The Russell School

Aim High, Have Courage, Be Kind


PDF file National  Curriculum Spelling Guidance  

PDF file High Frequency Word Lists (all year groups)                                                                                       

PDF file The Year 1 Reader

PDF file The Year 2 Reader

PDF file The Year 3 Reader

PDF file The Year 4 Reader

PDF file The Year 5 Reader

PDF file The Year 6 Reader

Recommended Reading Lists



Staff use the LCP scheme to support the teaching of phonics across the school.

Reading materials are drawn from a wide range of schemes, including Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree.                                                                                                                  

At The Russell School, the teaching and learning of English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read, write and communicate orally with confidence, fluency and understanding
  • Have an interest in books and literature; whilst practising reading for enjoyment
  • Develop and foster a love of words, phrases and sayings, develop their meanings; and use a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms
  • Discuss reading and writing comprehensively: expressing opinions; explaining techniques and justifying preferences; about a wide range of literature, using appropriate vocabulary
  • Understand a range of text types and genres; develop knowledge to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write using a variety of styles and forms

Through literacy, we develop our ability to listen, speak, read and write in English. These fundamental life skills enable children to express themselves fluently and creatively and give them the foundation they need to become enthusiastic, lifelong readers and writers.  Reading and writing skills are developed and nurtured in conjunction with topic work across the curriculum, giving the children the opportunity to improve their skills in a variety of different contexts. Children’s literacy skills are developed through constant support and encouragement, starting in the Early Years and continuing as children progress through the school.In Key Stages 1 and 2, literacy skills are taught in dedicated daily lessons and staff follow the 'Talk for Writing' programme to systematically develop the writing process.  Children develop important skills, learning to talk to adults as well as their peers. They are taught to listen carefully to expand their vocabulary and are also shown how to explore words in texts. Children from Year 1 upwards have designated spelling, punctuation and grammar skills lessons, as well as the opportunity to apply taught skills during daily independent writing sessions. Children are shown self-evaluation techniques. They are given the tools to begin planning, drafting and evaluating their own work.

The children enjoy putting their literacy skills into action at special school events, including book fairs and author visits. World Book Day provides another exciting opportunity for us to enthuse our children, with the whole school taking part in themed events. Weekly class assemblies, school productions and ‘buddy’ reading activities also develop speaking and listening skills and help the children to gain confidence by performing for an audience.  Each year, during Book Week, every class votes for their 'RUSSA' Award - The Russell Utterly Super Story Award. 


We are a Talk for Writing School

 PDF file Talk for Writing Parent Information Leaflet

As a Talk for Writing school, all children learn to write through Talk for Writing. Talk for Writing was developed by the author Pie Corbett. It is a fun, creative yet also rigorous approach to develop writers.

Talk for Writing starts with enjoying and sharing stories. Throughout the school, we place a strong emphasis on children reading stories and enjoying a range of literature. Through regular reading, we want children to build up an extensive and rich vocabulary for use in their own writing.

During the initial 'imitation' stage of Talk for Writing, children learn to tell a story off by heart. They retell a text with expression and actions and make use of a story map to support their retelling. Once the story is learnt, children are encouraged to adapt it. At the 'innovation' stage, children make the story their own, for example, by changing the character or setting. Finally, at the 'invention stage, children write their own text independently.


PDF file The Year 1 Writer

PDF file The Year 2 Writer

PDF file The Year 3 Writer

PDF file The Year 4 Writer

PDF file The Year 5 Writer

PDF file The Year 6 Writer


At The Russell School, we teach the Kingston cursive style of writing.  The icons below show how the letter shapes are formed with a lead in and lead out.