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Phonics terminology


Phoneme: the smallest single identifiable sound in a word. 

For example, in the word 'cat' there are three phonemes c/a/t.


Grapheme: the written representation of a sound. 


Digraph: two letters making one sound. For example, /sh/ in the word 'shop'. 


Trigraph: three letters making one sound. For example, /igh/ in the word 'night'. 


Split digraph: two vowel letters split but are split by one or more consonants. For example, /a-e/ in the word 'cake'.




Supporting your child with writing at home


You can use the spelling sequence with your child at home:                                                      

              say it                      stretch it                sound it out           blend the word       count the sounds             say it


We also practise saying our sentences before we write them to make sure we write the sentence we have planned and to ensure it makes sense.


We use the sound mat to write the sounds we can hear if we are unsure of what it looks like.

Sound Mats

Supporting your child with reading at home

  • Reading a bedtime story every night to your child improves their outcomes - reading until they are 3 improves outcomes in Reception, reading until they are 5 improves outcomes in Y6 and reading until they are 8 improves outcomes aged 16!
  • Use pure sounds when decoding (sounding out) words (no 'uh' after the sound)
  • Practise reading their book 4 times across the week working on these skills - decode, fluency and expression
    • decode - sounding out words and blending the sounds together to read the words​​​​​
    • fluency - reading words with less obvious decoding
    • expression - using intonation and expression to bring the text to life. For example, if someone is asking a question get your child to make their voice sound like they are asking a question.


Phonics: How to blend sounds to read words | Oxford Owl