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Phase 3

Phase 3 – Part 1

At the beginning of phase three, children learn fourteen new GPCs, some which are digraphs where two letters make one sound, and there are two trigraphs where three letters make one sound.


Week 1: ai ee igh oa

Week 2: oo oo ar or

Week 3: ur ow oi ear

Week 4: air er (reading words with double letters: dd mm tt bb rr gg pp ff)

Week 5: reading longer words that include the above digraphs and trigraphs


The tricky words that the children are taught during phase 3 are: was / you / they / my / by / all / are / sure / pure


At the beginning of the phonics lessons, children review the GPCs that they have already been taught and practise reading words that include the taught GPCs. Children also recap taught tricky words too. This part of the lesson promotes reading known familiar words with fluency.

In the teach part of the lesson, children are taught a new GPC and a catchphrase that accompanies the GPC that makes it more memorable for the children. When taught have been taught the GPC and catchphrase, children practise orally blending phonemes together that include the new GPC using the ‘copy me’ approach. This approach includes the teacher segmenting a word such as ‘t-ai-l’ and the children copying the teacher’s segmenting and then blending the phonemes together to say the word.


Building upon the oral blending, children are taught how to read words that include the new GPC, using word cards. The teacher models how to read a word sound talking the phonemes and then blending them together to read the word accurately. Then the children use the ‘copy me’ approach to have a go themselves. Children are then required to read other words that include the same GPC independently, using different response voices. When reading new words, the teacher provides definitions for words that children may not be familiar with, such as ‘sail’ meaning ‘to travel on a boat / a piece of material attached to a boat’.


Towards the end of the lesson, children are asked to apply their knowledge of the new GPC to read a sentence, with support from the teacher. This part of the lesson requires children to become ‘grapheme spotters’, meaning children need to spot digraphs and trigraphs that are included in the sentence. After reading the sentence with support from the teacher, children are asked to read the word independently in different response voices.

At the end of the lesson, children practise the skill of segmenting to help them write two or three words that only include GPCs that they have been taught.


Phase 3 – Part 2

After being taught the phase 3 GPCs, in part two of the phrase three section children recap phase 3 GPCs and they learn to apply their knowledge of phase three GPCs to read longer words, words with double letters, words with two or more digraphs, words ending in ‘-ing’, compound words and words ending in ‘-s’ and ‘-es’.


Week 1: review ai / ee / igh/ oa / oo / ar / or / ur / oo / ow / oi / ear

Week 2: review er / air – reading words with double letters and reading longer words

Week 3: reading words with two or more digraphs

Week 4: reading longer words, reading words ending in ‘-ing’ and reading compound words

Week 5: reading longer words, reading words ending with ‘s’ and ‘es’


During phase three part two, children consolidate their knowledge of the tricky words that are taught in part one of phase three. During part two, we teach the children to secure the spelling of tricky words.


Part two of phase three, follows the same lesson structure as outlined above.

Phase 3 Grapheme Information Sheet - Spring 1