At the start of Phase 6 of Letters and Sounds, children will have already learnt the most frequently occurring grapheme–phoneme correspondences (GPCs) in the English language. They will be able to read many familiar words automatically.
When they come across unfamiliar words they will in many cases be able to decode them quickly and quietly using their well-developed sounding and blending skills. With more complex unfamiliar words they will often be able to decode them by sounding them out.
At this stage children should be able to spell words phonemically although not always correctly. In Phase 6 the main aim is for children to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers.