Ms. S Ingham Head of English
Ms. F Astbury-Smith Teacher of English
Mrs. J Calvert Teacher of English
Mrs. R Davies Teacher of English
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. Our curriculum aims to ensure that all students:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, to seek information and for pleasure
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
When students join us in Year 7, it is expected that they should be able to read fluently and confidently, comprehend age-appropriate texts and in their writing be able to produce a range of writing for different purposes, select appropriate vocabulary and use a range of sentences and structures for different types of writing, audience and purpose. However, for some of our students this is not yet secure. On entry to the school, reading, spelling and writing are assessed, with the outcome used to inform our curriculum. Historically, our students enter Year 7 below national average in writing.
English involves an acquisition of skills and concepts at an increasingly deeper level; learning is seen as a spiral involving building on the primary curriculum and each key stage, revisiting skills and concepts adding complexity. The development of vocabulary is embedded throughout our curriculum with a focus on spellings, meanings, usage and etymology.
When designing our curriculum, we have considered the individual needs of all our students. To ensure that students with SEND have the opportunity to develop the same knowledge and skills as their peers, we adopt a range of strategies within the classroom such as support from a teaching assistant, small group teaching, scaffolding and targeted questioning. This enables students to develop confidence as well as the knowledge and skills they need to progress. Furthermore, those with significant deficits in reading have daily reading with a teaching assistant in Year 7 and 8. For students with complex SEND who are not yet ready for GCSE, we offer Entry Level and Functional Skills qualifications.