English at Ellingham

Phonics approach and early reading- Sounds Write

At Ellingham, we value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become fluent, lifelong readers. Children are supported to achieve this through our phonics programme, Sounds-Write. Reading for pleasure is also woven into life at Ellingham to promote a love of this vital skill. 

In Key Stage 1, children will spend two weeks recognising different spellings of a particular sound. For example, the /ae/ sound can be spelt <ai> (rain), <ay> (play), <ea> (great) or with the split spelling <a_e> (gate). They do this through activities such as word building or sound reviews.

Children then spend the following two weeks reading the sound during guided reading activities. After a two week break, they will practise retrieving the different spellings for the sound through sentence dictations. Following that, the books they have read in school will be sent home as their weekly reading book.

Follow this link to learn more about Sounds Write.


Reading for Pleasure 

If you can encourage your child to read for pleasure, they will really reap the benefits. It might not seem like a particularly important task, but actually, research shows that reading for pleasure can be directly linked to children’s success throughout their time at school and even into adulthood. Reading for pleasure opens up new worlds for children. It gives them the opportunity to use their imagination to explore new ideas, visit new places and meet new characters. 

We are committed to encouraging children to read for pleasure at Ellingham. Our Library is open during lunchtimes for pupils to relax and enjoy a book and classes read with the children daily. Reading is integral to our curriculum and underpin all that we do. You can find out more about how to promote reading for pleasure in the section below and via the handouts from our parent workshop this year.

Active Reading

Comprehension at Ellingham Primary School is delivered through our Active Reading lessons.  These lessons are built around high quality, language-rich texts that are dissected through questioning and discussion. Each lesson focuses on a specific reading skill and commence with instructional teaching followed by a written comprehension activity. Texts are chosen through links to English or other curriculum areas, and lessons are planned to ensure the majority of children can access the learning. Standard English is modelled by teachers to ensure our children learn the correct forms of spoken English and they are encouraged to use these when speaking in class.


At Ellingham, through engagement with high quality texts and well-planned, small step lessons, we aim to develop writers who have the skills and confidence to express themselves, both verbally and on paper. Through our broad and balanced curriculum, we endeavour to ensure all of our children, regardless of their circumstances, are inspired by the works of great writers, who reflect our community. You can find our whole school text map below to see which texts we study across the school.

Throughout our English curriculum, there is a strong link to reading. At Ellingham, we encourage all children to read for pleasure and to immerse themselves in the different worlds that books provide.

Helping your child at home 


There is an integral link between the ability to read and the ability to write. Research suggests that if a child is read to daily, they will have heard approximately 296,660 words by the time they are 5 years old. This ability to recall and understand language helps a child to use and apply this in their writing. 

To support your child at home:









Within writing, there are also the transcriptional skills of spelling and handwriting. These are equally as important as these tools enable children to become flourishing writers.

To support your child at home:




Ideas for encouraging your child to read for pleasure 2.docx
Talking about reading sheet for parents.docx
How to read a story to your child.docx
Writing policy 2023-24.pdf
Reading and phonics 2022-23.pdf