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 Jelly and Bean books introduce more of the vowel digraphs 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), oy (toy), ir (first)'.
The books also reinforce 'y' (fly). The high-frequency words 'where, there, here, some, want, move, one, what, watch' are introduced.
The Rhyming CVC Series contains many CVC and CCVC rhyming words. Most of the high-frequency words children have learnt up to this point are also included in the vocabulary. This series provides good revision for Reception Year work at the beginning of Year 1.
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 'ir' (first).
The books in the Combining Consonants Series revise the consonant digraphs 'th, sh, ch, ..ng' and add '..dge, ..tch'. The vowel grapheme 'oy' is introduced in the new book 1, The Toy Truck. A new book 6 has been introduced in 2018, The Hedgehog Tunnel. The new irregular high-frequency words introduced are 'be, what, some, there, where'.
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 36 photocopiable pages of writing and colouring activities to complement Tom and Bella Series 4.
WA19: Writing Activities for the Combining Consonants Series has 36 photocopiable pages of comprehension, writing and colouring activities to complement this series. There are 6 activities for each book.
There are reading and writing packages for the Rhyming CVC Series, Early Vowels Series, Tom and Bella Series 4 and the Combining Consonants Series are available here.