Tricky words/sight words/common exception words is another area of phonics your child will develop, practise and need support with.
Here's why this area is important for your child to learn...
Tricky words cannot be sounded out easily.
Early readers may find tricky words difficult to read as they have not yet learned some of the graphemes in those words: the word ‘want’ has the ‘o’ sound instead of ‘a,’ which is how it is spelt. This means that children find it difficult to read out the word, as the sounds don’t accompany the letters. They are sometimes known as irregular words, common exception words, or sight words.
How to support your child to read tricky words:
- Encourage your child to sound out the parts of the word they know and give your child support with sounds they don't know. Using the same tricky word example 'want,' your child can pronounce the 'w' sound before you demonstrate how to pronounce the 'a' sound.
- Explain letter-sound correspondences - for example, the letter 'a' is pronounced differently in 'ran' and 'was.' Overtime if you keep explaining the difference in the way a letter looks and sounds, your child will be able to recognise both letter-sound correspondences which eventually will make it easier for them to read new words.
- Compile a list of tricky words you know your child struggles with and practise these until they can read them independently and confidently
- Practice and repetition is important when teaching your child to read tricky words
What are Common Exception Words?
Common exception words are words that do not follow the common phonetic spelling rules children learn in Year 1 and Year 2. These are also called tricky words or sight words as you must learn to recognise them, and can't sound them out. They aren't decodable using the normal rules and letter-sounds in phonics.
Class spellings will go out on a Friday on a piece of paper.
Your child's spelling test will be the following Friday.
Please practise these with your child as spelling is a vital part of your child's writing development.
Spellings sent out are taken from the National Curriculum.