Quite simply, high frequency words are words which occur most frequently in sentences.
In EYFS and Year 1, some high frequency words are common exception words. Common exception words may contain code that has not yet been taught. For example, the word ‘child’ may be an exception word in EYFS because although students have been taught that ‘i’ can represent ‘sit’, they may not have been taught that the spelling ‘i’ can also represent the sound ‘child’ (alternative pronunciation).
Common Exception words are not words that are ‘phonetically irregular’ or words that ‘cannot be decoded’ – read John Walker’s brilliant post on ‘the ill-conceived idea of regular and irregular spelling’ here.
Here are the first 100 high frequency words, as listed in Letters and Sounds, arranged by sound. I hope that this resource provides teachers with a logical, systematic way of teaching the sound-spelling correspondences of the first 100 high frequency words.
Download here: First 100 High Frequency Words