At Drapers Mills Primary Academy, children learn phonics throughout Early Years and Phase 1. It is taught daily in short sessions so that children build up and practise the skills they use in reading and writing.
The teaching of phonics is also an integral part of a rich literacy curriculum, which includes listening and speaking, reading and writing.
Practising the sounds correctly is really important.
Phoneme - The smallest unit of sound. There are approximately 44 phonemes in English (it depends on different accents). Phonemes can be put together to make words.
Grapheme - A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. sh, 3 letters e.g. tch or 4 letters e.g ough.
GPC - This is short for Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence. Knowing a GPC means being able to match a phoneme to a grapheme and vice versa.
Digraph - A grapheme containing two letters that makes just one sound (phoneme).
Trigraph - A grapheme containing three letters that makes just one sound (phoneme).
Blending- This involves looking at a written word, looking at each grapheme and using knowledge of GPCs to work out which phoneme each grapheme represents and then merging these phonemes together to make a word.
Segmenting - This involves hearing a word, splitting it up into the phonemes (sound talk/sounding out) that make it, using knowledge of GPCs to work out which graphemes represent those phonemes and then writing those graphemes down in the right order.