English sits at the heart of our curriculum. We believe strongly that it is through language, story and text that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves. Through all forms of literacy, children learn to make sense of the world and shape their place within it.

Across both writing and reading, we place a heavy emphasis on developing a child’s vocabulary. By the time children leave Riversdale Primary School in Year 6, the limited word supply they arrived with in Reception will have expanded enormously, giving them the language that they need to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.

Alongside our curriculum, we take many opportunities to develop a love of reading and writing for pleasure and hold an annual writing competition, have regular author visits, hold books fairs or book swaps, and World Book Day is one of the highlights of the year! Please see how the different strands of English are taught across the school below.


Phonics is taught at the school from the Early Years/Foundation Stage through to the end of Key Stage 1/start of Key Stage 2 (where appropriate). As a school we utilise the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics scheme, as this best suits the needs of our students. This is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. Based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum, the Ofsted Deep Dive into reading and preparing your children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.

Practicing Phonics at Home

One aspect that is very important for children to develop fluency in reading is consistency with the pronunciation of sounds. This is pivotal for blending sounds together correctly. The resources below will help you support your child with saying their inital Phase 2 sounds:

  • Autumn 1 Sounds - Download a guide to how children are taught to say their sounds in Reception Autumn 1
  • Autumn 2 Sounds - Download a guide to how children are taught to say their sounds in Reception Autumn 2

There are also some useful videos on the Little Wandle Website so you can see how they are taught at school and feel confident about supporting their reading at home. 

Alongside the books your child brings home, seek out books that you and your child enjoy reading. Discuss words that present a challenge, breaking them down into their component sounds (phonemes) in order to read them if necessary. Make sure you set aside quiet time for reading and enjoying books together.

Curriculum Policies

Please find our policy below:

Useful links
Useful Links for Parents

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Our Address

    Riversdale Primary School
    302A Merton Road
    Wandsworth London
    SW18 5JP

    0208 874 6904
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