Purpose and Place of Phonics

Ohaaki and Poihipi Team Phonics provided a great opportunity for teachers to target the individual English learning needs of students in our teams.

For 20 minutes, four days a week the  students move from their class to meet with other students across the  team to participate in phonics learning. Each teacher focuses on a specific Yolanda Soryl Phonics stage where the students are currently working at. Every lesson follows a clear progression through the stages of hear, read, write and revise.

In Stage 1 students learn to listen to and discriminate sounds and hear alliteration, rhythm, sound breaks and rhyme. This stage is generally taught while the students are at early childhood centers and kindergarten.

In Stage 2 students learn to hear, read and write the first 29 phoneme/graphemes.




In Stage 3 students learn to hear and write the final phoneme.

I am learning to listen for the final sound. The final sound of cup is p. Sally, the puppet, helps us to hear the final sound and we use our robot arms to stretch our words. (Molly)





View Team Phonics Stage Three video here

In Stage 4 students learn to blend and segment CVC words and hear, read and write the medial phoneme - a, e, i, o, u.

We are learning the middle sounds a,e,i,o,u. The middle sound “i” is in words like pig, big, dig, fig. Jig. I like the silly sentences because I like writing funny things. (Emmy)




In Stage 5 students learn to recognise and write the consonant digraphs/trigraphs sh, sll, ss, ng, ck, dge, tch, ff, wh, ph, kn, c, qu and blend and segment words with more than three phonemes.

I like writing the silly sentence because I learnt to write works with the digraph ck like clock, rock, duck, sock, block. (Kyesha)



View Team Phonics Stage Five video here 

In Stage 6/7 students learn to recognise and write  the long vowel phonemes - ee, oo, ay, igh, ow, oo, ow, ar, ir, oy, air, or, g.

We are learning how to write the digraphs “ew” like grew, drew, few, flew, blew. I don’t like silly sentences because they don’t make sense. (Reid)



A highlight for daily Phonics sessions would have to be the “Silly Sentences”. ( can you please  add in hear the link to our silly sentences blog)  These sentences can be used for dictation at the writing step. For students to perceive themselves as “good writers” they will need to already have some known writing vocabulary such as “I, the, my, a, to”.

Silly sentences are used to:

  • Add fun to the writing

  • Go from word level to sentence level

  • Revise previously taught phonemes

  • Revise capital letters, full stops and question marks


Keywords: sounds, blend, segment, digraph, trigraph, hear, read, write & reviseCurriculum links: English - Reading, Writing, and Oral Language

Ohaaki PoihipiTeamPhonicsSillySentence2