Milton Park Primary School

Every day a learning adventure

Phonics and Spelling

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  Children begin this programme in EYFS and continue it into the first part of Year 2 where it is superseded by the Spelling Programme.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:

  • 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


phoneme is a sound in a word.

There are approximately 44 phonemes in the English language.



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:




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

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, deckchaos

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.

Year 2 is where the learning of phonics begins to support the understanding of spelling rules.

See below for an explanation of how phonics aids spelling in class.

Alongside phonics we learn spelling rules. These are revisited and added to throughout the year groups here at Milton Park.

There are words which are not decodable by using phonics. We learn these by repeat practise. 

Here are some games which you can play at home to support us in this.