Phase six

Children entering phase six know most of the common grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs). Many children can read longer and less familiar texts independently and with increasing fluency. Children’s spelling is phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times.

They can read hundreds of words using three reading approaches:

  • reading the words automatically if they are very familiar
  • decoding words quickly and silently because their sounding and blending routine is now well established
  • decoding them aloud.

Spelling usually lags behind reading, as it is harder, so work on spelling continues throughout this phase and beyond. The spelling activities are designed to help children to understand more about the structure of words and consolidate their knowledge of GPCs.

During this phase, the shift from learning to read to reading to learn takes place. Children read for pleasure and to get information. They become fluent readers and their spelling accuracy continues to improve.

  • Development overview

    This summary looks back at the reading progress children have made in phases one to six. Learn what they’re expected to recognise, spell and be able to say at this stage and what they need to become successful readers. This is part of Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD).

  • Application of spelling in writing

    Early Years practitioners can use these approaches to help children spell words accurately, encourage them to check and correct their own work and move towards independence. These are suggested approaches within phase six of Letters and sounds, which is part of Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD).

  • Marking

    Learn how marking provides the opportunity to see how well individual children are understanding and applying what they have learned. These are suggested approaches within phase six of Letters and Sounds, which is part of Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD).

  • Children gaining independence

    These approaches help you to build up routines where the children will try different strategies before asking for help. These are suggested approaches within phase six of Letters and Sounds, which is part of Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD).

  • Knowledge of the spelling system

    See what children at phase six already know about spelling and what they learn in this phase to develop this further. Teaching focuses on learning words with tricky spellings and common words with irregular spellings. These are suggested approaches within phase six of Letters and Sounds, which is part of Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD).

  • Spelling guidelines

    Refine your teaching approaches by using these spelling conventions and guidelines. Learn about common recurring mistakes children make when learning words, and find simple ways they can correct them. These are suggested approaches within phase six of Letters and Sounds, which is part of Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD).

  • Teaching adding suffixes

    These activities can help children to understand past tense. Early years practitioners can use them to focus children’s understanding of the rules for adding suffixes, the -ed, and -ing suffixes, and spelling patterns. These are suggested activities within phase six of Letters and Sounds, which is part of Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD).

  • Activities

    These activities support the suggested approaches to help children learn to spell target words and practise their spelling. By focusing on spelling, children will also improve their reading skills. This is part of Communication, Language and Literacy Development (CLLD)

  • Letters and sounds: Phase six - playlist