Letters and sounds
There are 26 letters in the English alphabet which make 44 different sounds called phonemes.
A Phoneme is the spoken sound.
A Grapheme is written symbol which represents the phoneme.
Graphemes can either be a single letter or a group of letters such as:
- one letter grapheme - i ,o, s , h
- two letters (Digraph) - ch, sh, qu
- three letters (trigraph) - ear, air, igh
We teach phonemes and corresponding graphemes is the following sequence.
Set 1: s, a, t, p
Set 2: i, n, m, d
Set 3: g, o, c, k
Set 4: ck, e, u, r
Set 5: h, b, f, ff, l, ll, ss
Set 6: j, v, w, x
Set 7: y, z, zz, qu
Consonant digraphs: ch, sh, th, ng
Vowel digraphs: ai, ee, igh, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, ear, air, ure, er
As soon as each set of letters is introduced, children will be encouraged to use their knowledge of the letter sounds to blend and sound out words.
For example, for set 1 sounds (s a t p ) they will learn to blend the sounds s-a-t to make the word sat or t-a-p to make the word tap.
Pupils will also learn to segment words in order to spell.
For example, they might be asked to find the letter sounds that make the word tap from a small selection of magnetic letters.
Teachers use vocabulary such as initial (first), medial (middle) and final (last) with pupils when supporting them to read and spell words.
For example, questioning pupils about the words they are reading and spelling by saying 'What is the initial sound in tap?' , ' Can you tell me the final sound in tap? ' ' Is the final sound a digraph or single grapheme?'
Tricky words are words that cannot be decoded using letters and sounds knowledge. We learn these by sight using flash cards.
Phase 2 Tricky Words
Phase 3 Tricky Words