Celebrating English!

English is celebrated and promoted across the school weekly, during our Celebration assemblies: Author of the Week and Star Reader. Additionally we will host special events and extracurricular activities such as World Book Day, The Get Caught Reading Challenge, Riddle of the Week, Author visits, Storyraiders, the Lancashire Fantastic Book Awards and Brilliant Book Awards. Children’s work is constantly showcased through our social media also.

Our children love to read and enjoy finding new authors to learn about. Some of their favourite authors are David Walliams, Roald Dahl, Tony Ross, JK Rowling, Cressida Cowell, Jeff Kinney, Tom Palmer and Liz Pichon amongst others…

(Photos of author sets)

Our children love taking part in the annual KS2 Fantastic Book Awards (Starbucks Club) reading x5 newly published books from up-and-coming authors.  He are some snaps of the children’s favourite club!  We also run the KS1 Brilliant Book Awards.

Photos of Starbucks club BBA Club

Twice a year, we invite the Book Fair into school, which is always a big success, with the children buying new book titles from existing and newly famed authors!

Photos of book fair

Finally, our children love reading for pleasure ‘at home’, especially since we have created our home reading reward scheme with the children earning a ‘just’ prize half-termly for their endeavours!

Photos of Reading Rewards prizes so far…

Our bespoke curriculum is packed with stories and literature – each class has a core text, which they focus on over a half term; these texts provide an opportunity to explore a Global Theme and will be used to develop language and vocabulary as well as promote a love of reading.


We are passionate about children learning to read at Park Primary School. Over the seven years that your child is in our care, we aim for them to develop a love of reading and books so that they move from learning to read to reading to learn – and reading purely for enjoyment too!  We have two amazing Key Stage libraries stacked with a myriad of genres to engage the children. 

Pictures of KS1 and KS2 libraries…


Additionally, we promote reading for pleasure and understanding of texts digitally (we’re moving with the technological times) through the myON and Renaissance Learning websites.  Our children, from Year 2 onwards, love completing the Accelerated Reader quizzes and are excited to get the word count for their class higher and higher! 

Renaissance Learning website

myON website

Across the school, we promote ‘Reading for Pleasure’ at home through our Reading Record books which are checked and signed by parents. 

We encourage parents to read at home with the children who are rewarded through half termly prizes: Cinema Trip; Afternoon Tea with an Author; Free Book of Choice; Sports Afternoon and Visit to the Library as well as others exciting rewards updated annually.  These half-termly rewards include EYFS through to Year 6.


At Park, from the beginning of EYFS, we teach reading through a phonics approach. We use the validated Anima Phonics: Letters and Sounds Updated, which is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme providing all the necessary resources and training to achieve outstanding results.

At the very beginning, the focus is on listening to and hearing sounds, rather than recognising the actual letters (graphemes), which come later. Our children have opportunities to explore different sounds in their environment, how to make and change sounds using musical instruments and create rhythms. This teaches them the pattern, pace and expression reading requires. Through listening, our children learn to link sounds and letters in the order they occur in words, as well as naming and sounding letters in the alphabet. Oral segmenting (breaking up letters in words) and blending (putting them back together) plays a huge part in the steps to teaching a child to read.

In Reception children learn to recognise 42 letter sounds (graphemes), read CVC words (ship, cat, hat, chop) by blending letters together, recognise ‘rainbow’ words, such as she, no, go, was, the and learn letter names. When they have achieved this, they begin to read short captions and simple sentences (The farmer gets up at six in the morning).

Additional phonics sessions are delivered to children who require additional support, once children are able to de-code, they are then ready to access reading books.

Our home reading books are linked directly to the child’s phonetical knowledge, which naturally progress across the academic year.  Once the children are secure in the phonics’ knowledge (in Phase 5), they are then moved to the accelerated reader programme allowing them more free choice of books with their age range.

Phonics is assessed half-termly; any gaps in knowledge are addressed through interventions thereafter.  Additionally, these interventions continue in Lower Key Stage 2 as required.

Reading in Key Stage 1

Reading continues with Anima Phonics where systematic, daily, discrete teaching takes place, with opportunities for the children to practice and apply their skills in the context of reading.  

At this stage, we emphasise that reading for fluency is important, therefore by giving children opportunities to re-read familiar books, we build their confidence and they begin to feel like real readers! 

By the end of Year 1, the Government require children to complete a phonics test. At Park Primary School, we take every measure to ensure that children are not worried about this test.

Reading in Key Stage 2

Within Key Stage 2, the emphasis shifts to reading for pleasure but also reading to learn. At this point, texts become longer and less familiar, reading becomes more fluent and the pace of reading is quickened. However, if children are not reading fluently, they will continue with phonics intervention and additional support with their reading.

Children are introduced to whole class reading which focuses on discussions, new vocabulary and broadens their comprehension skills.  Core texts are carefully selected by class teachers to ensure they are accessible but challenging and give children the opportunity to explore a wide range of genre and authors.

We complete daily reading skills in Key Stage 2.  A typical week will include:

Day 1 Reading and discussion
Day 2 Reading Domain written task
Day 3 Reading and discussion
Day 4 Reading Domain written task
Day 5 Cold Task Comprehension using LbQ (Learning by Questions)

How can I help?

Children benefit hugely from exposure to books from an early age and finding books that spark your child’s imagination and interest is key. Make reading fun!  Remember to keep reading to your child. This helps them to grow a vast vocabulary and understand the meaning of books. Children love routine, and reading is something that you and your child can look forward to every day. Some love fiction others non-fiction! It can be stories, information books, magazines, newspapers, comic, signs, list etc. It all counts! Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to read whatever they have a love of, as it develops their fluency and expression.


Where it all begins

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Children will begin the EYFS with a wide variety of writing skills ranging from simply making marks to writing their own name unaided. They will move from gross to finer motor skills using a variety of tactile methods. They need opportunities to make marks in their own way and to gradually refine these into recognisable patterns and eventually individual letters.

All EYFS staff, including support staff, must be aware of directionality and when children are showing a firm interest in writing their name, they should be encouraged to use correct directionality.

To aid co-ordination, sand trays and sticks (or fingers), paper, paint and large brushes, modelling materials, blackboards and chalk may be used. They will be taught the use of capital letters for names and creating simple sentence by the end of the year.

At Park Primary, our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary.  The National Curriculum for each year group is closely followed through a ‘unit of writing’ based approach, each year building on prior learning and further development of English knowledge and skills.

We want our children to be taught in a language rich environment, where they speak clearly and with confidence, conveying their views and ideas fluently using an ever-growing vocabulary. An emphasis on the teaching of vocabulary and developing oracy skills places speaking and listening at the heart of our English curriculum with the teachers as a clear role model for all children. 

We encourage all children to take pride in everything they do. From the moment our children begin their learning journey ‘presentation’ is a key focus. This is a skill they then have for life.

We follow the LCC (Lancashire County Council) ‘Talk for Writing’ planning and strategies which embeds as the name suggests writing outcomes through oracy.  Our planning, across both key stages, promotes listening and speaking skills through action and dialogue.

A typical English unit of work will work through the ‘Reading’ phase, ‘Gathering Content’ phase and finally the ‘Writing’ phase with the intent to learn and consolidate all writing skills required to enable all children to confidently complete a writing piece linked to the relevant genre at the end of that unit.

Independent Writing

In preparation for written outcomes, linked in with our medium term plans, our teaching staff follow the shared write/independent write approach.

Our teachers will model shared writing: using ideas from the children, working wall, word-wheels (linkythinks) and other resources.

This shared write/independent write approach ensures the children have the required skills and knowledge to enable them to complete an independent write successfully.

In addition to this, the children use writing targets that are linked to the KLIPs skills as set out by LCC.   The children will complete writing outcomes for an end of unit genre but also incidental writing opportunities that arise within a unit/text.
We also put a big emphasis on our Marking Policy, for consistency, to enforce next steps and accelerate learning.  All staff have clear guidelines and training on how to mark.  We have adopted the use of pink (perfect pink), green (growing green) marking and the children respond in purple (polishing purple) to address any misconceptions and move their learning on. It is important that children are given adequate time to make the improvement and that the suggested improvement is going to improve the piece of work. Children at Park are proud of sharing their work and prefer immediate feedback. Often we improve work together and this has had a positive impact as children are putting in more effort and focusing on the positive achievements in their learning.

Learning by Questions (LbQ)

This fantastic interactive website covers nearly all areas of the curriculum.

Focussing on English, the children can complete an array of question sets linked to SPaG and Reading across Years 2 to 6.  It gives automatic feedback and clues to the children to help them to independently work through a question set, without over-reliance from the teacher or teaching assistant.  The children can also complete question sets as homework.

SPaG (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation)

In KS1, we link our weekly spellings to the Anima Phonics scheme, working through appropriate phases and their associated sounds/rules.

In KS2, we teach discreet spellings lessons at Park, and use the no-nonsense spelling scheme, which ensures suitable progression through year groups covering all relevant spelling rules.

In both Key Stages, spelling lists are printed and sent home weekly for parents to practise with their children.

(a link for nononsense overview Y3 to Y6)

We fulfil spelling lessons (which include many different and engaging activities) most days and complete a spelling text every Friday – the children receive a spelling sticker if they can achieve top marks.  To complement our daily spelling lessons, we also use Spellzone, an interactive spelling website that helps the children to practise, test and play games linked to their weekly spelling list.



We follow Penpals for handwriting in school.  Handwriting lessons are taught discreetly. The children in Years 1, 2, 3, 4 practise their handwriting in journals daily whereas upper key stage 2 children focus on their handwriting through their daily English lessons with teachers and teaching assistants picking up on any discrepancies.

Presentation is a key focus at Park and the children work hard to achieve a Pen Licence in KS2 and a Golden Pencil in KS1.

Grammar and Punctuation

G&P is taught at the beginning of every English based lesson as a SPaG starter.  To ensure progression we work through a Flashback sequence of starters which cover relevant year group SPaG targets but also previous year groups to consolidate any misconceptions.  To accompany this, we also complete sentence starters linked to the core text and relevant writing targets within that year group. (refer to SPaG daily dash example link)

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