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Fun Phonics


Complex Combination Sounds

Level 4:

You will notice that sometimes there can be a number of ways to produce the same sound. For example 'ee' (as in street) 'ea' (as in clean) 'ey' (as in donkey) and 'e_e' (as in scene.)

The following sounds, along with previous combinations are ideally known by the end of the first year at school.


The earlier kids can identify all combination sounds the easier reading is for them. Ensure single lower case sounds and simple digraphs are known first.

Many complex combinations, will have already been encountered, and may have been picked up incidentally in routine words at school, such as rainy when discussing the weather, or in high frequency words such as boy.

Check out Level 3 before continuing with Level 4.

You can either screen shot letter sheets, copy them on your phone, download and print them. Or if on a desktop you can click on the image, press save image  then print it.


If you're having difficulty with either you can contact me for pdfs to be sent to you at your email address.

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The next lot of sounds are more difficult and are used less frequently so your child may benefit from them being taught in isolation and reinforced as they come up during their oral reading.

I found it's advisable to revise sound combinations and digraphs every fortnight or so.

I was surprised when assessing a Year 3 class at the beginning of the school year how many of them had forgotten their sound combinations during the Christmas holidays. This can greatly affect reading fluency and therefore comprehension.


It usually takes less than two minutes to go through the lot once they're known.

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How to make it fun


Lay out three known digraphs close to each other in a row, (each the correct way up for the child.)


Sit opposite, facing my child ready to play The Phonics Game.


1. Call out a sound (say ch) and both players attempt to snap the sound before the other player.

2. Call out a different sound (say er) and both players attempt to snap the new sound before the other player.

For more Reading Ideas click on the links below:

3. Repeat the process using three different sounds. (say ch, ch, er, ay, er, ay, ch, ay, er, etc) getting faster. You might even change the letter positions.


4. The game continues until you're reasonably sure your child knows the three digraphs involved.

5. Then removing the digraph they appear to know best. Introduce a 'new' digraph that ideally looks different to the others. For example 'oo'. And continue the game again.

6. You can repeat Step 5 over and over again always increasing the number of known digraphs.

Girl with Flower

For FUN READING GAMES click on the links below:

For FUN MATHS GAMES click on the links below:

Best Parenting is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. This site provides free resources for busy parents who want the best practical advice possible on: effective child rearing strategies, easy healthy family meals, self-care tips for time-poor parents and fun learning games to help best educate children while also encouraging positive relationships within the family.

The best parenting advice regarding creating engaged learners is to make learning as much fun as possible. That's why games work best to revise new information. Children practise skills over and over in play situations, yet aren't even aware they're doing it. Best parenting provides many examples of quick and easy games to help develop both early reading and maths skills.


This site provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. This site does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this site to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Best Parenting is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.


Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

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