At Middlestown Primary Academy, reading is at the heart of everything we do and encourage every child to be a proficient reader and develop a passion for books. Our priority is helping children become fluent readers and develop their comprehension skills. We value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. To ensure academic success in reading, we promote:

  • A love of reading and partake in reading for pleasure
  • Learners who read confidently and fluently and seek to acquire knowledge independently
  • The use of rich and exciting texts to compliment all areas of the curriculum which stimulates, encourages and enriches the development of reading in all year groups
  • Children to be analytical of the texts they read and understand the different skills required to fully comprehend a text

During their time at Middlestown Primary Academy, all pupils need to develop broad range of skills within reading.  To ensure that learning is targetted at the appropriate challenge level, skills progression documents are used:

  • Reading Progression of Skills



Children at our school develop a passion for reading as it is woven into everything we do- it is happening all the time. Reading and comprehension is specifically taught in English lessons but children are constantly practising reading skills in all areas of the curriculum.

What are we doing in school?

Whole School

  • Reading books changed regularly
  • Volunteers in school to hear your child read
  • Teachers and Teaching Assistants regularly hear your child read
  • Praise through certificates and stickers for reading
  • Partake in a variety of book-themed days e.g. World Book Day


  • Introduce phonics through our chosen systematic, synthetic phonics scheme: Essential Letters and Sounds (see phonics section)
  • Reading through continuous provision and role play areas
  • A language-rich environment
  • Comprehension through story time


  • Phonics up to Phase 6 through our chosen systematic, synthetic phonics scheme: Essential Letters and Sounds (see phonics section)
  • Book-led curriculum
  • Taught comprehension lessons to build on reading skills
  • Reading areas in all classrooms
  • Access to the whole school library
  • Interventions for those needing extra support with reading
  • Storytime


  • Taught comprehension lessons to build on reading skills
  • Book-led curriculum
  • Designated independent reading time throughout the week
  • Access to the whole school library
  • Storytime
  • Further developing the love for reading

What can you do at home?

At Middlestown, we encourage parents to be involved with their child’s reading journey. It is so important from a young age that children are exposed to the written word. Here are some things you can do at home to help with your child’s reading:

  • Read every night for up to 20 minutes
  • Listen to your child read regularly as this develops fluency and stamina
  • Let them hear you read- a good bedtime story is always a hit!
  • Explore new vocabulary together- what does this word mean?
  • Repetition of their favourite book
  • Take a visit to your local library: https://www.wakefield.gov.uk/libraries-and-local-history/your-local-library/wakefield-library
  • Don’t forget to log all your reading on our online reading record app ‘BoomReader’

Help! My child is a reluctant reader! Have a read of this leaflet for some great ideas to get your child motivated to read: Tips for Reluctant Readers

Reading in Action at MPA

Margaret Wright Reading Shed

We proudly opened our ‘Margaret Wright Reading Shed’, with members of our local community in attendance, along with our School Council and golden ticket winners too.

Thank you to everyone who joined us on this very special day.

National Storytelling Week

As part of National Storytelling Week, the Reading Leaders chose a book to read to each class in school.

It was great to see the love of reading across school and the children really enjoyed it!


At Middlestown Primary Academy, we inspire our children to write using a book-led curriculum and real-life experiences.  We aim to engage and stimulate all children to write through what they experience in school.  We believe that writing must allow children to use their imagination and engage with a range of genres.  It is also crucial that we teach children grammar concepts that enable them to become proficient and accurate writers providing them with life-long writing skills.  Our aim is for children to leave our school being passionate and confident writers.

The English leader carefully selects a variety of texts, stories and video clips to inspire writing and to create a sequence of lessons that build on features, vocabulary, planning, drafting and editing. A Diverse Reading Spine has been created so that children have the opportunity to explore texts that include the protected characteristics (See Diversity and Protected Characteristics page).

Each week, children plan and write an extended piece of writing that links closely to the book and provides them with a purpose. Children then reflect and edit their writing by themselves and with their peers. Teachers use our MPA Progression of Genres Document to ensure children continue to progress throughout their time at school.

During their time at Middlestown Primary Academy, all pupils need to develop broad range of skills within writing.  To ensure that learning is targetted at the appropriate challenge level, skills progression documents are used:

  • Writing Progression of Skills




ELS - Essential Letters & Sounds

Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen Phonics programme. The aim of ELS is ‘Getting all children to read well, quickly’. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (the written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words.

Children begin learning Phonics at the very beginning of Upper Foundation and it is explicitly taught every day during a dedicated slot on the timetable. Children are given the knowledge and the skills to then apply this independently.

Throughout the day, children will use their growing Phonics knowledge to support them in other areas of the curriculum and will have many opportunities to practise their reading. This includes reading 1:1 with a member of staff, with a partner during paired reading and as a class.

Children continue daily Phonics lessons in Year 1 and further through the school to ensure all children become confident, fluent readers.

We follow the ELS progression and sequence. This allows our children to practise their existing phonic knowledge whilst building their understanding of the ‘code’ of our language GPCs (Grapheme Phoneme Correspondence). As a result, our children can tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover.

Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers. ELS teaches relevant, useful and ambitious vocabulary to support each child’s journey to becoming fluent and independent readers.

We begin by teaching the single letter sounds before moving to diagraphs ‘sh’ (two letters spelling one sound), trigraphs ‘igh’ (three letters spelling one sound) and quadgraphs ‘eigh’ (four letters spelling one sound).

We teach children to:

  • Decode (read) by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently
  • Encode (write) by segmenting each sound to write words accurately.

The structure of ELS lessons allows children to know what is coming next, what they need to do, and how to achieve success. This makes it easier for children to learn the GPCs we are teaching (the alphabetic code) and how to apply this when reading.

ELS is designed on the principle that children should ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’. Since interventions are delivered within the lesson by the teacher, any child who is struggling with the new knowledge can be immediately targeted with appropriate support. Where further support is required, 1:1 interventions are used where needed. These interventions are short, specific and effective.

Here are some of the terms we use in class:

  • phoneme- the smallest unit of sound in a word.
  • grapheme – letter or a group of letters representing one sound, e.g. s, sh, ch, igh.
  • digraph – two letters making one sound, e.g. sh, th, ph.
  • vowel digraphs – two vowels which, together, make one sound, e.g. ai, oo, ow.
  • split digraph – two letters, split, making one sound, e.g. a-eas in make or i-e in kite
  • VC word: vowel consonant e.g.  up
  • CVC: consonant vowel consonant e.g. cap.
  • CCVC: consonant consonant vowel consonant e.g.  clap.
  • vowels – the open sounds / letters of the alphabet: a, e, i, o and u
  • consonants – sounds/ letters of the alphabet that are not vowels.
  • blend – to merge individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p, blended together, reads snap.
  • segment- to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it, e.g. the word ‘cat’ has three phonemes: /c/, /a/, /t/

How can you help at home?

  • Try to say the short sound of the letter, not the letter name. This will help children when they come to blend words together. E.g. the letter names dee-oh-gee don’t blend together to make ‘dog’ (please see the videos below to support this below)
  • When you are reading to your child, emphasise the rhyming words and ask what is special about them.
  • Initial letter sound hunt – Say a sound to your child and see if they can find something in their house that starts with that letter. This also works well with ‘I spy’ but remember to use the letter sound and not its name.
  • Songs – Sing nursery rhymes and traditional songs with your child and talk to them about the patterns that they notice in the words

Phase 2 Sounds

Phase 3 Sounds

Phase 5 Sounds

Reading at Home

Upper Foundation

To best support us in teaching your child how to read, we ask that you read the decodable text provided by the school 4 times across the week. A decodable text is a book a child can access independently as it only contains sounds that they have learnt. Spending 10 minutes a day reading with your child will hugely support them in their journey to becoming an independent reader. We will be changing children’s decodable books once a week on Fridays, this allows your child to re-read each text several times building their confidence and fluency. This is especially important as they begin to learn that the sounds within our language can be spelt in different ways.

Year 1

In Year 1, your child will continue to read decodable books, in class, 4 times a week. This is matched closely with their phonetic knowledge and teaching. In your child’s reading folder, you will find a reading scheme book matched with their sound knowledge, a decodable book and sounds your child does not know so that these can be practised at home.

English at Middlestown Primary Academy

Poetry Week

In the final week of last Half Term, we held a Poetry Week.

Each class read and wrote poems from the book, Midnight Feasts.

Check out the work that Year 1 and 2 produced from the poem ‘In My Supermarket Trolley’ by Roger Stevens.

Breakfast With Books

Year 1 and 2 enjoyed Breakfast With Books!

Parents were invited into school to share a book and a breakfast snack with their child. It was great to see reading for pleasure at its best!

Parent Information Sheet






As the children progress through school, they are taught different skills relating to grammar, punctuation, spelling and comprehension. We have created Parent Information Sheets so that you can see what will be covered in your child’s year group and how you can support them with their learning at home.

Lower Foundation English Parent Information Sheet

Upper Foundation English Parent Information Sheet

Year 1 English Parent Information Sheet

Year 2 English Parent Information Sheet

Year 3 English Parent Information Sheet

Year 4 English Parent Information Sheet

Year 5 English Parent Information Sheet

Year 6 English Parent Information Sheet

small trust logo
small trust logo

The Accord Multi Academy Trust is an educational charity established in September 2016 that is currently made up of four academies who were the founding members of the Trust. In September 2016 Horbury Academy and Ossett Academy & Sixth Form College came together, moving away from their stand-alone Trust status and were joined in December 2016 by Horbury Primary Academy and Middlestown Primary Academy.

The overarching vision for the Trust is to work in one ‘Accord – celebrating the differences of each academy through strong collaboration in order to inspire all members of our learning community to be the best that they can be.

Trust Website

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