Phase 4 is taught after the Easter holidays in Reception. During phase four, children learn to read a variety of CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVC and CCCVCC words that include short vowels and all the phonemes that they have learnt within phase two and three.
The Structure of a Lesson
At the beginning of the phonics lessons, children review the GPCs that they have already been taught based upon the assessments that have been carried out by the teacher. Children also practise reading words that include these GPCs and tricky words too. This part of the lesson promotes reading familiar words with fluency.
At the beginning of the teach part of the lesson, children are taught to orally blend words that have a combination of consonants and vowels. The oral blending is taught through a ‘copy me’ approach. This approach includes the teacher segmenting a word such as ‘s-c-r-a-p’ 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 have a combination of consonants and vowels, using word cards. The teacher models how to read a word through 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 independently, using different response voices. When reading new words, the teacher provides definitions for words that children may not be familiar with, such as ‘nest’ meaning ‘something that a bird lays its eggs in’.
Towards the end of the lesson, children are asked to apply their knowledge of reading words 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 sentence 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.
During the second part of phase four, which is taught in the half term before the summer holidays in Reception, children learn to read a variety of CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVC and CCCVCC words that include long vowels and all the phonemes that they have learnt within phase two and three.
Children also consolidate their knowledge of the tricky words and we teach the children to secure the spelling of these tricky words.