What Phonics Is Taught In Year Three?

Written by Dan

In the journey of a child’s educational development, Year Three is a crucial stage where they start to dive deeper into the world of literacy. Among the many skills they learn at this stage, phonics is integral.

Phonics is a method employed in teaching reading and writing of the English language. It involves the relationship between sounds and their spellings, and it’s often the stepping stone for children to understand the complex structure of language.

In this article, we will explore what specific phonics lessons are taught in Year Three, why they are essential, and how they contribute to a child’s overall literacy development.

Whether you’re a parent wanting to support your child’s learning at home, or a teacher seeking to enhance your curriculum, this guide will provide valuable insights into Year Three phonics.

The Role of Phonics in Language Development

Phonics plays a significant role in children’s language development, particularly in reading and writing skills.

By teaching children the relationship between letters (graphemes) and their sounds (phonemes), phonics provides the foundational knowledge necessary for decoding words.

This decoding process is key to reading, as it allows children to recognize and understand words they encounter.

When children learn to associate specific sounds with particular letters or groups of letters, they can then string these sounds together to read words.

Similarly, they can break words down into their constituent sounds to spell them out. This ability not only enhances their reading fluency but also their writing proficiency.

Beyond reading and writing, phonics is critical in the broader context of language development.

It contributes to vocabulary growth as children can decode and understand new words they come across, aiding comprehension.

Moreover, phonics helps improve pronunciation, as understanding the sounds associated with different letters enables children to pronounce words correctly.

Therefore, phonics is an essential tool in fostering literacy and overall language skills in children.


What Phonics is Taught in Year Three

Year Three is a pivotal time in a child’s phonics education, as it builds upon the foundational skills learned in previous years and introduces more complex concepts.

Advanced Sound-Spelling Correspondences

In Year Three, children delve deeper into sound-spelling correspondences. They learn more about how sounds can be represented in spelling.

This includes understanding that the same sound can be spelled in various ways (like ‘c’ and ‘k’ both making a /k/ sound) and that the same spelling can represent different sounds (like ‘c’ in ‘cat’ and ‘city’).

Multi-Syllable Words

Year Three also introduces children to multi-syllable words. They learn to break down longer words into smaller parts or syllables, which makes reading and spelling these words much easier.

This skill is crucial as it allows children to tackle more complex words and sentences , enhancing their reading fluency and comprehension.

Prefixes and Suffixes

Children in Year Three begin to learn about prefixes and suffixes, which are groups of letters added at the beginning or end of a root word to change its meaning.

This knowledge helps expand their vocabulary and strengthens their understanding of how words are structured.

Progression from Year Two to Year Three

The transition from Year Two to Year Three in terms of phonics learning involves a shift from mastering basic phonics rules to applying these rules to more complicated words and structures.

The emphasis on advanced sound-spelling correspondences, multi-syllable words, and prefixes and suffixes in Year Three helps prepare students for the increased literacy demands of higher grades.

Why These Phonics Lessons are Important

The phonics lessons in Year Three are crucial for several reasons, each contributing to the child’s overall language development and literacy skills.

Importance of Advanced Sound-Spelling Correspondences

Understanding advanced sound-spelling correspondences is vital as it broadens children’s decoding abilities. This knowledge allows them to tackle a wider range of words in their reading and writing, enhancing their fluency and accuracy.

Significance of Multi-Syllable Words

Learning about multi-syllable words equips children with the ability to break down and understand complex words, an essential skill as texts become more challenging in higher grades. This skill also contributes to increased reading speed, comprehension, and spelling accuracy.

Role of Prefixes and Suffixes

Knowledge of prefixes and suffixes is crucial as they alter the meanings of root words. By understanding this, students can decode unfamiliar words and infer their meanings, thus expanding their vocabulary and improving their reading comprehension.

Building on Previous Knowledge and Preparing for Future Learning

Each of these components builds upon the phonics knowledge acquired in previous years. For instance, the basic sound-letter correspondences learned in Year Two form the foundation for understanding advanced correspondences in Year Three.

Similarly, learning about multi-syllable words and prefixes and suffixes prepares children for the more complex language structures they will encounter in subsequent years.

Thus, Year Three phonics lessons play a pivotal role in a child’s continuous learning journey, setting the stage for their future academic success.

How Parents and Teachers Can Support Year Three Phonics Learning

Support from both parents and teachers is crucial in reinforcing phonics learning for Year Three students. Here are some strategies and resources that can be used at home and in the classroom.

Tips and Strategies

  1. Make Reading a Daily Activity: Regular reading helps children apply their phonics knowledge in a practical context. Choose age-appropriate books that include the phonics elements they’re learning about.
  2. Use Interactive Phonics Games: Both online and offline phonics games can make learning fun and engaging. These games often involve matching sounds to letters, segmenting words into sounds, or blending sounds to form words.
  3. Practice Spelling: Encourage children to write regularly. This could be in the form of short stories, diary entries, or letters. Spelling practice helps reinforce their understanding of sound-spelling correspondences.
  4. Discuss New Words: When your child encounters a new word, take the time to break it down. Discuss the sounds, syllables, prefixes, or suffixes that make up the word.

Resources for Additional Practice and Reinforcement

  1. Phonics Worksheets: Worksheets provide structured practice for specific phonics skills. They can be found in phonics workbooks or downloaded from educational websites.
  2. Phonics Apps: There are several educational apps designed to help children practice phonics in an interactive and engaging way.
  3. Online Phonics Videos: Websites like YouTube have numerous phonics videos that explain different concepts through songs and animations.
  4. Library Books: Many children’s books are designed to support phonics learning. Consult with a librarian or teacher to find books suitable for your child’s level.

Parents and teachers working together can create a supportive environment that nurtures a child’s phonics learning and sets them up for success in their literacy journey.


Year Three is a significant stage in a child’s phonics learning journey. At this point, students dive into advanced sound-spelling correspondences, learn to break down multi-syllable words, and explore the world of prefixes and suffixes.

Each of these components serves to expand their decoding abilities, increase reading fluency, enhance spelling accuracy, and improve comprehension.

These skills build upon the foundational knowledge gained in previous years, preparing children for more complex language structures in future learning.

Both parents and teachers must play active roles in supporting this learning process.

This can be achieved through regular reading sessions, interactive phonics games, spelling practice, and the use of various resources such as phonics worksheets, apps, online videos, and library books.

As we continue to support our children on their phonics journey, we are not only helping them become proficient readers and writers but also fostering a lifelong love of learning.

Let’s keep encouraging and nurturing their growth, celebrating every milestone along the way. With patience, consistency, and the right tools, your child can master these vital skills and flourish in their academic journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is phonics taught in Year 3?

A: Yes, phonics is taught in Year 3. The focus at this stage is on advanced sound-spelling correspondences, multi-syllable words, and the introduction of prefixes and suffixes.

Q: What do they learn in Year 3?

A: In Year 3, children learn about advanced sound-spelling correspondences, how to break down and understand multi-syllable words, and the role of prefixes and suffixes in changing the meanings of root words.

Q: What phonics should be taught in 3rd grade?

A: In the 3rd grade, which is equivalent to Year 3, students should learn about complex sound-spelling correspondences, multi-syllable words, and the use of prefixes and suffixes. They should also continue to practice and apply these skills in their reading and writing.

Q: What are the 4 types of phonics?

A: The four types of phonics are synthetic, analytic, analogy-based, and embedded phonics. Synthetic phonics involves teaching students to convert letters into sounds (phonemes) and then blend the sounds to form recognizable words.

Analytic phonics teaches students to analyze letter-sound relations in previously learned words to avoid pronouncing sounds in isolation. Analogy-based phonics teaches students to use parts of word families they know to identify words they don’t know that have similar parts.

Embedded phonics teaches students phonics skills by embedding phonics instruction in text reading.

Q: How can parents support phonics learning at home?

A: Parents can support phonics learning at home by making reading a daily activity, using interactive phonics games, practicing spelling, discussing new words, and using resources like phonics worksheets, apps, online videos, and library books.

Q: How does Year 3 phonics prepare students for future learning?

A: Year 3 phonics builds upon the foundational knowledge gained in previous years and prepares children for more complex language structures in future learning.

Understanding advanced sound-spelling correspondences, multi-syllable words, and prefixes and suffixes helps children decode unfamiliar words, enhances their reading fluency and comprehension, and improves their spelling accuracy.

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.






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