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School Name

St. David's C of E Primary School

enquiring minds, caring hearts, creative hands

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  • 01608 650521
  • St. David's C of E Primary School, East Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, GL56 0LQ



At St David's School we teach pupils to:

  1. Apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words.
  2. Segment words into their constituent phonemes in order to spell words.
  3. Learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes.
  4. Read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns.
  5. Read texts and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible.
  6. Spell effortlessly so that all their resources can be directed towards composing their writing.


High-quality phonic work is most effective when:

  • It is systematic, that is to say, it follows a carefully planned programme reinforcing and building on previous learning to secure children’s progress.
  • It is taught discretely and daily at a brisk pace following the structure: revisit, teach, practice, apply from the Letters and Sounds programme.
  • It is time-limited, to promote confident readers by the end of Key Stage 1
  • There are opportunities to reinforce and apply acquired phonic knowledge and skills across the curriculum and in such activities as independent, shared and guided reading and writing.

Phoneme – is the smallest unit of sound.

Grapheme – is a written symbol that represents a sound (phoneme). This can be a single letter, or could be a sequence of letters, such as ai or igh.

Digraph – is a grapheme containing 2 letters which make one sound.  For example – sh, ch, th.

Trigraph – is a grapheme containing 3 letters which make one sound.  For example – ear, igh, air.

Split digraph – is 2 letters that make one sound but they have been split up by a letter in between them. For example  a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e.

Blending – saying the sound (phoneme) for each letter (grapheme) in a word and blending the sounds together to read the word.  The children could blend these sounds out load or silently (in their head). 

Segmenting – hearing a spoken word and splitting it into the sounds (phonemes) that make up that word.

Tricky Words – some words cannot be sounded out (segmented) or spelt correctly by listening to the sounds (phonemes) in them.  These have to be learnt and remembered as whole words.

Alien Words – or ‘Nonsense Words’ are words which are not real.  By regularly looking at these kinds of words the children acquire a growing confidence in their ability to decode unfamiliar text.

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter.


Enquiring minds, caring hearts, creative hands