Phonics and Early Reading

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What is ELS? Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen phonics programme. It teaches children to read by identify 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.

What is Phonics? 
A method of teaching beginners to read and pronounce words by learning to associate letters or letter groups with the sounds they represent. 
There are 44 main sounds in the English Language. Each sound is represented by a grapheme (the written representation of a sound).
What is Phonics? 
Phoneme: the smallest single identifiable sound in a word. For example, in the word 'cat' there are three phonemes c/a/t. Grapheme: the written representation of a sound. 
Digraph: two letters making one sound. For example, /sh/ in the word 'shop'. 
Trigraph: three letters making one sound. For example, /igh/ in the word 'night'. 
Split digraph: two vowel letters split but are split by one or more consonants. For example, /a-e/ in the word 'cake'.

Supporting your child with reading at home 

• Only 1 in 3 children are read a bedtime story night 

• Reading a bedtime story every night to your child improves their outcomes 

• If your child views themselves as a ‘good reader’ when they leave Primary School they are more likely to earn a higher salary in their 40s.

Supporting your child with reading at home 

• Children are only reading from books that are entirely decodable 

• We only use pure sounds when decoding words (no ‘uh’ after the sound) 

• We want them to practise reading their book 4 times across the week working on these skills: decode fluency expression

Pronouncing pure sounds 

We must use pure sounds when we are pronouncing the sounds and supporting children in reading words. If we mispronounce these sounds we will make reading harder for our children. Please find the videos for this below where you can hear the correct pronunciation of the sounds.




Contact the School

Beechwood Primary School

Mrs. S. Harper - Headteacher
Meredith Street

Main Contact: Miss Taylor

Tel: 01270 214490
Fax: 01270 251529
[email protected]

SEN Contact: Miss Geary

SEN Email: [email protected]