (i.e. 9/12 means you move into the next phase, 8 or less means that is where you stay until the next diagnostic test). Also spelling, reading and writing aren't entirely linked at this stage of development - one can be advanced while the other can be behind. And the Y1 phonics test doesn't really demonstrate anything. Full marks on tests after learning them for a week is not a real indication of speaking aptitude, it is all about retention, hence the need for regular diagnostic tests to make sure kids are at the correct level for these sorry of things.

maizieD Thu 06-Nov-14 22:50:48


You're right, I didn't read far enough into the booklet.

But, as mrz says, couldn't have 'passed' the PSC with only phase 3 knowledge.

SocksRock Thu 06-Nov-14 22:58:44

My DD does Read Write Inc and is doing Set 3 phonics at the beginning of year 2. She is in the most able group for literacy in her year group, so I wouldn't be worried if your school does do RWI...

NumptyNu Sun 09-Nov-14 21:27:07

Hi Mrz, I was interested in your comment. Do you think there is a contradiction here then or that I am missing something? DD is reading chapter books (no pics) fluently, passes her spelling tests each week (not after drilling, she knows the spellings the first time I ask her to write them), writes ok-ish with the odd spelling mistake.

mrz Mon 10-Nov-14 06:09:53

Does the school teach phonics using Letters and Sounds (phases) or do they use another programme that has "levels/stages" not related to Letters and Sounds as has been suggested?

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