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The English Skills Box

English Skills Box

'These time-saving boxes are ready to go and require very little setting up or planning. They are engaging, inspiring, consistent and connected resources for helping children enjoy the reading process.'
John Dabell, Writer and Editor - Read the full review here.


Prim-Ed Publishing's The English Skills Box series

The English Skills Box is a comprehensive series of resources designed to support your teaching of English skills in primary school. This series provides a range of graded texts and activities to help your pupils develop their comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, grammar, and punctuation skills. It is aligned to the statutory English national curriculum requirements and the content domains for reading, spelling, punctuation and grammar, as featured in national tests (SATs).

The English Skills Box contains:

  • 75 cards in 15 colour sets of five cards;
  • 75 child-friendly answer cards;
  • a ‘Teacher Guide’ with card-by-card notes and answers

Free, downloadable progress tracking resources including:


Download a free sample of The English Skills Box


Tuning into texts with SATs-focused questions

The English Skills Box 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, spelling, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary.  

  • 15 colour sets of five cards within each 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. Using a qualitative and quantitative readability measure ensures greater text measurement and progression reliability. 
  • Follow-up, skills-focused activities link to the statutory English national curriculum requirements and the content domains for reading, punctuation, grammar, and spelling as featured in national tests (SATs). The number of activities gradually increases over the three boxes.
  • The careful grading and steady skills progression means 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 are free to download below. Answers are available in the Teacher Guide.

Why it's important to learn English skills

Primary English skills are critical for pupils to succeed academically and personally. Developing strong English skills enables them to communicate effectively, express themselves creatively and build a strong foundation for future learning in the information age. The English Skills Box serves the purpose of helping your pupils build writing and language skills in a fun and engaging way.

Skills covered in the series

The English Skills Box series covers the following beneficial English skills for your school:

  • Comprehension: Learn to read and understand a variety of texts, including fiction, non-fiction, rhyme and poetry.
  • Vocabulary: Develop vocabulary through the use of word lists, word families and word groups.
  • Spelling: Learn to spell words correctly through the use of phonics, word patterns and English spelling strategies.
  • Grammar & punctuation: Master grammar and punctuation by learning about sentences, paragraphs, clauses and punctuation marks.

Benefits of the series for teachers and pupils

There are several benefits that the Prim-Ed Publishing series offers teachers and their pupils. Specifically, The English Skills Box is:

  • Time-saving: A series of resources that requires no further planning or photocopying, saving you valuable time.
  • Versatile: The series can be used in whole-class teaching, small guided reading groups or independently by your pupils.
  • Progressive: Structured to increase in difficulty as pupils advance through boxes, with English revision for ongoing learning and progression.
  • Loaded: Our Box includes free, downloadable English tests with answers and tracking sheets to monitor pupils' progress.

Teaching strategies for classroom environments

You will find various teaching strategies in The English Skills Box series to support English skills development, including:

  • Whole-class teaching: Use the series to teach all the essential aspects of English literacy to the whole class.
  • Small guided reading groups: Activities targeted support to small groups, focusing on specific skills.
  • Independent reading: Present solo reading opportunities to pupils, encouraging them to practice at their own pace.

Using The English Skills Box in the classroom

Our series for helping educators improve their pupil's reading skills, The English Skills Box, was created to be flexible and adaptable to different teaching styles and classroom settings. Here are some tips on how to use it productively:

  • Start with the basics. Begin by introducing the series to your pupils and explaining the purpose and structure of the cards.
  • Use the cards in sequence. Use the cards in sequence to provide a progressive learning experience.
  • Focus on specific skills. Focus on comprehension, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and spelling strategies to help pupils develop their skills.
  • Encourage independent reading. Encourage pupils to read text on their own and allow them to practise their English writing.

English skills for a brighter future

The English Skills Box is a valuable all-in-one resource for you and your primary school pupils. Providing a range of graded texts and activities, it helps pupils develop the skills English pupils need by employing a playful and captivating approach.

With its focus on English literacy essentials, the Prim-Ed Publishing series empowers you to engage your pupils in meaningful English skill-building that sets them up for long-term academic and personal success. That, of course, translates to stress-free teaching and your rewarding success.

Reviews  of The English Skills Box


About the boxes and how to use each card

This video explains the structure of The English Skills Box along with a guide on how to use the cards showing their focus on comprehension, vocabulary, word groups, grammar, punctuation and spelling strategies.


A resource that saves you time

The English Skills Box saves you time as it requires no further planning or photocopying. The boxes are versatile in their use and can be used as a whole-class, group or independent reading session.


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