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. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- 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
- Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
The national curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum. Spoken language continues to underpin the development of pupils’ reading and writing during key stage 3.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.
At the end of each academic year pupils will sit a Progress Test. This is a formal summative assessment and will be used in conjunction with ongoing teacher assessments to measure progress throughout the year. In addition to this pupils in Year 9 will sit the Functional Skills Level 1 provided by the AQA. This will assess their Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening.
Students in all key stages are also given the chance to sign up to the Drama Club which operates on a weekly basis and feeds into activities such as the Carol Service, Open Day and Northern Beat.
Home Learning tasks are set on a timetabled weekly basis and are due in no later than 10.30 the following day. Tasks will be used to measure the understanding and retention of skills taught during lessons.
Whole School Curriculum
Key Stage 3
There are 2 classes of between 7 and 9 pupils in each year group within Key Stage 3. The classes are of mixed ability with some careful selection based on attainment and prior performance, CAT testing and baseline assessments early in the first term and along with some consideration of social issues to reinforce the selection process. The vast majority of classes have both teacher and teaching assistants to support and facilitate learning.
Throughout the year identified pupils will access additional support to develop and improve their literacy and numeracy skills. This support is delivered in 1 to 1 sessions that last for 45 minutes and focus on small achievable targets that can be applied back in the classroom. The focus is on developing and improving literacy and numeracy in a way that will enable pupils to more readily access the curriculum.
Over the course of the year a range of formative and summative assessments take place; this includes tests that identify reading, spelling and maths ages. Year 7 pupils are tested for learning styles to better inform the teaching staff and enable them to adapt their teaching to meet the preferred learning style of each individual. CAT tests also take place on entry in Year 7; these not only provide teachers with valuable teaching and learning strategies for each individual pupil they also give staff an indication of likely grades at the end of Key Stage 4. This data is used to inform planning for our pupils.
At the end of Year 9 pupils also have the opportunity to sit formal examinations in Geography and French. Home learning is provided on 4 nights per week and is designed to support and enhance the learning process.