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Allenton Community

Primary School

We care that our children understand, believe in, and achieve their full potential

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Early Reading



What is Phonics?

Phonics is a method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning to associate letters or groups of letters with the sounds they represent.



What is Essential Letters and Sounds?

Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen phonics programme. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words. Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers.


Every child in Foundation Stage and Year 1 takes part in a whole class daily phonics session following the ELS programme. Some may access additional phonic interventions throughout the day if this is needed.


At the end of Year 1 children will take the phonics screening check (PSC) which is a government requirement. This is not a formal test, but a way for teachers to ensure that children are making sufficient progress with their phonics skills to read words and that they are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.​



All staff in school have completed training on ELS delivered from the Knowledge Schools Trust.