What is a phonics lesson like?


Phonemes are usually taught in this order:

s a t p i n
m d g o c k/ck
e u r h b f
l j v w x y
z qu ch sh th ng
ai ee igh/ie oa oo (short) oo (long)
ar or ur/er ow/ou oi
air ear ure

The 44 sounds (phonemes) of the English language, and the way they are written down, are taught one by one.

The order of teaching these sounds has been specially developed so that children can start reading complete words as soon as possible.

A phonics lesson begins with revising any sounds the children have already been taught. Then the teacher will introduce a new sound and its spelling.

Learning new sounds

Teacher doing phonics with classThe teacher will use the sound in a word, clearly pronouncing the sound. Pupils will practise repeating this sound back to the teacher. Depending which phonics programme your child's school has adopted, the children may do an action that accompanies the sound to help them remember it.

The teacher will also show pupils how to 'blend', or sound out words, using the new sound. This might be followed by guided and independent reading that includes words with the new sound.

Practising writing

Children will also practise writing down the sound, ie the letter(s). This is called segmenting.

The teacher will sound out a word, breaking it down into its individual sounds. Children listen and write down each letter(s) until the word is complete. It is helpful for children to say and tap out the sounds in a word to themselves before writing it down.

Letter formation can also be practised. The teacher will demonstrate how a sound is written and then children will practise this again and again.

Watch a phonics lesson video


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For books to practise phonics at home, search 'Phonics Bug'
in the Amazon Book Store.


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Last updated: about 3 years ago