Generally, Phonic Phase 4, as described in Letters and Sounds, relates to the blending of consonants at the beginning and end of simple words.
Examples of combinations of consonants that occur at the beginning of English words are 'bl.., cl.., fl.., gl.., pl.., sl.., br.., dr.., fr.., gr.., pr.., tr.., sk.., sm.., sn.., sp.., st.., sw.., tw..' in words like 'blob, clap, flag, glad, plop, slip, bran, drip, frog, grab, pram, tram, skip, smell, snip, stop, swim, twig'.
Examples of combinations of consonants that occur at the end of English words are '..mp, ..nd, ..nk, ..nt, ..st, ..ft, ..ld, ..lp, ..lt, ..sk' in words like 'jump, hand, bank, tent, lost, left, held, help, belt, ask'.
All our books, starting with book 3 in the A Series, contain at least one word with adjacent consonants, e.g. 'frog' (book 3A), 'grass' (book 6A) and 'jump' (book 8A). It is easier for anyone to say these consonants together in their combinations than it is to say them singly as phonemes and then try to blend them together.
There are also some combinations of three adjacent consonants such as 'spr.., str.., spl..'. These are found in the words such as 'spring, street, split'.
Some consonant spelling combinations, e.g. 'ch, sh, th' are the spellings of single sounds. These sounds are not the same as the sounds corresponding to the two separate letters.
These are known as consonant digraphs, e.g.'ch (chip), th (thank), sh (ship), ng (ring), ph (phonics)'.
Sometimes these occur with another consonant to give 'shr.., thr.., ..nch, ..tch' as in the words 'shrub, thrush, branch, catch'.
At this stage, the phonic progression of Jelly and Bean books introduces more vowel graphemes from Phase 3 of Letters and Sounds. These graphemes are all used in stories written in the present tense. These are 'oo (cool), ie (tries), oa (float), ar (car), a (falls), or (storm), air (scared).
The books also reinforce 'y' (fly). The high-frequency words 'where, there, here, some, want, move, one, what, watch' are introduced.
The books in the Early Vowel Combinations Series, introduce and reinforce the vowel graphemes, 'ai, (rain), ea (eat), ie (pie), y (sky), oa, (float), oo (cool), er (after)'.
Tom and Bella Series 4 introduces the vowel graphemes 'ar' (car) and 'a' (fall).
The books in the Combining Consonants Series revise the consonant digraphs 'th, sh, ch, ..ng' and add '..dge, ..tch'. The new irregular high-frequency words introduced are 'be, what, some, there, where'.
Follifoot Farm Series 1 uses vocabulary with the vowel spellings 'ai, ar, ay, ea, ee, er, oa, oo, or, ou, ow' throughout all the six books in simple words connected with the farm, e.g. 'rain, farm, hay, eat, sheep, water, road, flood, soon, cow.' Each story is roughly 150 words in length.
Follifoot Farm Series 2 uses vocabulary with the same vowel spellings as Follifoot Farm Series 1 throughout all the six books in simple words connected with the farm. The vowel spelling 'are' as in 'scared' is also introduced. This series is one continuous story told in six parts. Children need to read the books in the order 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 to follow the story and to appreciate the cliffhanger ending on the last page of each book. They are well motivated by this, wanting to go on to the next book to find out what happens. Each story is roughly 160 words in length.
WA08: Blending Consonants Activities has 48 photocopiable pages of writing and comprehension exercises relating to adjacent consonants. Each activity uses words containing only the 'short' vowels 'a, e, i, o, u' as well as the consonants to blend.
WA09: Writing Activities for the Early Vowels Series has 46 photocopiable pages for the vowel spellings 'ee, oo (pool), ai, oa, y, ie, ay, ea' including a comprehension exercise for each story in this series.
WA17: Writing Activities for Tom and Bella Series 4 has 24 photocopiable pages of writing and colouring activities to complement Tom and Bella Series 4.
There are reading and writing packages for the Early Vowels Series and Tom and Bella Series 4 available here.