St Mary'sCatholic Primary School

‘Dat deus incrementum’

‘God gives us Growth’

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High Frequency Notes


High Frequency Words


Although there are more than 600,000 words in the English language, only a small number of these appear frequently in the material we read. Studies have shown that there are only 13 different words that make up 25% of the words we read, and there are 100 words that make up 50% of the words we read. These words are called high-frequency words or sight words.



Children who have mastered the list of sight words can already recognise at least half of a sentence. If your child begins to read a book and can already recognise the words, chances are they won’t feel discouraged and put the book down, rather they’ll have more confidence to read it all the way through and choose another!



Sight words help promote reading comprehension. When your child opens their book for the first time, instead of trying to decipher what ALL of the words mean, they can shift their attention to focus on those words they are not familiar with. They will already know at least half of the words, so focusing on the other half helps strengthen their understanding of the text.



Sight words provide clues to the context of the text. If your child is familiar with the sight words, they may be able to decode the meaning of the paragraph or sentence by reading the sight words. And, if a picture accompanies the text, your child may be able to determine what the story is about and come away with a few new words under their belt.


Sight words are all about memorization and recognition


Tricky words’ are words that can not be sounded out. They simply have to be learnt so your child can read and write them confidently.


There are many ways in which you can help with identifying sight words, for example:

  • Flash cards: Give your child extra practice with sight words by running through sight word flash cards.
  • Word Games: Play word games such as Bingo and Memory, which involve whole word recognition.
  • Sight Words in Text: Pause to point out sight words when reading with your child.
  • Pinterest: Type in ‘sight words’ or ‘high frequency words’ for lots of fun, exciting and inspiring activities.


Have fun!