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The Rissington School
Aspire - Belong - Challenge

01451 820857





English Gallery

english at a glance the rissington school 23 24.pdf

In our last inspection Ofsted said: 

The school makes communication and reading a top priority.

Teachers inspire a love of reading in pupils.

Pupils of all ages talk animatedly about the books they read.

They leave Year 6 as confident and avid readers. 


At The Rissington School our English curriculum will develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. Knowledge and understanding of English gives our pupils access to the rest of the curriculum.  Fluency in the English language is fundamental to their educational success.  The modalities of speaking, reading and writing are not only the objects of study but also the means through which the subject is learned.

At the Rissington School, we recognise that English is a complex subject that combines the disciplines of English language and literature.  Knowledge of language (including linguistic knowledge like vocabulary and grammar, as well as knowledge of the world for comprehension), underpins progression in spoken language, reading and writing. We inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage, and a habit of reading widely and often.  We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children have the knowledge of grammatical structures, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We create a culture and teach the children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who have a secure knowledge of the English language to be able to use discussion to communicate and further their learning.

Our English curriculum follows a clear pathway of progression. Having a secure knowledge of English and literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.

Whilst we embrace the differences that being a split site school might bring, we are clear that children at both sites belong to one school and receive the same English/literacy provision and resources.

The Rissington School values of ABC (Aspire Belong Challenge) and key drivers (Golden Threads) are the basis of our English curriculum design. We plan lessons that offer the children aspirational experiences, through discussion, conversation, reading and written experiences, trips, visitors, theme days, and continually extend learning beyond national curriculum statements, bringing learning to life and facilitating knowledge and understanding that remains in long term memory.

Our value of belong is reflected throughout our English curriculum as we work together, collaborating in the classroom and learning with others, every child is expected to become a competent, fluent reader and a writer whatever stage and age in their primary education.  We provide challenge throughout our English curriculum, knowledge is cumulative and expectations are high, our English curriculum challenges misconceptions and learning is adapted to provide challenge for all.

In addition to the school values of Aspire, Belong, Challenge, the English curriculum is planned carefully to represent our school and outlying community.  Throughout the English Curriculum our key drivers (golden threads) are woven throughout the planning, teaching and learning:

Vocabulary and language- Pupils’ expressive vocabulary (the words that they can use) and receptive vocabulary (the words that they understand) are important components of their wider language skills. Through our curriculum we ensure that our pupils develop the use of a wide and ambitious vocabulary across the whole curriculum.

Resilience and independence- instilling a growth mindset, so that pupils persevere and are independent in both their learning and social skills

Equality and diversity- ensuring that learning encourages connections with both our local community and wider world

Through the English Curriculum, we ensure that all children are active in the learning process and have implemented common language around good independent learning and characteristics of effective learning, starting from Early Years. Growth mindset is embedded, using the ‘Power of Yet!’, and understanding the importance of the 5 R's (Resilience, Responsibility, Reciprocal, Resourceful, Reflective), Growth mindset is rewarded and recognised when children support each other to overcome challenges and to be proactive in their learning. 

 As part of our curriculum we promote and encourage the children to recognise The Characteristic of Effective Learning; these are:

  • Go For it Gorilla - I will have a go.
  • Exploring Elephant - I am an Explorer
  • I know Rhino - I play with what I know
  • Proud Peacock - I am proud of what I do
  • Concentrating Crocodile - I join in and concentrate
  • Persevering Parrot - I keep trying
  • Choosing Chimp - I choose ways to do things
  • Creative Chameleon - I have my own ideas
  • Slinky Linky Snake - I can make links

Our English curriculum has been designed so that all lessons give the children opportunities to display one or some of the characteristics for example making connections from previous knowledge like a Slinky Linky Snake.


Our curriculum intent is embedded across all our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous, sequential and well organised English curriculum that provides challenging and purposeful opportunities for building the knowledge to read, write and participate in discussion. Teachers adapt curriculum planning as appropriate to their classes. Importantly, pupils can use the knowledge learned in the context of one modality to help them in another. For example, they can use vocabulary learned through reading when they are speaking and writing, both in school and their wider lives.  Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.

The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

Early Reading:  At the Rissington School we strive to excel in early reading.  We have rigour and fidelity to the systematic phonics programme: Success For All Phonics.  Fully phonically decodable texts support this programme and these texts form the basis of our early reading lessons and are shared readers at home.  As children progress they continue to secure knowledge in their reading skills, as well as a love of reading, through our carefully selected and progressive reading programme.  In Year 2 children continue to learn phonics and spellings using Spelling with the Jungle Club.  

Children who find reading difficult are quickly identified and supported with our Tutoring With the Lightning Squad Intervention.  This is a dedicated reading intervention that is in line with our Success for All Phonics programme and children work in small groups to support each other and improve their reading skills. 

For some activities, there may need be a ‘parallel’ activity for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities, so that they too can secure the same knowledge as their peers, but in an adapted way – for example using an ICT-based means of recording information to compensate for difficulties with handwriting.

At The Rissington School, we use a wide variety of high quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children and have developed a Reading Spine that is progressive. We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, such as Write Away Week, Start the Year With Shakespeare; celebrating Authors and World Book Day; Reading Teachers = Reading Pupils; attending the Cheltenham Literary Festival each year; running reading and creative writing competitions; hosting an annual in house speech competition and our Upper Key Stage 2 children competing at the North Cotswolds Speech Competition.  In addition, we actively seek out visiting authors so that children benefit from access to positive role models from the local and wider locality.  We also hold reading events to enhance our English curriculum and often use the same high-quality text from EYFS to Y6.


As a result, the Rissington School has a community of knowledgeable, enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 is at least in line if not above that of the regional and national averages for English.

Core Text Overview

Handwriting Progression

Poetry Progression

Reading Progression

Oracy Progression

Sentence Progression

Useful Documents:

English Guide for Parents

Spelling Guide for Parents

Spelling Activities

Further Spelling Tips

Oxford Owl: Grammar Guide

Pie Corbett Reading Spine


National curriculum in England: English programmes of study - GOV.UK

Early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework - GOV.UK