Spelling at Probus

For more about spellings in KS2, see the letter, below, which was sent to parents on 17/09/2021.


A Phonics Glossary

1 Blend: this is when you say the individual sounds that make up a word and then merge or blend them together to say the word as used when reading --- bl – en -d = blen – d = blend

2 Consonant: most letters of the alphabet are consonants, except for the vowels: a,e,i,o,u.

3 CVC Words: this is an abbreviation used for consonant-vowel-consonant words. It describes the order of sounds. Some examples of CVC words are: cat, pen, top, chat (because ch makes one sound).

Other similar abbreviations include:

  •   VC (Vowel Consonant) words e.g. on, is, it.
  •   CCVC (Consonant, Consonant, Vowel, Consonant) words e.g. trap and black.
  •   CVCC (Consonant, Vowel, Consonant, Consonant) words e.g. milk and fast.

4 Digraph: this describes two letters which together make one sound e.g. ee, oa, ea, ch, ay.

There are different types of digraph:

  •   Vowel digraph: a digraph in which at least one of the letters is a vowel: boat or day.
  •   Consonant digraph: two consonants which can go together: shop or thin.
  •   Split digraph (previously called magic e): two letters, which work as a pair to make one sound, but are separated within the word e.g. a-e, e-e, i-e, o-e, u-e. For example cake or pine.

5 Grapheme: it's a written letter or a group of letters which represent one single sound (phoneme) e.g. a, l, sh, air, ck.

Letters and Sounds: this the name of a Government document detailing the teaching of phonics. There are 6 phases described:

  •   Phase 1:  hearing and talking about sounds and letter sounds.
  •   Phase 2:  learning 19 letters of the alphabet, along with the first 5 'tricky words and using them to read and spell simple words and captions'.
  •   Phase 3: learning the remaining letters of the alphabet, some 2 and 3 letter digraphs, along with the next set of 'tricky words'. Reading and writing captions and sentences.
  •   Phase 4: learning to blend and segment longer words, including words with adjacent consonants and more than one syllable. Reading and writing using these and the next 'tricky words', within sentences.
  •   Phase 5: learning alternative spellings and pronunciations for phonemes, including their common usage within words. Reading and writing using these and the next 'tricky words', within sentences.
  •   Phase 6: learning longer words and spelling rules.

6 Phoneme: A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language. For example, the word ‘dog’ is made up of three phonemes – ‘d’, ‘o’, and ‘g’. These are not the written letters but the spoken sounds. So, for example, the word ‘chain’, although made up of five letters, only contains three phonemes – ‘ch’, ‘ai’ and ‘n’.

Children will learn 44 phonemes in phonics.

First, the phonemes represented by a single letter:

s, a, t, p
i, n, m, d
g, o, c

e, u, r
h, b, f, l

j, v, w, x

y, z

Then the phonemes containing two consonants (known as consonant digraphs):

qu, ch, sh, th, th, ng

Then there are the digraphs:

ai, ee, oa, oo, ar, or, ur, ow, oi, er

And finally the trigraphs (phonemes represented by three letters):

igh, ear, air, ure

7 Phonics: it teaches children to listen to and identify the sounds that make up words. This helps them to read and write words.

8 Pure Sound: it's the skill of pronouncing each letter sound clearly and distinctly without adding additional sounds to the end e.g. 'f' not 'fuh.'

9 Segment: it's the opposite of blending as it means splitting a word up into individual sounds when spelling and writing.

10 Tricky Words: they're the words that are difficult to sound out e.g. said, the, because which don't follow phonics rules.

11 Trigraph: this is when three letters go together to make one sound e.g. ear, air, igh, dge, tch.

12 Vowel: the letters a, e, i, o, u.

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