Phonics High Frequency Words (HFW)

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Grown ups, this page lists all of the "High Frequency Words or HFW" that children need to learn to help them with their reading and writing. This list of words has been devised by experts as they make up around 50% of the words that children will need to read and write regularly at this stage of their learning. Therefore it will really help them if they can simply learn to recognise these words by sight, as opposed to having to sound them out.

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Although these words can be worked out by sounding them out it will really help your child progress if they can instantly recognise them. For that they need to be learnt, and that takes regular practise. They will cover them in their phonics lessons at school, but helping them at home will improve things so much for them. The children use a variety of skills to learn these words, some will look at the first letter to help them, some will look at the over-all shape of the word, some will see if the word looks like another word that they know. Each skill is fine, but it may help them if you ask them how they remember, so you can jog their memory next time you test them. When you practise these words with children please try not to do them in the same order each time, children are remarkable at learning patterns and we do not want them to know that the word-after-"can"- is-"do" as that means they aren't actually recognising the word. The words are sorted according to the phase from the "Letters and sounds" scheme that most schools use in their phonics lessons. However if your school uses a different scheme you may see a slight difference, but these words are still important for all children to learn.

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  • a
  • an
  • as
  • at
  • if
  • is
  • in
  • it
  • of
  • off
  • on
  • can
  • dad
  • had
  • back
  • and
  • get
  • big
  • him
  • his
  • not
  • got
  • up
  • mum
  • but
  • put
 
  • will
  • that
  • this
  • then
  • them
  • with
  • see
  • for
  • now
  • down
  • look
  • too
  • went
  • it's (note the apostrophe, it is important)
  • from
  • children
  • just
  • help
  • don't (note the apostrophe, it is important)
  • old
  • I'm (this has an important capital letter and apostrophe)
  • by
  • time
  • house
  • about
  • your
  • day
  • made
  • came
  • make
  • here
  • saw
  • very
  • put

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