In an inspiring initiative to champion literacy and reading excellence, Westwood Primary School in Lowestoft, recently hosted an enriching open morning dedicated to the Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) phonics and spelling scheme.

This event welcomed educators from neighbouring schools to witness first hand the positive impact of the ELS approach in fostering literacy and reading skills among students.

Westwood Primary School, part of Ƶ, has long been committed to implementing innovative strategies to enhance students' learning experiences. An example of this has been the adoption of the Oxford University Press’ Reading Tree scheme, which has now become an integral part of the school's curriculum, capturing the imaginations of students across all levels.

The success of school’s implementation of the ELS scheme has positioned the school as a trailblazer in the region. Recognising the school's exceptional dedication, Westwood has been designated as the sole ELS Hub school in East Anglia. In addition, Beth Jones, Assistant Headteacher at Westwood, has attained the prestigious status of being the only qualified ELS Exemplar Trainer in East Anglia, further underscoring the school's commitment to excellence in literacy education.

The open morning provided a platform for Beth to share her expertise and showcase the tangible benefits of the ELS techniques in practice. Attendees had the opportunity to see the positive impact of the scheme on student progress. The event also welcomed a local Oxford University Press consultant, who shared insights into the effective implementation of the Reading Tree scheme and showcased a wide array of primary resources to support literacy education.

Lauraine Barnes, Head of School, expressed her enthusiasm for the opening morning: “We were delighted to showcase to other schools how well ELS is embedded into our curriculum and the positive impact it has had on our children’s progress.”

Lynsey Holzer, CEO of Ƶ, highlighted the importance of innovation in education: "It is always exciting to see our schools embracing innovative new techniques which make such a difference to our children’s learning, and for our teaching staff to take the opportunity to share these benefits with other schools. Well done to everyone involved at Westwood."

Westwood Primary School remains dedicated to advancing literacy and invites local schools interested in learning more or participating in future events to reach out.

For further information, please contact the school at office@westwoodprimary.org.