Skip to content ↓

Studfall Infant Academy




Essential Letters and Sounds


Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen Phonics programme. The aim of ELS is ‘Getting all children to read well, quickly’. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (the written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words.

Children begin learning Phonics at the very beginning of Reception and it is explicitly taught every day. The children are given the knowledge and the skills to then apply this independently.

Throughout the day, children will use their growing Phonic knowledge to support them in other areas of the curriculum and will have many opportunities to practise their reading. This includes reading 1:1 with a member of staff, with a partner during paired reading and as a class. 

Children continue daily Phonics lessons in Year 1 and further through the school to ensure all children become confident, fluent readers.  In Year 2, children will be supported by specific interventions, carefully designed to support phonic gaps, or support with the reading and application of the sounds,  if they have not met the expected standards by the end of Year 1. 

Our Curriculum Intent underpins all that we do at Studfall.  We aim to  

Our ELS phonics curriculum offers familiar routines, where the children feel comfortable and safe.  Phonics sessions take place at the start of the day, they are tightly structured where the children have many opportunities to practise their phonic knowledge as well as learn new sounds.  Children enjoy the repetitive structure of the lesson, which helps to ensure maximum engagement. 

In the beginning of Reception, we learn to read words and then captions, phrases and sentences. As children learn more of the code of our language we are able to build more complex sentences for them to read.  As the children move through the school, they learn to decode words – by identifying each of the written sounds within the word before blending them together to read the word. 

Phonics teaches the link between the spoken sounds of our language and the written version of that sound – the code of our language.

ELS breaks this down into tiny steps for children to piece together which allows them to decode to read and then spell using the sound to spelling correspondences they have learnt.

Our teachers have high expectations and encourage the children to achieve their best through.  We want children to feel confident and successful at each step.  Experiencing the same classroom routines within each lesson reduces cognitive overload and maximises the chance of success.

Children who achieved the Early Learning goals for literacy are 11 times more likely to achieve the expected outcomes in Maths at the end of KS2. Reading underpins everything. We want all our children to leave Studfall able to read well and confidently.


At the beginning of each academic year, we will hold an information session for parents and carers in Reception and Year 1.  They will provide information about how we teach phonics in school and also to offer advice about how parents can support the children at home. 

Oxford Owl supports ELS and provides information about the reading scheme books.  The website belows gives more information for parents:


Sound pronunciation

We teach the children 'Pure Sounds', an example of these can be found on the website link from Oxford Owl.  

 Phase 2 - Reception learning



 Phase 3 - Reception learning


 Phase 5 - Year 1 Learning


Oxford Owl eBook Library


Oxford Owl eBook Library


Teachers will allocate an eBook to the children on a weekly basis, the text will be closely matched to the children's phonic level, so that they are able to decode the text successfully.  

Look out for a code to sign up to Oxford Owl, usually located inside your child's home reader book.