Getting started with ELS Progress: Phonics catch-up programme

Getting started with ELS Progress: Phonics catch-up programme blog feature image


The ELS Progress pack provides catch-up support using the consistency and rigour of the ELS teaching programme alongside reading books which are aligned to ELS, and pitched at the right level for children who are finding reading slightly harder.

The sessions are designed to be delivered either one-to-one or in small groups of up to six children. The sessions can be delivered by any member of your reading team who has received phonics training.

Getting started

When determining whether to deliver ELS Progress 1:1 or in a small group, ensure that you are meeting the needs of your individual learners. Start by assessing the children you intend to support through the programme. You can either use your online ELS assessment tracker to do this or the assessment tracker in the ELS Progress Handbook. 

Based on the outcome of the assessment, you will be able to work out what GPCs children are struggling with and where in the programme children should start. For example, if you have a few children that are still struggling with the Phase 3 GPCs and a larger group struggling at Phase 5, it may be that you start at the very beginning of the programme (Epic Trips: Session 1) with some children in 1:1 situations and then start at the beginning of Phase 5 (Epic Trips: Session 1) (Shackleton Rainforest Adventure: Session 1)  with a small group.

The table below shows which sounds are covered in which books/sessions to help you to work out where to start with each child/small group.

The lesson structure

The structure for each session is very similar to the intervention sessions delivered as part of the ELS SSP. The structure of Review, Teach, Practise and Apply outlined below runs throughout all sessions.

Review: use the ELS grapheme cards to review each of the GPCs covered in the book.

Teach: model any Review GPCs that the child/children particularly struggle with.

Practise: use the text-specific word cards to practise the Review GPCs within words that the child will encounter in the text.

Apply: read the text with the child/children.

There is no requirement for the child to finish reading the text during the session. Let the child work at their speed; accuracy of decoding and blending is more important than completing the content.

Detailed lesson plans and further guidance are available in the ELS Progress Handbook.

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