New Road Primary School

Phonics Teaching



At New Road we teach phonics using Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) a step by step systematic synthetic phonics programme. The aim of ELS is 'getting all children to read well and quickly.'

We are committed to every child learning to read as quickly as possible so the programme is followed with rigor and fidelity by all teachers and teaching assistants.

Discrete whole-class phonics lessons are taught every day to all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. To ensure that learning is embedded, flashcards and reading opportunities continue throughout the day and additional phonics teaching is given to identified children.

Phonics remains the main strategy that we use to approach/decode unfamiliar words and spellings across the school

Assessment and Intervention:

Continuous formative assessment is carried out during our phonics lessons and this is used to inform any same day intervention and the use of flashcards inside and outside of the phonics lessons. Our phonics scheme includes half termly assessments that our teachers can use to support pupils in moving forwards.

Children who have been identified as requiring further support receive targeted intervention based on the gaps in their phonic knowledge. The use of regular assessment means that we can try to close gaps quickly as part of the ELS ‘keep up not catch up’ ethos. We use the ELS intervention programme to ensure continuity. These interventions are short, specific and effective.

Please click on the link below to read our school Early Reading and Phonics Policy:

Early Reading and Phonics Policy

Visit the Oxford Owl website to find further information about ELS and how you can support your child with phonics -

Supporting your child at home:

To best support us in teaching your child how to read, we ask that you read the decodable text provided by the school 4 times across the week. Spending 10 minutes a day reading with your child will hugely support them in their journey to becoming an independent reader.

The texts sent home are carefully matched to each child’s phonic ability. We will only ask children to read books independently when they can decode these by themselves.

You will also be provided with login details to access the eBook Library for Essential Letters and Sounds. The eBook Library contains 100 books precisely matched to each of the phonics teaching sets. It means that your child can enjoy reading books that practise the exact grapheme-phoneme correspondences that they have just been taught by their teacher.

Any books that are not yet decodable for the children will be a sharing book. These books are there for you to read with your child, helping us to instill a love of reading from the very beginning of their reading journey. These could be read together with your child reading the words they are able to decode or could be read by yourselves to your child. If you wish to select books from  the eBook library for your child to read independently you can find out which set they should choose from by checking the back of their reading book.

You can access the eBook Library here-

Useful resources:

You can view the order of the sounds (graphemes) taught in ELS by clicking on the links below. You can also see the pictures and rhymes used to support the teaching of each grapheme.

Phase 2 Sounds

Phase 3 Sounds

Phase 5 Sounds

During our phonics lesson we also teach the harder to read and spell words  (HRS words) that children will come across in their reading books.


Year 1 HRS Words

Please click on the link for a glossary of  phonics terms to help you- Glossary of Phonics terms

Phonics videos:

The videos below will help you support your child at home and help you with the correct pronunciation on the sounds they are learning-

Phase 2 Pronunciation:

Phase 3 Pronunciation:

Phase 5 Pronunciation:


At the bottom of this page, if you missed the information sessions delivered in school,  you will find a video from the Reception and Key Stage 1 teachers on everything that was covered in the sessions regarding Reading and Phonics.

Please read our Reading Meeting Presentations ( Reception and Year 1& Year 2) below to help you support your child at home-