Phonics at Cranwell

Delivery of Phonics within our Curriculum


At Cranwell we aim for all children to read well, quickly.  For children to be able to quickly develop phoneme, grapheme correspondence in order to segment and to blend words for reading and spelling. We aim that all children can quickly access reading for pleasure and to support their wider learning of the curriculum.



Within quality first teaching, ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ (ELS), our DfE validated, complete systematic synthetic phonics programme, is effectively delivered daily to whole classes by class teachers in Reception and Key Stage 1.

Daily whole class phonics lessons in these year groups follow a consistent teaching sequence, which includes review, teach, practise, apply and review. This enables children to ‘keep up’ rather than require ‘catch up’, ELS interventions are delivered to targeted children within phonics lessons and outside of lessons, by class teachers and Learning support staff. Half termly assessments are undertaken to identify gaps and monitor progress in Early Years, Key Stage 1 and where appropriate to meet needs in Key Stage 2. The Essential Letters and Sounds Overview outlines the skills and number of new grapheme-phoneme correspondences taught each term of Reception, Year 1 and beyond. Four new sounds are taught a week (days 1-4) with a review day on day five.

Reading Books

We use sequential and progressive decodable books to secure fluency and confidence in early reading. The books are closely matched to the ELS scheme and only contain the sounds taught to the children so far. These are sent home on a Friday and should be read by the children at least four times. Two ‘read together’ books are also sent home, and these should be read as a shared book as they contain sounds that may not have been taught explicitly.  Once children have completed the ELS scheme and are secure in phonics, they are provided with a home reading book linked to their book-band reading stage.


Assessment- Phonics

  • Planned weekly review day (day 5 of teaching)
  • Planned termly assessment (week 5)
  • Electronic tracking of pupil’s progress and identification of intervention required
  • Parents are informed termly of progress through parent interviews and a written annual report.
  • Year 1 pupils take the statutory Phonics screening check. Year 2 pupils not meeting the standard in Year 1 also resit this check. The outcome of this check is reported to parents.


Essential Letters and Sounds Letter to Parents

ELS Sound Mats Phase 2

ELS Sound Mats Phase 3

ELS Sound Mats Phase 5


Phase 2 Graphemes

Phase 3 Graphemes

Phase 5 Graphemes

Information Presentation for Parents

Essential Letters and Sounds Glossary


Useful ELS videos to help with pronunciation of each sound:

Phase 2

Phase 3


Foundation Stage and Year 1 Phonics Progression Chart


Supporting Your Child’s Reading 

At Cranwell we believe strongly that all children need to know what they can do and the next areas that they need to develop.  We encourage parents to regularly read with their children to enhance both their decoding and comprehension skills. Each year group work towards their own reading standards and targets are set linked to these.  

Reading for Pleasure

We recognise that it is essential that all children develop a love of reading.  Within school, we promote a wide selection of reading. We have recently secured a grant to enable us to develop a new library area within school. 

 7 Top Tips to Support Key Stage 2 Children Reading at Home


 If you have any questions concerning Phonics or Reading, please contact the school via for the attention of the English Coordinator.