Phase three

Children entering phase three are used to the wide range of activities that help them practise their reading, spelling and blending. In this phase, many of these activities are repeated, using more complex graphemes and words, to help children expand their repertoire and practise what they already know. Many children entering phase three are able to blend phonemes to read and spell vowel-consonant (VC) and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words. They are able to blend and segment these words orally and know around 19 letters.

By the end of this phase, children are typically expected to:

  • know an additional 25 graphemes, mostly comprising two letters (e.g. ‘oa’)
  • be able to represent most of the 42 phonemes by a grapheme (the additional phoneme /zh/ will be taught at phase five)
  • read the tricky words: ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘we’, ‘me’, ‘be’, ‘was’, ‘my’, ‘you’, ‘her’, ‘they’, ‘all’, ‘are’
  • spell the tricky words: ‘the’, ‘to’, ‘I’, ‘no’, ‘go’.

This phase gives children the opportunity to apply their knowledge of blending and segmenting to reading and spelling simple two-syllable words and captions. They learn the letter names and also continue to read more irregular (‘tricky’) words and begin to learn to spell them.