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The Parkgate Intent

Sound English skills are essential for progress across the curriculum and to prepare pupils effectively for tasks of adult life.

All teachers have a responsibility to develop pupils’ competence in reading, writing, speaking and listening in their own subjects and to ensure that pupils become competent users of language, and can access the curriculum effectively and achieve their potential.


Parkgate Primary School:

  • Recognises the effect that a confident, fluent and coherent understanding of English will have on a pupil’s progress, both inside and outside of the school environment. 
  • Understands how a strong grounding in English will impact the future learning and development of a pupil in all aspects of their life 
  • Provides a balanced and broad curriculum which encompasses writing practice, including handwriting, spelling, widening vocabulary, and writing for different styles, purposes, and audiences, as well as focussing on spoken English, reading, grammar and pronunciation. 
  • Ensures that all staff members are aware of planning, assessment, teaching and learning requirements for the English curriculum. 
  • Ensures that all pupils know how to plan, practise and evaluate their work. 
  • Ensures that all pupils understand all elements of English, as per the national curriculum. 
  • We want all pupils at Parkgate Primary School to read easily, fluently, with good understanding and develop a love of reading.
  • We want all of our pupils to read widely and regularly both in school and outside for both pleasure and information.
  • We want our pupils to develop an appreciation of the breadth of literature written by English authors so that they develop an appreciation of our rich literary heritage.
  • We strive to ensure that all children acquire a wide and rich vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and an awareness of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
  • We wish our pupils to write clearly and accurately across a range of genres for a variety of purposes and for different audiences.
  • We want our pupils to be able to discuss their learning and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
  • We want our children to take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. 
  • We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
  • We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.


The Parkgate Implementation


At Parkgate Primary School we absolutely love the teaching of writing and believe it is vital that children are fully engaged and invested by the writing opportunities that are presented to them. For that reason, we plan our English topics through rich and varied texts adopting a text based approach. 

Our aim is to equip all children, regardless of background or ability, with the skills and fluency necessary to become confident and adept readers and writers. We engage every pupil through extensive planning and appropriate challenges providing opportunities for every child to strive and reach their full potential through building on their knowledge, understanding and skills and then applying these skills across the curriculum. 

At Parkgate we strive towards an engaging and real-life curriculum which enables us to link subjects through topics and themes. This supports our aim of encouraging our children to apply their English skills across the curriculum and one way we successfully do this, is to organise and plan day trips, speakers, authors and workshops which will help our children to fully immerse in the topic and draw out skills and experiences which they can use in their writing. The teachers and I have worked hard to plan suggested writing opportunities across the curriculum for each half term that relate specifically to the topics being taught. 

We also strive to enhance vocabulary across the curriculum. Within English, this is done through an integrated approach to reading and writing within all units of work. Vocabulary acquisition and understanding holds a very high profile in all of our classrooms, and staff model and present new vocabulary to children in all subjects and ensure new vocabulary is on display for each of the topics taught. 



At Parkgate, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success and so to ensure we have a holistic approach to the teaching of reading, we implement the following.

  • Children take part in Guided Reading lessons at least 4 times a week, where children are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these. We use a scheme called ‘Reading Vipers’ which provides key questions that focus on each reading skill: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieval and Summary. 
  • We are very lucky to have a wide range of reading books in our school. Children in EYFS and KS1 are given books that are linked to the sounds that they have been taught (RWI home books). KS2 children are assessed using PM benchmarking and then given an Oxford Owl levelled book. Books are changed weekly. We encourage children to keep their books for at least a week to build fluency and comprehension. 
  • Each year group will have a selection of books in their classroom which are directly linked with the class topic. This offers opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum.
  • Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.
  • Each classroom has a reading area that is filled with books suitable for their age and interests. This is a comfortable place for children to read throughout the day.
  • Children have the opportunity to take part in ‘Reading Buddies’, in which children mix with other children from different year groups and share a book together in our Reading Dens during break times.
  • Each year group has a reading and poetry spine which includes a range of classic and modern texts. The children are encouraged to discuss their reading with peers and class teachers. 
  • Children who are not yet ‘free readers’, will work through our school reading scheme: these are levelled books which match the children’s current reading age. We expect families at home to read these books with their child daily and make comments in their child’s reading record. By the time children leave Parkgate they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader.
  • Each KS2 class has a reading file where children’s running record and assessments are kept along with individual targets. The children are assessed using PM Benchmarking twice a year to track progress through the levels. 
  • EYFS and KS1 have a reading assessment file containing their RWI assessments which take place half termly. 


Read Write Inc:  

At Parkgate, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’ produced by Ruth Miskin. Read Write Inc is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. As part of this, children have daily phonics sessions in small groups where they participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge. Teachers also complete regular Read Write Inc. assessments and plot children onto a tracking grid, which ensures children are grouped appropriately in phonics. RWI sessions are carried out from Reception up to year 2 five days a week for one hour a day. Depending on assessments, most children in year 2 are off the programme by the end of Autumn 2. In Spring 1, Year 2 start RWI comprehension modules. Year 2 start the RWI spelling programme when the children are ready. Please see instructions for starting spellings in year 2: When to start RWI spellings in Year 2.


RWI Homework:

Children in EYFS and KS1 are given RWI home reading books which match the sounds they are taught in school. Parents/carers are given advice on how to support their children at home through video links from Ruth Miskin and supporting documents.  


RWI Spellings: 

RWI spellings are taught at least 4 times a week for 15 minutes in KS2. 

In KS2 classes, the RWI spelling unit (appropriate to the year group) is taught for one week. The following week the class teacher will focus on orange words (National Curriculum words).

Unit words are assessed weekly through speed spells in pupil books. Orange words are assessed throughout the year and tracked on our spelling assessment tracker. Our slowest progress spellers are identified and then put on interventions. 


KS1 Reading Vipers prompts for parents

KS2 Reading Vipers prompts for parents

Read Aloud Day Feb 2024

Whole School Extreme Reading Challenge