The English syllabus in Years 7 to 9 focuses on the central areas of Speaking and Listening and Reading and Writing, as required by the National Curriculum. The department plans its work according to the needs and capacities of the pupils, recognising that English is the basic tool of thought in almost all subjects but also that the study of human experience portrayed in literature can extend the pupil’s awareness of his/her own identity and the social relationships of which he/she is a part.
In practical terms much work in English is stimulated by responding directly or indirectly to reading. There is a departmental stock of many books to satisfy the requirements of the National Curriculum. The books have been selected to challenge and extend the interests of every age group, to stimulate critical response and to encourage reading. All classes in Years 7, 8 and 9 are regularly taken to the School and local Library where they are instructed in the use of their many resources and encouraged to read more widely from their excellent stock of fiction.
The writing process often begins with reading, although personal experience and group oral work are also important stimuli. Writing for a variety of audiences is encouraged. Accuracy in matters of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc., is emphasised in the context of the pupil’s own writing rather than by reliance on the isolated framework of special exercises. Classroom discussion is extended to cross-curricular activities, through improvisation and scripted work.
In years 10 and 11, all students follow IGCSE courses in English Language and English Literature. We are particularly keen to encourage the love of reading in our academy. Our new and growing library is a real asset to all of our students.
We use layered targets to focus development in identified areas of Literacy and progress is monitored in termly target setting and Pupil Progress Meetings (PPM).