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Leighton Primary School

Phonics ar and or

Hello and welcome to phonics for the week beginning 8th June!

So far your child has learnt all the Phase 2 sounds and j v w x y z zz qu ch sh th ng ai ee oo (long and short) in Phase 3. 

Please keep showing your child the Phase 3 sounds everyday so they can practise saying the sounds to match the letters.

This week we are going to learn the digraphs ar as in car and or as in fork.

It is important for children to hear these sounds in words. They also need to be able to spot these digraphs in words when we are reading and write the 2 letters when we are spelling words with these sounds.

Each time you do phonics, have a warm first. Choose a warm up from these ideas.

Sing Jolly Phonics songs. The film shows all Phase 2 which your child knows. The j sound is the beginning of Phase 3 and starts at 5 min 27 seconds, so you could start from here. Play until you have sung or, and join in with the actions and singing.

*There is no Jolly Phonics sound for igh. You can point up saying ‘high’ or make up your own song or rhyme for ‘igh’.

Game Stand in the middle of a room or garden. Sound out something you can see, e.g. p-o-s-t. Repeat the sounding out if your child cannot blend it. Give help by joining some of the sounds, e.g. p-o-st. Your child runs to point to the word they blend. Try to think of items with the Phase 3 sounds in e.g. car, book, coat,

Phonics Bingo – Each player had a piece of paper and draws 6 boxes on it, 3 along the bottom and 3 along the top. Write a sound or digraph in each box, e.g. igh th oo ng sh ee. Have a set of pieces of paper cut up each with a Phase 3 sound/digraph on it. These can be pulled out of a bag or cup. Who can be first to cross out 3 sounds? Whoever gets a full house first can shout ‘BINGO!’ 

Go to the Phonics Play website The username is: March20 and password is: home  Choose ‘Resources’ then ‘Phase 3’ and play a game like Dragon’s Den, Picnic on Pluto, Buried Treasure or Pick a Picture. Choose any sounds that your child is unsure of to practise.

Session 1 Learning ar

To make the sound ar, we pretend we are at the doctors and the doctor asks us to open our mouth and say ‘ar’.

Look at the Phase 3 sound/phoneme mat (attached below) and show your child the new digraph ‘ar’ with the picture. The sound the letters make is ‘ar’ like the middle sound in cart, farm, and hard.

Say some words for your child to listen to. If they hear ‘ar’ they say ‘ar’. If they don’t hear ar, they freeze like a statue. The words could be: farm, car, park, jelly, smart, chart, farmyard, chimpanzee, orchard.

Watch Mr Thorne Does Phonics ar

Read some words with ar.

Write ar 3 times. Remember to write the letters correctly each time

a – round the apple and down the leaf.

r – down the robot’s back and up and over his arm.

The ar sits on the line.

Look out for ar in any books, magazines, leaflets you have in your home.

Session 2 Learning ar

Look at the sound mat and find ar. Say the sound ar ar ar.

Take it in turns with your child to say some ar words. How many can you think of?

Blend some words with ar. Is ar at the beginning, middle or end of the word?

Write some words with ar. Choose your own words or try

Car, park, farm shark. For a challenge you could write carpark, farmyard.

Write a sentence and look at your Phase 3 sounds mat to help.

‘The cart is on the farm.’

Watch the Alphablocks episode about ar.

Session 3 Learning or. 

The story for or is about a donkey. We have already met this donkey when we learnt ee. We say ee-or using our hands on our heads for donkey ears that go back and forth. Please remind your child that two letters that make one sound together are called a digraph. 

Please listen to the Jolly Phonics song and make sure your child can make the or sound.

Say these words and ask your child to say or with donkey ears if they hear the sound in a word or freeze in a shape if they don't.

Say the words fork, grass, horn, morning, short, pineapple, born, fort, port, sweetcorn.

Watch Mr Thorne Does Phonics or

Blend to read some or words

Practise writing or three times with both letters sitting on the line. The handwriting rhymes are

o all around the orange

r down the robot’s back and up and over his arm. 

Session 4 Learning or

Use the phase 3 sound mat. Look for or first, then say all the phonemes from j along the rows until you get to or. 

Blend to read some or words 

Now write some words with or. Sound the whole word out before you write it down. Look at the sound mat if you need to check which letters you need for a sound.

Write horn, for, born, torch. If you want a challenge write morning, sweetcorn.

Write a simple caption and draw a picture to match, e.g.  corn on a cob,  I was born in … (birthday month).

 Session 5 Tricky words

We have spent time learning all the tricky words in Phase 3 so we will practise reading and writing them from now on.

Children need to be able to read them straight away and write them down from memory.

The words are he she me be we are all her they my you was.

Use this film to practise reading he be we be she.


Watch this film to read all the tricky words in Phase 3.

*Can you write out the Phase 3 tricky words and identify which bit is tricky.

To help you with this you can explore the ‘Train your brain’ link on Phonicsplay. Start with

Phase 3 but if this is too easy then try Phase 4.

You can watch the introduction, demonstration or just go straight to the choose words section.

If your child can read and write all the Phase 3 words without any help, then they are ready to learn Phase 4.

Here is the Phase 4 tricky word song.