Sku: LT05M-P6

Letters and Sounds Guidance Phase 6 (Year 2)

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By the beginning of Phase Six, children should know most of the common grapheme– phoneme correspondences (GPCs). They should be able to read hundreds of words, doing this in three ways: 

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

Children’s spelling should be phonemically accurate, although it may still be a little unconventional at times. Spelling usually lags behind reading, as it is harder. During this phase, children become fluent readers and increasingly accurate spellers.

At this stage many children will be reading longer and less familiar texts independently and with increasing fluency. The shift from learning to read to reading to learn takes place and children read for information and for pleasure. Children learn some of the rarer GPCs and spelling conventions that generalise across many words. e.g. When an /o/ sound follows a /w/ sound, it is frequently spelt with the letter a.

During Phase Six, children should also start to learn spelling conventions for adding common endings (suffixes) to words. Most children will have taken words with suffixes in their stride in reading, but for spelling purposes they now need more systematic teaching both of the suffixes themselves and of how the spelling of base words may have to change slightly when suffixes are added. Some grammatical awareness is also helpful here: just knowing that the regular past tense ending is spelt -ed is not enough – children also need to be aware that the word they are trying to spell is a past tense word. Without this awareness, they may, for example, spell hopped as hopt, played as plaid, grabbed as grabd and started as startid – perfectly accurate phonemically, but not correct. Conversely, once they have understood that the -ed ending can sometimes sound like /t/, they may try to spell soft as soffed, unless they realise that this word is not the past tense of a verb. 

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