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At Moretonhampstead, we use the Bug Club Phonics programme which is supported by Jolly Phonics Songs and actions, Phonics Play and other interactive resources. Bug Club is a systematic approach for teaching children to read using phonics which is used across the Link Academy Trust.


The Terminology


A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a word. It is generally accepted that most varieties of spoken English use about 44 phonemes.


A grapheme is a symbol of a phoneme. It is a letter or group of letters representing a sound.

Segmenting and blending

Segmenting consists of breaking words down into phonemes to spell and read. Blending consists of building words from phonemes to read and spell. Both skills are important.


This is when two letters come together to make a phoneme. For example, /oa/ makes the sound in ‘boat’ and is also known as a vowel digraph. There are also consonant digraphs, for example, /sh/ and /ch/.


This is when three letters come together to make one phoneme, for example /igh/.

Split digraph

A digraph in which the two letters are not adjacent – e.g. make


VC, CVC, and CCVC are the respective abbreviations for vowel-consonant, consonant vowel-consonant, consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant, and are used to describe the order of graphemes in words (e.g. am (VC), Sam (CVC), slam (CCVC), or each (VC), beach (CVC), bleach (CCVC).

Sound Buttons

These are used to help children identify phonemes in a word to sound out often used for reading e.g. ch a t 

Phoneme frames

These are used to help children identify phonemes in  a word, often used for writing and spelling