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Phonics at SMSG

Essential Letters and Sounds - ELS


What is Essential Letters and Sounds?

Essential Letters and Sounds is a Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) programme, validated by the Department for Education.

By distilling Letters and Sounds to its purest form, – its essence – we ensure every phonics lesson is taught to the highest standard. Essential Letters and Sounds is an SSP where only the essential elements are included.


Essential Letters and Sounds…


  • is delivered to the whole class
  • combines continuous and reactive assessment
  • provides robust intervention
  • is rigorous and engaging
  • supports teachers to ensure the lowest attaining children keep up rather than catch up
  • aligns with books from Oxford University Press
  • provides immediate, in the lesson intervention
  • provides whole school training, accessible at times that suit your school timetable
  • supports Reading and Phonics Leads
  • training subscription includes an assessment tracker and analysis dashboard


An example of a Phase 2-5 Sound Mat