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Education and society are rooted in English. History is documented, perspectives are captured, and empathy developed through literature. A high-quality education in English will teach students to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. 


Through reading and listening, others are able to communicate their ideas and emotions with them. It is through reading that students are able to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually and socially, enabling them to acquire knowledge and build on their existing knowledge. 

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This is part of the beauty 

of all literature. You discover 

that your longings are universal 

longings, so that you're not lonely 

and isolated from anyone.

You belong. 


F. Scott Fitzgerald

English Department - Overarching Curriculum Intent (September 2023) 


RFSS Curriculum Vision Statement: 

To build an inclusive curriculum which is aspirational for all and empowers our students to make outstanding academic and personal progress.  


English Curriculum in Context: 

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, research has found ‘particularly negative impacts on reading for secondary school students’. With our ever-changing cohorts, we will only see the detrimental impact increase as primary school closures had ‘a greater impact on primary reading on average’ and ‘writing outcomes for primary-aged children were lower than expected compared to previous year groups’ (The Impact of COVID-19 on Learning: May 22). Therefore, we aim to ensure that we are not only building upon previous knowledge in our English Curriculum, but are consistently filling in the gaps too. We are also noticing the generational change where school-age pupils now have more control of the media they consume, which in turn limits their cultural capital. Short-term media forms are becoming increasingly popular, meaning that sustained exploration of ideas across longer texts is something we need to explicitly teach. As a result, we seek to choose texts that inspire and engage our pupils, stimulating debate and acting as spring-boards for their own writing. We have built a curriculum around the diverse nature of our cohort, so that students see themselves reflected, and see English a way to understand the world around them. 

Curriculum Aims: 


Our curriculum aims to: 

  • Empower our students to communicate effectively and independently (developing their core literacy skills) 

  • Fully support our students’ moral and cultural understanding of the modern world 

  • Inspire our students to explore and develop their own ideas creatively 

  • Empower our students to 

  •  Know more about the texts we study and their contexts 

  • Remember more about the methods used by writers 

  • Do more by applying this knowledge regularly in their own extended responses 


Our broad and balanced curriculum concentrates on developing our students’ key knowledge and skills, and enhances their understanding of the world around them.   


We do this by: 

  • Stimulating intellectual curiosity about texts and allowing for independent exploration of these ideas 

  • Facilitating collaboration, where students work with each other to develop and challenge ideas on texts and in their own writing 

  • Promoting challenge for all through both the texts we teach and the tools we provide students with to interrogate them. We see explicit teaching of vocabulary as a core element of this. 

  • Enabling creativity, by supporting students to develop their own authorial and journalistic voices 

  • Sequencing learning so that the texts, ideas, and styles of writing they engage with are logically progressed, taking into account individual starting points 

  • Revisiting previous learning of analytical approaches, vocabulary, methods and key literary ideas to support the transfer to long-term memory. 


Our curriculum is focused on the development of communication, character and cultural capital of each individual student, so they become: 


  • Empathetic citizens who understand the power of writing and language in society 

  • Resilient learners who reflect on their work, and the work of others in order to make progress 

  • Creative thinkers who challenge and develop interpretations, and reflect this nuanced understanding in their own writing. 

  • Articulate individuals who can verbalise their own thoughts, ideas and emotions 

  • Hard-working students who are committed to fully developing and exploring their ideas. 


Curriculum Outcome: 

As a result of our curriculum, students will leave RFSS competent in the skills of reading, writing and spoken language. They will also be empowered in their thinking, viewing the world through a critical lens and understanding that their voices have the power to change it.  


Please view or download our 'Sequence Overview' document for English

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  • Kindness
    We regularly give ‘shout outs’ for staff who have gone above and beyond and demonstrated an exceptional display of one of our values We encourage and try to support flexible working requests and promote ‘family values’ as something that makes the workforce distinctive. We try to ensure staff have the opportunity to attend personal events or celebrations when requested and within agreed time frame.
  • Collaboration
    We have an active Staff Wellbeing committee who meet regularly to discuss staff wellbeing and workload. We provide all new staff with a ‘buddy’ to provide support and advice. We plan a variety of staff social events across the year. We provide staff with a free lunch on the day of their duty. We have regular staff breakfasts, provide food on all CPD days and occasional treats such as Pizza!
  • Curiosity
    We invest heavily in staff CPD and both promote and support opportunities to develop staff. We provide opportunities for all staff to network and visit other schools to improve their practice and share great ideas.
  • Respect
    We have a Staff Room, where staff can meet, work and even socialise Each faculty has its own staff work room We have regular appraisal conversations to discuss career progression
  • Resilience
    We promote resilience through our reflective CPD pathways. We have an area in the staff room dedicated to wellbeing which is used to promote health and wellbeing. We share weekly health and wellbeing information.
  • Endeavour
    Promote a work life balance by being considerate when sending emails and holding meetings. We will endeavor to celebrate our staff and their achievements on a regular basis, for example; a black tie celebration evening.
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