The focus in English is on the key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. The main objective is to encourage independent skills so pupils are given personalised tasks appropriate to their ability to develop their handwriting, presentation, writing skills, spelling, punctuation and reading. The distinct skills of Speaking and Listening are taught within English to improve communication skills.
Key Stage 3
The work in Years 7, 8 and 9 is based on the requirements of the National Curriculum and the National Framework for English. Phonic awareness and skills are taught to all pupils. At the end of each unit of work there is an assessment appropriate to the needs of the individual. Where possible, pupils participate in peer and self-assessment tasks.
All pupils study a range of modern stories, modern and pre 1914 prose, poetry, a Shakespeare play and some modern drama and non-fiction texts. Regular Guided Reading sessions in small targeted groups help to develop pupils’ confidence to read and develop their understanding of age appropriate texts. All pupils take external qualifications which are matched to their ability. The exam courses include Step Up to English, Functional Skills, NCFE and GCSE.
Pupils are expected to cover a variety of writing each year to range between original imaginative stories and formal essays, depending upon their ability. The department is well resourced so pupils have individual access to computers which facilitates the use of word processing.
Communication skills are developed through the explicit teaching of Speaking and Listening skills.
Homework tasks are set but are not compulsory. The activities include spellings, reading and writing differentiated for each child’s ability.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 all pupils are entered for an English qualification appropriate to their ability and individual learning style.
The emphasis is to further develop literacy and language skills to enable pupils to communicate to the best of their ability. Every pupil also studies a broad range of modern literature, drama, Shakespeare and poetry.
Most pupils take the AQA Entry Level English which consists of 5 assessments based on the texts and skills pupils have studied throughout the course.
Some pupils take the AQA Level 1 and Level 2 Functional English examinations. When appropriate, pupils follow the AQA GCSE English course.