St Margaret's CofE

Primary School


Literacy - Phonics, Reading and Writing


Your children have come home with sentence writing books.  Please encourage them to use them, focussing on using the words in the box and writing a sentence to go with the picture.  They are not limited to one sentence, if children want to write more than one, or even a story about it.  This should be encouraged!  When children are writing, we expect them to use their phonic skills to write unknown words, but 'tricky words' such as to, be, me, the etc are expected to be written correctly.  Children who have been at school this week have all got their 'Tricky Word Books' filled up with all 8 cards, regardless of where they currently are.  I have also put a sheet here for them to refer to. 


As wrong as it may feel, a typical sentence from a Reception child may look something like this...


Jack went up the been stork and sor a big carsll.




This is fine and should be encouraged.  Children have also been sent home with a Phase 2 and 3 sound mat that they should refer to if they can't remember how to write a sound.  Sounds made of 2 letters are called digraphs and sounds made of 3 letters are called trigraphs.  They are familiar with this language.



While the children are off school during these difficult times, it is essential that they continue to practice their phonic skills.  In Reception we focus on Phases 2 and 3.  You may find that in time your child is ready to move on to Phase 4 where no new sounds are taught but the words are longer and contain more consonants.  Phase 5 is a phase that is taught in Year 1.  The teaching and learning of new phonic sounds is extremely complex and we would urge you to leave the teaching of Phase 5 to our teaching team.  Your children would benefit more for consolidation at this time.  If you are unsure of the pronounciation of phonemes, please refer to the video below.


Children who were at school last week have all got their 'Tricky Word Books' filled up with all 8 cards, regardless of where they currently are.  I have also put a sheet here for them to refer to. 

Blending Strips - your child has been doing these throughout the school year. If they have not completed them, now is their chance! The blending strips are designed to help your child to learn how to blend sounds together to make words.


We have created an account at Oxford Owl so that you and your children can access age appropriate reading books. 


Please look on the back of the books that have come home with your child to see which book band they are on.  You may feel that they have made good progress and need to be moved up a level.  There is a diagnostic tool on the website as well.  However, before you do move your child on please be aware that reading isn't just about being able to decode the words fluently.  It is also about being able to make predictions, answer questions and read with expression.  If your child is still sounding out every work and not recognising repeated words or tricky words, then they are not yet ready to move on.


There is just one log in for the whole class. 


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Tricky word mats