English Curriculum

At The Gates Primary School, English is at the heart of everything we do and skills in reading and writing are taught across the whole curriculum. Teachers promote a love of the English language through daily, engaging lessons and a range of appropriate intervention groups.



One of the school’s priorities over the past few years was to raise standards in reading and also to offer children different opportunities to read for enjoyment and cross curricular purposes.  With your support, standards in reading have improved and we look forward to building on this further this year in the following ways:

  • Reading challenge: Children should read 5 times a week and record in their home reading records each time they do so. Every Friday, reading records are checked by the class teacher and the percentage of children who have achieved ‘green’ (by reading 5 times) is compared across the school. The class with the highest percentage receives the reading award for that week. Also, children who are ‘green’ are entered into a draw with the chance to win a book. We appreciate your support in reading with your child throughout the week; tips on how to support your child with their comprehension can be found in the attached document.
  • 100 Book challenge: Children have the opportunity to enter the 100 book challenge where they are to try and read 100 books from a specified list by the end of their phase (KS1, LKS2 and UKS2). Books are provided by school and there is a variety of genres on offer. This was a huge success last year and many children read books they may not have otherwise chosen to do as part of the 100 Book Challenge.  We look forward to finding out which children will be able to complete this challenge this year!

Oxford Owls – here the children can access books which are appropriate for their level of reading. This is the company that we use for our home readers, so children will know their book band colour and should find books perfect for them. We have added a link on the school website to take you straight to the Oxford Owls website page. This can be found under the ‘Curriculum’ tab, then click on ‘Reading information.’ Once you reach the Oxford Owls website, you then just need to click on ‘Levels’ and then ‘Book Band’ to choose the books that are suitable for your child (you may need to create a free login).


Reading at home Top tips on how to help develop your child’s reading comprehension at home:

  • Ask them what is happening in the story
  • Discuss the meaning of words
  • Make predictions – ask them what they think will happen next and why
  • Discuss feelings – how are the characters feeling at this point? How do you, the reader, feel?
  • Discuss where the story is set. Have you read other books with a similar setting?
  • Summarise the key events of the story
  • Look at the subheadings in non-fiction texts – where might we find certain information?


Here at The Gates, we believe that the teaching of phonics is the stepping stone to develop children’s early reading skills.

We follow the Government letters and sounds framework when delivering lessons.

  • Phonics begins in Nursery, where children explore different sounds around them and experiment with rhyming words.
  • In Reception children begin to learn the sounds of the alphabet and use them to begin to read (and write) words.
  • Throughout Key Stage One, children are taught all the different sounds and how these are recorded as letters. They use these to help them read more difficult words.
  • Where appropriate, phonics is continued in Key Stage Two for any children who require extra support.
  • The Autumn term parent workshop will be held to inform and support parents.


  • Writing is at the heart of all we do at The Gates Primary School and is taught through an exciting and engaging curriculum.
  • A variety of genres are taught through the use of carefully selected texts which appeal to children with different interests.
  • The vocabulary is displayed on working walls in the classrooms for the children to use throughout the year.
  • High quality cross curricular writing is encouraged in the foundation subjects so that writing is purposeful.
  • Children develop their knowledge and skills throughout the unit with the aid of extended piece of positive feedback from the teacher and success criteria. They then complete an extended piece writing at the end of the unit and this work is assessed carefully.
  • Children are also provided with speaking and listening opportunities throughout a writing unit and perform their final piece.
  • Marking provides the children with a next step to help them develop their writing further.

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