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One foundation of our reading curriculum in the Lower School is the phonogram system. The quickest, most natural way to learn to spell, write, and read is to learn phonograms. Mastering this phonogram "code" saves children from guessing and prepares them to logically read and write.

A phonogram is a letter or combination of letters that represent a sound. We learn all the sounds a phonogram makes, in the order of their frequency occurring in English words. Our phonogram system is derived from the Orton-Gillingham system. We learn the 74 most common phonograms that occur in English words.

The goal for children is both to be able to instantly say the sound of a phonogram they see and be able to write a phonogram they hear. Being able to fluently say and write phonograms thoroughly equips children to read and spell basic words. As children progress through their early years at Wilberforce, they will also learn corresponding spelling rules that help them apply their phonogram knowledge to increasingly difficult words.

In Explorers 1 (pre-school), students begin learning the first 26 phonograms (which correlate to the 26 letters of the alphabet). Phonograms continue through Class Four, as students learn about language coding in a reading-intensive curriculum.

Explorers 1 and 2 students singing a fun phonograms song, written by our own Mrs. Greco!

The videos below are designed to equip parents to help students study, memorize, and better understand phonograms. The phonogram numbers correspond to the numbered set of cards provided by the school.


Phonogram Videos