Phase five

Children entering phase five are becoming more confident, natural readers. They have carried out a variety of activities over the past four phases and are used to sound-talking words and saying them out loud in a group environment. The children can read and spell two-syllable and polysyllabic words, as well as words containing adjacent consonants. They also have experience reading and spelling a range of the irregular 'tricky' words.

The purpose of phase five is to broaden children's knowledge of graphemes and phonemes for use in reading and spelling. They become quicker at recognising graphemes of more than one letter in words and at blending the phonemes they represent. When spelling words, they learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build on their knowledge of spelling individual words.

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

  • know and be able to spell most of the 100 decodable words
  • read and spell phonically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words
  • read and spell a number of 'tricky' words.

In phase five, children are introduced to new graphemes and begin to explore alternative pronunciations. Some of the alternatives have already been encountered in the high-frequency words that have been taught. Children are encouraged to read words in favour of continuing to sound-talk and blend them. However, they continue to use overt or silent phonics for words that are unfamiliar.