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Welcome to our Phonics page.


This page should have all the answers you are looking for. It will show you how to say each sound, which terminology to use and what is taught in school. If you have any questions, please speak to your child's class teacher.


At our school, we teach phonics using Essential Letters and Sounds.  This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme that aims to teach all children to read well, quickly.

What is Phonics?


Phonics is teaching children the letter sounds and then helping them learn to blend words for reading and segment words for spelling. Simply put, it is hearing the sounds in a word and writing them down to spell it correctly. When reading, it is sounding out a word and blending the sounds back together to read the whole word.

Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them learn to read. It runs alongside other teaching methods such as guided reading to help children develop all the other vital reading skills and hopefully give them a real love of reading.

Phonics terminology



A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a word.

Feel/watch how your mouth changes when you say a word, every time your mouth moves/changes shape you are saying a new phoneme, e.g. b-r-i-ck

There are 44 phonemes in the English language



A grapheme is a letter or a number of letters that represent a sound (phoneme) in a word. A three letter grapheme could be igh in the word  b-r-igh-t. There are 3 letters that make one phoneme..

A grapheme can represent more than one phoneme e.g. C = cat and city



Two letters, which makes 1 phoneme. e.g. d-u-ck

A consonant diagraph contains two consonants

e.g.          sh             ck             th             ll

A vowel diagraph contains at least one vowel

e.g.          ai              ee            ar              oy


Split Diagraph

A diagraph in which the two letters are not adjacent e.g. make

a-e is a unit of sound (diagraph)- it is being ‘split’ by the constant k.



Three letters, which make 1 phoneme. e.g. l-igh-t


Oral blending

Hearing a series of spoken phonemes and merging them together to make a spoken word without corresponding to any graphemes (no text is needed). e.g. teacher says “b-u-s” children say “bus”


Blending (links to reading)

Recognising the letter sounds in a written word and merging them together in the order they are written to pronounce the word. e.g. c-u-p = cup


Segmenting (links to writing)

Identifying the individual phonemes in a spoken word and writing them down to form a word.

How to help your child at home. 


To ensure your child is regularly applying their phonics skills at home, it will be helpful to practise reading and spelling activities. Below, please find useful links to other games and activities to support your child at home with phonics.