At Milton Park, we follow the approach to phonics teaching as outlined in the North Somerset Learning Exchange’s 'PROGRAMME FOR PHONICS INTO EARLY SPELLING'. Children begin this programme in EYFS and continue it into the first part of Year 2 where it is superseded by the Spelling Programme.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:
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:
The same grapheme can represent different phonemes:
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.