After Ioan had finished his homophone egg smash, Finny decided to work on some spellings of his own. This week, he has been looking at the trigraph ‘igh‘.

What is a trigraph?

trigraph is a group of three letters that together form a single specific sound. Trigraphs may consist solely of consonants or vowels, or they may be a combination of both.

Vowel-consonant trigraphs

There are two trigraphs that use a combination of vowel and consonant letters: ‘dge’ as in badge (which forms a consonant sound, like the letter ‘j‘) and ‘igh’ as in ‘high‘ (which forms a vowel sound). The trigraph ‘igh’ always produces the same vowel sound: the “long i” sound. It usually occurs in the middle of a word, most commonly followed by the letter t.


  • Alphablocks letters
  • Paper
  • Pencil


The first ‘igh’ word Finny made was right. He explained that if he read it r-i-g-h-t, it didn’t sound right, so he had to read it r-igh-t.

Finny had a go seeing how many ‘igh’ words he could find.

Finny first thought that ‘white’, would be spelt w-igh-t. He explained why he thought it might be the ‘igh’ trigraph, then demonstrated the split digraph. Ioan did a phonics game, explaining split digraphs here.

He had made a ‘not’ column for the words that sounded like they might have an ‘igh’ in them, but didn’t. He found these were all the split digraph, ‘i_e’.

Finny has spent the morning, studying the bones we found in our owl pellet. So he is fascinated by owls at the moment. He decided to try and come up with a sentence about owls, including as many ‘igh’ sounds as he could. This really made me smile.

Finny tried to spell ‘eye‘ and ‘quite‘ with the ‘igh’ trigraph. Ioan had been looking at the homophones, ‘I / eye’, and ‘quite / quiet’, in his egg smash only half an hour before, so I called him in to support Finny.

Finny showed me his understanding of what Ioan had told him about the spelling ‘quite’.

Finny then went on to write up his owl sentence. He’s working on reading back and checking his writing, so spotted he had spelt ‘take’ with a ‘c’.

When he had finished, he underlined the ‘igh’ sounds he had used.

Just as he was closing his book, Finny thought of another sentence. To save time, I wrote the sentence, leaving space for his ‘igh’ words.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG 10 – Writing:

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.