What Phonics Is Taught In Year Two?

Written by Dan

Phonics is a crucial aspect of early education, laying the foundation for children’s reading and writing skills.

As your child enters Year Two, you might wonder what phonics lessons they will tackle.

This guide aims to demystify that process, providing an overview of what phonics is taught in Year Two.

Here, we’ll delve into the core concepts, techniques, and strategies that will be introduced, further strengthening your child’s literacy journey.

Whether your child is just starting with phonics or continuing their learning, this guide will help you understand what to expect in Year Two.

Let’s explore the fascinating world of phonics together.

Understanding Phonics

What is phonics exactly, and why is it so vital in our children’s early education?

At its core, phonics is a method used in teaching reading and writing of the English language.

Young learners are taught to associate sounds with spellings, creating a mental map connecting the visual (letters) and auditory (sounds).

This foundational knowledge allows them to decode new words when they read and spell, fostering their literacy skills.

But how does phonics contribute to reading and writing? Imagine assembling a puzzle without knowing what the final picture looks like.

Phonics provides that ‘picture’, guiding children to recognize patterns in words, enabling them to predict and, thus, read or write them correctly. It’s like giving them a key to unlock the vast world of words.

Let’s take an example. The word ‘cat’. In phonics, instead of memorizing the word as a whole, children learn to recognize and say individual sounds ‘c’, ‘a’, ‘t’, and then blend these sounds together to form the word ‘cat’.

This way, not only do they learn this particular word, but they are also equipped to tackle unfamiliar words using the same technique.

So, you see, phonics is not merely a teaching method. It is the cornerstone of literacy, paving the way for successful reading and writing journeys.


Phonics in Year One: A Recap

Year One is an exciting journey where the building blocks of phonics are first introduced. Let’s stroll down memory lane and revisit those pivotal lessons, shall we?

The first cornerstone laid in Year One is understanding individual letter sounds, also known as ‘phonemes’.

This is where children learn to associate each alphabet letter with its corresponding sound. For instance, ‘b’ is for ‘ball’, ‘c’ is for ‘cat’, and so on.

Next, we introduced the concept of ‘blending’. This is where the magic happens! Children learn to combine individual sounds to create words. Remember our example from earlier? ‘C’, ‘a’, ‘t’ blending gives us the word ‘cat’.

Lastly, we delve into ‘digraphs’ and ‘trigraphs’. These might sound like complicated terms, but they’re just fancy names for groups of two or three letters making one sound, like ‘sh’ in ‘ship’ or ‘igh’ in ‘night’.

These concepts form the backbone of phonics learning. They are the stepping stones that lead us to the more advanced phonics lessons in Year Two.

The knowledge gained in Year One not only equips students with basic reading and writing skills but also prepares them for the challenges and triumphs of the next year.

So, as we bid adieu to Year One and its foundational lessons, we look forward to Year Two, ready to build on this strong base and continue our exciting literacy journey.

Remember, every big, towering tree started as a tiny seed. In phonics, Year One is that vital seed.

Phonics in Year Two: An Overview

As we venture into the second year of our phonics journey, what new concepts do we uncover? The answer is quite a few!

Year Two introduces several exciting elements that build upon the foundational knowledge gained in Year One.

One of the first new concepts introduced is ‘long vowel sounds’. Unlike the short vowel sounds learned in Year One (like ‘a’ in ‘cat’), these vowels say their name, such as ‘a’ in ‘cake’, ‘i’ in ‘time’, or ‘o’ in ‘home’.

Next up, we have ‘alternative spellings’. Here, children learn that different letters or groups of letters can represent the same sound. For instance, the sound ‘k’ can be spelled as ‘c’, ‘k’, ‘ck’, ‘ch’, or ‘qu’. Quite a revelation, isn’t it?

Lastly, Year Two brings in ‘suffixes’, those little tails at the end of words that can change their meaning entirely. Think ‘jump’ versus ‘jumped’ or ‘jumping’.

But how does this all come together in real-life reading and writing situations? Let’s consider an example. A child comes across the word ‘light’.

With their Year Two phonics knowledge, they recognize ‘igh’ as a long vowel sound and ‘t’ as an individual sound.

They blend these sounds together to read the word ‘light’. Similarly, when writing, they know they can use ‘igh’ to represent the long ‘i’ sound.

As for teaching these concepts, strategies range from interactive games and phonics songs to flashcards and worksheets. Our goal is to make learning engaging and fun, enhancing children’s understanding and retention of these new phonics concepts.

Year Two is indeed a year of discovery and growth in phonics. By expanding on the basics learned in Year One, we’re equipping our children with the tools they need to become confident, independent readers and writers. How exciting is that?

Supporting Your Child’s Phonics Learning at Home

As parents, we play an indispensable role in the literacy journey of our children.

Our active participation can significantly enhance their phonics comprehension and cultivate a lifelong affinity for reading and writing. So, what are some practical ways we can champion this learning at home? Let’s dive in.

First on our list is to instill the habit of daily reading. This simple practice exposes your child to a plethora of words and sounds, sparking their curiosity and imagination. Select books that align with your child’s current phonics level to bolster their confidence and motivation.

Next, why not transform learning into a game? Engage in ‘sound games’. For instance, identifying the initial sound of various objects around the house or playing a round of ‘I Spy’, but with sounds instead of letters.

These delightful activities reinforce phonics concepts and transform learning from a chore into an adventure.

Thirdly, urge your child to sound out words rather than guessing them based on context. This active decoding strengthens a critical aspect of phonics learning.

The fourth tip is to create a nurturing learning environment. Celebrate every progress your child makes, no matter how small.

This positivity acts as a catalyst, boosting their self-esteem and driving them to keep trying, even when faced with challenging words or concepts.

Lastly, make good use of resources designed to support phonics learning. This could encompass phonics workbooks, online games , flashcards, or catchy phonics songs.

The objective here is to make phonics learning as engaging and interactive as possible.

In essence, your involvement in your child’s phonics learning journey is priceless. By providing consistent support, encouragement, and a conducive environment, you are setting them up for success.

And remember, this isn’t just about mastering phonics. It’s about fostering an overall love for literacy. Now, how rewarding is that?


In our enlightening exploration of phonics in Year Two, we’ve underscored the pivotal role phonics plays in the literacy development of our children.

Phonics, with its systematic approach of breaking down the English language into 44 sounds, serves as a practical and accessible gateway to learning to read.

The journey through Year Two builds on the foundational phonics skills established in Year One, introducing more complex concepts like long vowel sounds, alternative spellings, and suffixes.

These new layers expand our children’s understanding of phonics, equipping them with the tools they need to decode words – a skill that becomes increasingly crucial when encountering new vocabulary.

It’s also vital to remember that phonics isn’t just about reading. It forms the bedrock for writing, spelling, and overall communication proficiency.

By mastering phonics, children gain the confidence to express themselves effectively and eloquently, both verbally and through the written word.

But let’s not forget, this journey is one our children shouldn’t have to embark on alone. As parents, our involvement is priceless.

Our active support can significantly enhance their phonics learning, transforming what might initially seem like a daunting task into an exciting adventure.

From making reading a daily habit to playing sound games and creating a nurturing learning environment, we possess the power to make a profound impact on our children’s literacy journey.

The importance of phonics in Year Two cannot be overstated. It’s a stepping stone to more complex literacy skills and a critical stage in your child’s educational journey.

So, let’s seize this opportunity to engage with our children’s learning process, to guide, support, and celebrate their progress every step of the way. After all, isn’t being an integral part of their journey what it’s all about?

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.






Join our email list to receive the latest updates.

Add your form here