Home Page

Highcliffe St Mark Primary School

Learning for life, respect for all

Search Search
Translate Translate

Phonics Fox

Tricky words


Tricky words are words that cannot be sounded out and are read 'on sight'. Children are taught these words daily and these words are extremely important in helping your child to read.  Children are also taught how to spell them and use them in their writing.


Children have the Tricky words in their home reading records for parents and guardians to support them with. A good tip to help your child learn their Tricky words is through fun games. Try hiding the words around the home or find Tricky words when out and about or in their reading books. You could encourage your child to focus on a few bookmark words each week. They can look for these words in their reading book or when sharing a book together.  You could purchase some magnetic letters to create tricky words on the fridge and your child can practise reading them.

Phonics Support Websites

Suggested phonics websites to support parents

Phonics Play  

Please use this link to find valuable games to support your child with continuing their phonics learning.

Oxford Owl - Phonics made easy.

ICT games

A great selection of games that link well with games in Letters and Sounds.

Letters and Sounds 

A phase by phase guide to the phonics programme used in school.



Phase Five of our phonics programme!


Children at this stage should already be able to read and spell words with adjacent consonants, such as trap, string and flask. They will also be able to read and spell some polysyllabic words.


In Phase Five, we will learn more graphemes and phonemes. For example, they already know ai as in rain, but now they will be introduced to ay as in day and a-e as in make.


Alternative pronunciations for graphemes will also be introduced, e.g. ea in tea, head and break.


Over the year we introduce common exception words, including decodable and tricky words, as well as days of the week. 



Next week we are:

Reading and spelling words with wh making the w sound eg. when, which

Reading and spelling words with a short vowel sound, where we need to double the consonant eg. summer

Reading words with mb making the m sound eg lamb, thumb


This week we are learning:

Revising split digraph words. eg. shave, theme, throne, slime and cube.



Previously, we've learnt: 

ay /ai/ - as in may, play, stay

ea /ee/ - as in sea, pea, please,

oy /oi/ - as in boy, toy, enjoy

ie /igh/ - as in tie, pie, lie

ue /oo/ - as in blue, clue

e_e /ee/ - as in these, evening, swede

aw /or/ - as in saw, draw, claw

e_e /ee/ - as in these, swede

i_e /igh/ - as in nine, spine

oe/ oa - as in toe

a_e/ ai - as in awake

ir / ur- as in girl  hurt

y /ee/ - as in happy

o_e /oa/ - as in cone, bone

ou /ow/ - as in about

ew /oo/ - as in few, new

ph /f/ - as in photo, phone

ow /oa/ - as in grow, snow

u /oo/ - as in pull, push

ie /ee/ - as in chief, brief

ch/sh/ - as in chef

a/o/ -  as in what, want

/igh/ y as in fry

/ee/ y as in hairy

/e/ ea as in bread

/oo/ ou as in soup

/oa/ ou as in shoulder

/oo/ u_e as in flume

/oa/ o-e as in home

/oi/ oy as in boy

To read and spell words containing these split digraphs that we have already learnt this year:

a_e as in plate and shade

e_e as in these

i_e as in shine and glide

We will also be reading and spelling words containing these four phase 3 trigraphs:

ure as in sure and pure

igh as in night and flight

ear as in clear and year

air as in fair and chair

Doubling an n if there is a short vowel before it. eg. funny, sunny.

Doubling an f if there is a short vowel before it. eg. huff and puff.

Revising the different graphemes for the igh phoneme as in pie, fry, time and find.