The ‘C’ in CVCC


When I’m providing phonics INSET at school or running Sounds~Write courses, I am often asked: ‘how can I improve my knowledge of the code?’

The code consists of approximately 175 spellings that represent the 44 or so sounds in the English language. As expert readers who read and spell with automaticity, it is often difficult to place ourselves back in the shoes of an early-reader. However, it’s worth participating in encoding activities to remind ourselves what this feels like.

On this blog post you will find the consonant sounds and their spellings. Read each word, segment that word orally, then underline the spellings in each word.


/b/ bad, hobby

/ch/ chain, nurture, kitchen, Czechoslovakian, cello

/d/ dump, hidden, dhal, played 

/f/ fabric, phone, raffle, cough, giraffe

/g/ dangle, hugged, guilty, ghastly, vaguely, exact (x – gz)

/h/ hair, whole

/j/ gem, dodger, ajar, barge, suggest, gradual

/k/ carrot, kind, echo, jacket, equip, accord, bouquet, queue, acquaint, khaki, trekking, axis (x – ks)

/l/ alert, dollop, medal, gravel, pencil, apple, gazelle, symbol

/m/ most, comma, thumb, become, autumn, programme

/n/ name, inner, gnome, knob, anyone, tonne, pneumatic, mnemonic

/ng/ pink, lungs, meringue

/p/ pack, pepper

/r/ race, curry, rhyme, wrath

/s/ stuck, fossil, Christmas, scene, fox (x – ks) dense, mince, pseudonym, flaccid, reminisce

/sh/ shadow, chalet, action, social, aversion, obsession, crèche, schwa, sugar, cushion, assure, fascism, fuchsia, ocean, luxury

/t/ table, bottom, debt, bumped, private, gazette, thyme, pterodactyl 

/th/ thank

/th/ than, breathe

/v/ vacuum, above, of, Stephen, revving

/w/ walk, penguin, whale, once

/y/ yam, view 

/z/ zebra, basil, buzzer, cheese, breeze, exact (x – gz), xylophone, scissors, business

/zh / collision, measure, genre, seizure


This list was created using the Sounds Write Lexicon. See pp. 29-56 for a comprehensive list.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Part 2: ‘The V in CVCC’ coming soon.

2 thoughts on “The ‘C’ in CVCC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s