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Langar Church of England Primary School


Mrs Male is our English Subject Leader.


We recognise that English skills underpin all elements of the school curriculum.  Considering the fundamental importance of Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing in everyday life we are driven by the need to develop each learner's writing ability, thus enabling them to play a full part in society.


From mark making in Reception to extended writing in Year 6, the teaching and learning of writing at Langar is an engaging and developmental process.  Texts are carefully chosen using the Read to Write scheme. 

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).


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’.


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


Please follow the link to find out about the phonics and early reading scheme we use and how you can support your child at home. 

How do we teach phonics?

  • We use a simple, consistent approach to teaching phonics.
  • Your child will experience the same classroom routines within each lesson which reduces cognitive load and maximises the chances of success.
  • All children are supported within the lesson to use their new phonic knowledge independently.
  • In every single ELS lesson, your child will make the direct application to reading.
  • Daily Phonics sessions- these start from the beginning of Reception
  • Phonics throughout the day to review new sounds & graphemes taught
  • Lots of opportunities for oral blending- c/oa/t
  • Opportunities for writing- new grapheme, words and sentences.

Your children will work through the phonics phases as they progress through school.

Covering Phase 2 and Phase 3 in Reception. Phase 4 happens as a transition through from Reception to Year 1 with Phase 5 following this.


We teach phonics to a whole class as we are very passionate about children keeping up with age related expectations rather than catching up. If needed, children will also take part in daily intervention sessions.

ELS Key Teaching Features

Supporting your child with reading at home


• Your child will bring home a phonics book which should be 90-95% decodable, they will also bring home a reading book that they home chosen for pleasure. Please share this book with your child.

• 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


Phonics Screening Check


At the end of Year 1, all children will take part in the statutory Phonics Screening Check. They will be asked to read 20 real words and 20 alien words. The child sound knowledge and the skill of segmenting and blending will be tested within this. In previous years the pass mark has been 32/40. If a child does not pass this check in Year 1 they will retake the check in Year 2.

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds | Oxford Owl

Learn how to pronounce all 44 phonics sounds, or phonemes, used in the English language with these helpful examples from Suzy Ditchburn and her daughter. Find more phonics help on Oxford Owl: Help your child learn to read with books and flashcards from Read with Oxford: What is Oxford Owl?

Suzy Ditchburn explains how letter sounds can be blended to read words, and gives tips on how to practise phonics with your child. Find more phonics help on Oxford Owl: Help your child learn to read with books and flashcards from Read with Oxford: (The flashcards used in this video are Read with Oxford: Stages 2-3: Biff Chip & Kipper: My Phonics Flashcards, and can be found here: ) What is Oxford Owl?

How ELS Supports EYFS

How ELS Supports the National Curriculum

ELS Term by Term Progression

What do Book Band levels mean?

Reading books are graded by difficulty by reading levels known as Book Bands. Each Book Band has its own colour. The chart below gives an indication of the range of Book Band levels at which most children will be reading as they progress through primary school.

The chart shows the progress of an ‘average’ band of children- but no individual child is ‘average’, so no child makes smooth progress precisely in this way. Children tend to learn in fits and starts – periods of growth followed by periods of consolidation when their progress seems to halt for a while. The periods where you don’t see rapid progress may be worrying, especially after a ‘growth spurt’, but they are important as your child develops confidence in using and applying their newly acquired skills.
If you are ever worried about your child’s progress, talk to their teacher.

Reading Progression

We use Read to Write planning for our daily English lessons. 


Read to Write is evidence-based teaching of writing through comprehensive units that have been carefully constructed so the entire statutory curriculum for English is covered from EYFS to Y6. They also enable schools to draw upon the wider curriculum. This in turn, helps build a rich curriculum where Intent and Implementation leads to Impact and improved outcomes for children.


Read to Write empowers teachers to provide high-quality teaching of writing through high-quality literature. These revised detailed units of work centre on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities within and across the curriculum and they also signpost wider curriculum enrichments. These units are being implemented with great success because they also provide:


• Clear Sequential Episodes of Learning

• Example Texts (greater depth WAGOLL)

• Vocabulary Learning

• Contextualised Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation • Writer’s Knowledge Linked to National Standards

• Sentence Accuracy Works Linked to National Standards

• Progressions Documents with Year Group Expectations

• Reflecting on Unit Outcomes: Planning for Next Steps

• Example Planning Format

• Wider Reading for the Wider Curriculum

• A Wealth of Resources Linked to the National Standards

• Explicit Links to the National Curriculum Read to Write is evidence-based teaching of writing.


These units have been carefully mapped out so the entire statutory curriculum for English is covered for each year group and links closely with our Steps to Read units. They also enable schools to draw upon the wider curriculum, which supports schools to build rich curriculum

Sequence Structure - Read to Write

Read to Write- Year A

Read to Write Year B

Reading with your child

This video offers anyone involved in reading with children, whether parents, carers, or educators, friendly messages about reading with children. We think reading is fun and doesn't have to be complicated. You won't find advice about using phonics, your child's teacher is the best person to help you with that.

World Book Day March 2022- classes 1 and 2 sharing story jars and books together