Digraph Confusion!

If your child is in reception class, year 1 or 2 you may find them coming home talking about digraphs. A digraph is two letters that together make one sound - which is easy enough to explain to your child.

However, did you know that there are different types of digraph?

Here is a quick one minute run down of the different types of digraphs and how to explain them to your child.

1) Consonant Digraphs

These sounds are taught in reception class and year 1 and are made when two consonants are blended together to make one sound.


They are the easiest of the digraphs for your child to learn to read as usually the two singular sounds e.g. t and r (which your child has already learnt) are simply blended together to make a new sound - tr. As this is the English language, there are always some exceptions to the rules: e.g sh, th, ch and qu, but don't worry, there are very few of these.

2) Vowel Digraphs

These sounds are also taught in reception class and year 1 and are made when two vowels are blended together to make one sound.


or when a vowel and a consonant are blended together.


These sounds are trickier to learn as the singular sounds e.g i and r always make a new sound - ir when they are blended together, which means each sound has to be learnt separately. Just to add to confusion a couple of the digraphs like oo for moon and oo for book look the same but have a different sound!!

3) Spilt Digraphs

Split digraphs are taught in year 1 and are digraphs with a consonant in the middle. Split digraphs are always one of the 5 vowels (a,e,i,o,u) with an e - separated by a consonant.


Split digraphs make their letter name sound (rather than their letter sound )


In cake the a -e makes an ay sound not a as in mat.

In bike the i - e makes the sound eye not i as in bit.

We hope this helps. Don't be phased by the terminology used with digraphs. Little ones are amazingly adaptable and will pick it up very quickly.

If you would like to learn more about phonics and reading then take a peek at our latest Phonics and Reading workshops taking place in Petersfield at the beginning of February. Our Haslemere Workshop is already sold out so grab a ticket while you can!


The Townhouse, Petersfield, Tuesday 11th February 7.30 pm to 9 pm.

We’d love to see you there.

Nicky and Ellie x

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