Banwell Primary school follows Extend Letters and Sounds.

This programme is a nine step approach to the systematic teaching of phonics.

In the Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading carried out by Jim Rose in 2006, he clearly states that quality teaching of early reading, “involves a systematic approach to phonics which adheres to a small number of core principles”.


The core principles involve:

· children having knowledge of the alphabetic code;

· children having the skill to blend to read;

· children having the skill to segment to spell;

· children understanding these as a reversible process.


The knowledge children acquire to support their development of early reading is equally as relevant for their development as a writer. It is important that children are given equal opportunities to practise and apply their phonics skills in writing and reading tasks so that they can understand the relationship between decoding skills for reading and encoding skills for spelling.


These principles are underpinned by the modelling and teaching of good listening skills, combined with frequent opportunities to improve children’s visual and auditory memory and their ability to sequence. These skills are developed through the teaching of activities to promote phonological and phonemic awareness in young children before they embark upon a systematic phonics programme.


Knowledge of the alphabetic code


· A phoneme is a sound in a word. There are approximately 44 phonemes in the English language.

· A grapheme is a letter or sequence of letters that represents a phoneme.


There are approximately 140 different ways that graphemes are used to represent the 44 phonemes in the

English language.


These words each have three phonemes (separate sounds). Each of these phonemes is represented by a grapheme:


· A digraph is a grapheme where two letters represent one sound kn representing /n/.

· A trigraph is a grapheme where three letters represent one sound igh representing /ie/.


Through the Learning Exchange Programme for Phonics into Early Spelling, children learn that:

phonemes are represented by graphemes and the same phoneme can be represented by different graphemes:

· /c/ can be represented by c, k, ck, ch. Consider cat, kite, deck, chaos

· the same grapheme can represent different phonemes:

· ch can represent /c/ and /sh/ and /ch/. Consider Christmas, Charlotte and church