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Phonics is a method of learning letter sounds, blending them together to read words and segmenting them to spell words.

It teaches the sound each letter or group of letters makes, rather than the letter name (which is also taught). This makes words easier to read and spell.

At Maulden Lower School we follow the Read Write Inc. system which teaches the phonics in the following order, along with some rhymes to help remember and pronounce the sounds:

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Introduced in Reception

Introduced in Reception

Introduced in Year 1

m  a  s  d  t  I  n  p  g  o  c  k  u  b  f  e  l  h  sh  r  j  v  y  w  th  z  ch  qu  x  ng  nk

ay – May I play?     ee – What can you see?

igh – Fly high              ow – Blow the snow

oo – Poo at the zoo   oo – look at the book

ar – Start the car        or – Shut the door

air – That’s not fair!   ir – Whirl and twirl

ou – Shout it out        oy – Toy for a boy


ea – Cup of tea            oi – Spoil the boy

a_e – Make a cake      i_e – Nice smile

o_e – Phone home     u_e – Huge brain

aw – Yawn at dawn    are –Care and share

ur – Nurse with a purse

er – A better letter     ow – Brown cow

ai – Snail in the rain    oa – Goat in a boat

ew – Chew the stew   ire – Fire, fire!

ear – hear with your ear oe – woe my toe

ure – Sure it’s pure    ie – tie your bowtie

ey – monkey bogeys


Additional Sounds:

ue – come to the rescue

au – Paul the astronaut          e-e – go to Pete and Steve!          kn – knock knock who’s there?

ck – tick tock clock                  wh – whisk whisk                            ph – take a photo

ss ff ll zz

long vowel sounds  - a e i o u


For an audio guide to help with pronunciation of the sounds, you can search ‘Ruth Miskin phonics sounds’ on You Tube or follow this link:


Terms we use with the children to explain the process of using phonics to read and spell:

Fred Talk – Saying the sounds separately in a word before blending them together to read the word (Fred is a toy frog who can only talk in sounds e.g sh-o-p)

Special Friends – Letters that go together to make a new sound by forming digraphs (ai, oo) or trigraphs (igh)

Buttons and Swipes – these are used to help to read and write words


Split digraphs – We say “Where’s my friend? He’s on the end!” to show, for example, that the digraph a-e is split but still works together making the word ‘cake’ or that i-e is making the word ‘like’

Bouncy sounds = b c k d g h j p qu t w x y ch a e i o u

Stretchy sounds = f l m n r s v z sh th ng nk ay ee igh ow

In the Summer Term of Year 1, there is a National Phonics Screening Test. More information can be found here:

Please click here for a pdf copy of the above information.