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Teaching & Learning

At Severn Vale School, we believe that we have a duty to ensure that our students are not only prepared as thoroughly as possible for their GCSE examinations but can also tackle the challenges of the outside world they are about to enter as well rounded, resilient and capable citizens.  As such, our curriculum focuses on three key elements for successful learning - language and literacy, assessment and feedback and the development of subject knowledge- as well as being structured in a way which is broad and balanced but also personalised and inclusive, to meet the needs of every individual wherever possible. We recognise the success of our work in this area supports improvements in behaviour and attendance. If a student feels challenged, inspired and confident as a learner, school is a happy place to be.

On this page, you will find more detail about each of these elements of our practice.


Learning is a complex process. At Severn Vale School, we believe that to learn, students need to:

  1. Know, understand and be able to readily recall a breadth and depth of knowledge in each subject area they study…

    …so, teachers ensure that student’s subject knowledge is deep and secure by frequently testing and revisiting key concepts and ideas to ensure that these are embedded in students’ long-term memories
  2. Clearly understand what they know and don’t know / can and can’t do in each subject area and what they need to do become better…

    … so, teachers use a range of reflection and feedback strategies which focus on next steps in learning. Often, this takes the form of a lesson or part lesson dedicated to the analysis and improvement of a task.
  3. Be given the linguistic tools to enable them to write academically and apply their knowledge as well as read and comprehend texts across a range of genres…

    …so, teachers employ functional linguistics in their teaching to ensure that students can apply their subject knowledge and write academically in a way which is appropriate in each subject area as well as encouraging students to talk like subject specialists using the correct technical terms and vocabulary.

We also endeavour to inspire a love of reading for pleasure amongst our students as research shows that students who read regularly achieve more. As such we run a series of morning reading groups, have a thriving range of book clubs and are also part of the “First Story” project in conjunction with Cheltenham Literature Festival to encourage our students not only to read, but to write themselves. A list of recommended reading by genre can be found below.

To succeed in Year 11, students need to build these skills for learning from the first day of Year 7.