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
  • Reading 100 square challenge
  • Partake in a variety of book-themed days e.g. World Book Day


  • Introduce phonics through Letters and Sounds
  • Reading through continuous provision and role play areas
  • A language-rich environment
  • Comprehension through story time


  • Phonics up to Phase 6 through Letters and Sounds
  • 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
  • Story time


  • Taught comprehension lessons to build on reading skills
  • Book-led curriculum
  • Designated independent reading time throughout the week
  • Access to the whole school library
  • Story time
  • 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:

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

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.


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.

Teachers carefully select 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. Each week, children plan and write an extended piece of writing which links closely to the book and provides them with a purpose. Children then reflect and edit their writing by themselves and with their peers.

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

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read and write. It is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds and understand the link between the sound (phoneme) and the way it is written (grapheme).

In Reception and Year 1, we teach children to read using a systematic synthetic phonics approach called Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS). We use an early learning environment that is rich in talk and story, where children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills to become fluent independent readers and writers. ELS teaches children to:

  • decode by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently
  • encode by segmenting each sound to write words accurately.

We know that for children at the end of Key Stage 1 to achieve the age-related expectations, they need to read fluently at 90 words per minute. As children move into Key Stage 2, it is vitally important that even those who have made the slowest progress are able to read age-appropriate texts independently and with fluency. For children to engage with the wider curriculum, they need to be able to read well, making inferences and drawing on background knowledge to support their developing understanding of a text when they read. To do this, they need to be able to draw not only on their phonic knowledge but also on their wider reading and comprehension skills, each of which must be taught. The first step in this complex process is the link between spoken and written sounds.

ELS whole-class, daily phonics teaching must begin from the first days of Reception. Through the rigorous ELS teaching programme, children will build an immediate understanding of the relationship between the sounds they can hear and say (phonemes) and the written sounds (graphemes). ELS is based on simplicity and consistency, and the programme is delivered through whole-class lessons.

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


Reading at Home

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.


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.

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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