"The school places a strong emphasis on literacy... This has been a key to the pupils’ rising achievement in reading." Ofsted 2015

English and Literacy

The curriculum

The national curriculum for England and Wales makes it clear that ‘English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society’. We agree that a high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others.  It also means that children will have a clearer understanding of the world around them through reading and listening to other. Through their reading, children also develop an appreciation to the richness of language, expand the vocabulary, refine their understanding of the conventions of the English language and expand their knowledge of the world around them.  It is important that all of these skills combine so that pupils can speak, read, write and understand what is happening around them to become truly successful in school and beyond.

A love of reading

At Parkwood we work very hard to ensure that pupils develop a true love of reading. All of our classrooms have lovely reading corners, full of engaging texts aimed at children of every reading ability in the classroom. We follow the Hackney Loves Reading approach to the teaching of essential reading skills, such as being able to summarise what we have read and connecting our reading to our own experiences. Children in early years and key stage one read with an adult at least once per week and older children are involved in group reading tasks with an adult just as frequently. We also send home reading books every week for children to read with parents and carers. Parkwood also encourages parents and carers to read more complex texts to their children at home and offer ‘school story’ every Friday, where children can choose to hear teachers reading a wide range of tales to them in small groups.


The school uses the following schemes for reading:

  • Oxford Reading Tree 
  • Rigby Stars 
  • Read, Write Inc 
  • PM Benchmark

The school does not follow any one scheme from start to finish, but selects according to pupils’ next steps in learning and their particular needs in terms of vocabulary and comprehension development.

We also operate adapted approaches of Daily Supported Reading, Reading Recovery and our own model ‘Play in Literacy Themes’ (PILT).


We take writing very seriously, ensuring that every child from Year 1 to Year 6 is given the chance to write an extended piece every week. We create the building blocks to writing in our daily literacy lessons and expect children to write at the same level across the whole curriculum. We teach children cursive script (joined up handwriting) all the way from Year 1 and all children write in cursive script from Year 3 onwards.


Parkwood recognises that language development also occurs, for children for whom English is not their first language, in their home languages. We encourage parents who do not speak English to talk and read with their child in whichever language they do have access to. Being regularly read to will increase a child’s affection for reading and will boost their general knowledge, even if it is not in English. In school, we only read in English, as immersive learning has been shown to be the most effective way to develop language skills. We also offer support in improving spoken English through the BBC English My Way programme of study.

For more information on our approach to reading and the teaching of English, please come to see us in school.