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The English Skills Box 2
The English Skills Box 2

The English Skills Box 2

The English Skills Box 2 provides opportunities for pupils to read an exciting range of graded texts to support, match or challenge their needs and to creatively apply their skills and knowledge of English comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, grammar and punctuation.  

15 colour sets of five cards within the box provide a range of illustrated fiction (modern and classic), non-fiction, rhyme and poetry texts for children to read and enjoy. The texts are aligned to book bands: Box 1 Green to White; Box 2 White to Grey; and Box 3 Grey to Dark Red and beyond.. The use of a qualitative and quantitative readability measure ensures greater reliability in text measurement and progression. 

Follow-up, skills-focused activities link to the statutory English national curriculum requirements and the content domains for reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar, as featured in national tests (SATs). The number of activities gradually increase over the three boxes.

The careful grading and steady skills progression mean the cards may be used in whole-class teaching, small guided reading groups or independently by the pupils. They may be used in sequence or selected by the teacher to match identified needs. The cards have been written to increase in difficulty as children progress through the box. Cards within a colour set may be tackled in any order.

After every three card sets, pupils may take a progress test to review knowledge and skills met along the way. Each test covers reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, grammar and punctuation and has a maximum score of 20 marks. Tests are written in the style of national tests and will be provided as a FREE download. Answers are available in the Teacher Guide.

The English Skills Boxes contain:
  • 75 cards in 15 colour sets of five cards;
  • 75 pupil-friendly answer cards;
  • a Teacher Guide with card by card notes and answers; and
Free, downloadable progress tracking resources including:

    These high-quality, engaging and exciting cards will be fought over, so it’s a good job that they are tough and able to withstand several pupils handling them. Using the Teacher Guide it is possible to select cards which focus on objectives from earlier year groups and therefore provide suitable differentiation. Ideal for working 1:1 or in a small group, the presentation allows pupils plenty of SATs practice at a level appropriate to their needs. School budgets are tight, so the thought of £199 for a box of reading materials is enough to make any school sweat; however, these are not just reading materials, they are well-researched, supportive resources that will complement any school curriculum. By splashing out the £499, a primary school would have enough activities for its own year groups but then also to support those in older groups who need additional practise. I would take the cards out of their respective boxes and sort them by topic/theme to provide to the teachers along with the relevant curriculum map/focus information. This would provide differentiated material instantly.

    Abigail Hawkins

    What we like: We like the colourful pictures. We like the way they are levelled so that we have a challenge, they are not too easy which helps us learn. We really like the challenge section at the end because it gives us more things to do and it makes us think. They are enjoyable to read because the texts are interesting. The questions are also good and not too long and complicated. We like marking it ourselves because we can see our own mistakes and we can learn from them. The questions make us have to look back in the text. They will help us with our PIRA assessment.

    Pupils at Trinity School, Jersey

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