Milton Park Primary School

Every day a learning adventure


At Milton Park, we follow the approach to phonics teaching as outlined in DFE validated Extend Letters and Sounds .  Children begin this programme in EYFS and continue it into the first part of Year 2 where it is superseded by the Spelling Programme. The Phonics Programme is a 9 step approach to the systematic teaching of phonics. The central principles involve:

  • Children having knowledge of the alphabetic code;
  • Children having the skill to blend to read;
  • Children having the skill to segment to spell;
  • Children understanding these as a reversible process.

   Milton Park  Phonic Terminology


A phoneme is a sound in a word.

There are approximately 44 phonemes in the English language.



A grapheme is a letter or sequence of letters that represents a phoneme.

There are approximately 140 different ways that graphemes are used to represent the 44 phonemes in the English language. These words each have three phonemes (separate sounds). Each of these phonemes is represented by a grapheme:




A digraph is a grapheme where two letters represent one sound kn representing /n/.

A trigraph is a grapheme where three letters represent one sound igh representing /ie/.

Phonemes are represented by graphemes the same phoneme can be represented by different graphemes:

  • /c/ can be represented by c, k, ck, ch. Consider cat, kite, deck, chaos

The same grapheme can represent different phonemes:

  • ch can represent /c/ and /sh/ and /ch/. Consider Christmas, Charlotte and church

Blending means merging the individual phonemes together, to pronounce a word. In order to read an unfamiliar word, a child must recognise (‘sound out’) each grapheme, not each letter (e.g. ‘th-i-n’ not ‘t-h-i-n’), and then merge the phonemes together to make the word.


Segmentation means hearing the individual phonemes within a word – for instance the word ‘crash’ consists of four phonemes: ‘c – r –a – sh’ In order to spell this word, a child must segment it into its component phonemes and choose a grapheme to represent each phoneme.