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The Cambridge Primary School

The Cambridge

Primary School

How to read Tricky Words

‘Tricky words’ are words that cannot easily be decoded (‘sounded out’ and read). This is because some of the sounds in the words are spelled in an unusual way. It is important for children to be able to read these words as they are among the most common words in English. Children who practise reading tricky words regularly, will recognise them and be more likely to read fluently.

The guidance below shows the tricky words that your child will learn in the different phonic phases during Reception and Year 1. There are also explanations as to why each word is tricky. These explanations help children to read and spell them. 

Children will practise the tricky words in school until they can read them automatically. They will also practise reading the tricky words in the decodable books that they bring home and read online.