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Phonics Explained

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Phonics Words Explained

When you are searching for different phonics activities you may come across some of these words. We understand that these might be difficult to understand, so thought we'd do our best to try and explain them to you.



Phoneme This is a sound. A sound can be made up of one, two or three letters. The English language has 44 different sounds!
Grapheme These are the letters and groups of letters that make up a sound. Sometimes one letter will represent a sound, but at other times more than one letter will represent a sound.  
Digraph A sound that is made up of two letters, e.g. sh.
Trigraph A sound that is made up of three letters, e.g. igh. 
Decode This is working out what a word is, in many ways 'breaking the code'. To do this, children need to use a combination of skills and knowledge.
Blending This is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word. 
Split Digraph A digraph that is split in two by other letters, e.g. the sound 'a' in take is represented by the split digraph a_e.
Segmenting This is the opposite of blending. You take a whole word and separate it into it's individual sounds, e.g. cat: c - a - t.