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.


We want all children at Riversdale Primary School to develop a life-long love of reading. Therefore, we approach the teaching of reading from all angles. Daily Reciprocal Reading lessons focus on the skills of comprehension, first unpicking vocabulary, then moving on to unlocking the meaning of textual extracts.

Teachers read a wide range of written material regularly with the children. Each class has access to a ‘library’ within their classroom, containing challenging and interesting novels for them to borrow and for teachers to read to them, exposing children to language and classic stories. Additionally, we have a home-school reading system (up to Year 6), which requests that children read a book at the appropriate level for them, each day.

A Love of Reading

There are a wide range of strategies employed across the school to encourage a love of reading. Each week, children attend a reading/share a story assembly, where the children are able to listen to a member of the senior leadership team read either a chapter from the school book (KS2) or a short picture/story book related to the school values (KS1 & EYFS).

Every Friday afternoon, the children take part in our Rainbow Reading sessions. These end the week with a focus on reading for pleasure, where the children are allowed to find a cosy spot in the classroom and enjoy a book. Some weeks the children in Key Stage 2 will have the opportnuity to visit EYFS or Key Stage 1 to share a story with them; a fantastic way for our older children to encourage a love of reading for younger peers. 

What to Read?

Not sure what book your child might enjoy? Here you will find a copy of the Book Trust's Great Books Guide 2021. This list of 100 books provides some fantastic book recommendations for anyone looking for a new book or a book to engage their child. 


More Recommended Books

Below is a list of 50 recommended books for each year group, as well as a list of recommended reads that include diverse and inclusive themes/characters. Please do have a look at the lists and encourage your child(ren) to read as many of these books as possible. 

Curriculum Policies

Please find our English policies below:

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

    0208 874 6904
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