|“The value of English in the curriculum? What can I say? Without English, nothing. And without good English, nothing very well.” Anne Fine, Author
In studying English, we aim for pupils to develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. These literacy skills enable them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively. We have developed a reading culture within the school environment and recognise the importance of English across the curriculum.
We aim for our pupils to become enthusiastic and critical readers and writers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts.
At Key Stage 2 and 3 we follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for English.
Years 5 and 6
English and drama are mainly taught by the pupils’ form tutor, covering objectives outlined in the new curriculum. Pupils in Year 5 and 6 have five literacy lessons a week. Both years have an additional flexible hour in which to further work on PSHEE linked tasks, drama, personal reading, class story, spelling, and extended writing or to pursue the needs of the group.
Pupils receive English out of school learning in line with the year group policy. Pupils are issued with an OSL book for English and are set an activity per week by their teacher. These activities will ideally reinforce skills taught in the lessons to consolidate the childrens’ learning. Alongside this, pupils are asked to read for a minimum of 45 minutes per week and form teachers monitor this each week.
Years 7 and 8
English is taught by designated Key Stage 3 English teachers, and the programme is condensed into two years. Pupils have four hours per week dedicated to English. In Year 8 pupils are taught in groups set by ability; in Year 7 they are taught in mixed ability form groups. Both Drama and Media are incorporated into the English Schemes of Work and pupils also have the option to attend twilight drama sessions to enhance their learning experience.
We encourage active student involvement through annual visits from the actor Anthony Glenn, participation in Youth Speaks, house competitions (including a spelling bee) and our reading group ‘Book Bites.’ Gifted and Talented students have been able to extend their learning further through attendance at a writing workshop and Cambridge Wordfest.
Recent initiatives to promote reading and more frequent use of the library include regular “Library Lates” events, and pupils are now also encouraged to apply to be Reading Consultants in order to support their peers with their reading.
Pupils receive two English out of school learning sessions per week. This may take the form of reading, spelling investigations, punctuation activities, extended writing tasks or reinforcement of concepts being covered in lessons.