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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

Together we are a family of God, a family of love, a family of learners

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Together we are a family of God, a family of love, a family of learners


In Reception Class we follow Letters & Sounds to teach the children phonics

There are 6 'phases' in Letters & Sounds and in Class R we learn Phases 1-4.

Below is some information to help parents in  supporting their child's learning. 


Phoneme -any of the perceptually distinct units of sound in a specified language that distinguish one word from another, for example pbd, and t in the English words padpatbad, and bat.  We say it’s a fancy word for ‘letter sound’, it is important that it is a ‘sound’ and not a letter as f is the same sound as a ph etc. Remember to use the ‘correct’ pronunciation of the sound! Keep it short!  


Letter names – this is what we will call capital letters, as they name the letters but they do not make the correct sound for reading.


Digraph -a combination of two letters representing one sound, as in ph and ey. We say 2 letters together make one sound, like in ch, sh etc


Rhyme - correspondence of sound between words or the endings of words, especially when these are used at the ends of lines of poetry. We say the ‘end’ sounds the same like in cat, bat, rat


Alliteration- the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words. We say the first sound is the same e.g. pretty prancing penguins


Blending (for reading) - is when children ‘sound out’ the letter sounds then blend them together. For example c-a-t  cat .


Segmenting (for spelling) – is when we break the word into sounds to be able to write it down e.g. dog  d-o-g.  We call it ‘sound talk’ and we use our arms like robots, moving for each sound.


Sound buttons – these help the children to recognise each ‘sound’. We use a ‘dash’ to show that is a digraph e.g. 

b  e  d           d u ck      t r ai n


Tricky words – these are irregular (as in they don’t sound out) but high frequency words.  Children need to learn these by sight. The tricky words for Phase 2 are to, the, no, go, I.   Phase 3 they learn he, she, we, me, be, was, my, you, they, her, all, are

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Together we are a family of God, a family of love, a family of learners.

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Trust Information

St Mary's Catholic Primary School is an academy, and part of the Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership. The Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership is an exempt charity and a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number 08176019 at registered address: Barham Court, Teston, Maidstone, Kent, ME18 5BZ. St Mary's Catholic Primary School is a business name of Kent Catholic Schools’ Partnership.