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Reading/ Phonics



We introduced Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) as our phonics programme in September 2023.  During our 2 INSET days, at the start of term, all staff were trained to deliver this.

 The key principles of ELS are based upon:

  • The delivery of whole- class, high-quality first teaching with well-structured daily lesson plans.
  • The use of consistent terminology by teachers, children and parents.
  • The use of consistent resources that support effective teaching.
  • Repetition and reinforcement of learning.
  • Regular and manageable assessment to ensure that all children ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’.

All of our pupils in EYFS and Year 1 have daily ELS lessons. ELS teaching also continues, as required, in Year 2 and into Key Stage 2. If required, some pupils receive ELS interventions to support the ELS principle of “Keep up not catch up.” This ensures all our pupils have the best start to early reading

Supporting your children with phonics

We want children to practise reading their phonics home reader books 4 times across the week working on these skills:

Decode – sounding out and blending to read the word.

Fluency – reading words with less obvious decoding.

Expression – using intonation and expression to bring the text to life!

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 watch the videos below for how to accurately pronounce these sounds.

ELS for parents

Phase 2 Pronunciation Video

Phase 3 Pronunciation Video

Phase 5 Pronunciation Video


Old Church Reading Policy is currently under review

Remarkable Readers. Take a look at our Remarkable Readers who were celebrated during our autumn term for their hard work and love of reading.

We are currently redesigning our book corners to ensure reading for pleasure is encouraged and embedded throughout our school.

Extra Curricular Activities. Our Science Club are currently taking part in the Royal Societies Young Person's Book Prize 2023