At West Acton Primary school we teach Phase 4 explicitly in Reception during the Summer term. Phonics is taught daily for 20 minutes to the whole class but may be followed up by small group or individual teaching. At the end of teaching the whole phase the children are assessed to see whether they need consolidation of Phase 4 or are ready to progress to Phase 5 in Year 1. Sometimes children are set by ability for phonics and may be taught by another adult than their regular class teacher.
Phonics is initially taught to help the children to read and decode words. As they progress the children then start to use the sounds they learn in phonics to write words. At first the words may be phonetically plausible and not spelt correctly but over time as children see more words spelt correctly and progress through the phonic phases they should begin to spell the words correctly.
When children start Phase 4 of the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, they will know a grapheme for each of the 42 phonemes. They will be able to blend phonemes to read CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words and segment in order to spell them.
Children will also have begun reading straightforward two-syllable words and simple captions, as well as reading and spelling some tricky words.
In Phase 4, no new graphemes are introduced. The main aim of this phase is to consolidate the children's knowledge and to help them learn to read and spell words which have adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and milk, tent, next, lunch and train.
Words that are referred to as Tricky words are also taught: said, have, like, so, do, some, come, were, there, little, one, when, out and what. These are not decodable and children have to remember how to read and spell them