What is English and why do we teach it?
Language lies at the heart of the drive to raise standards across the curriculum. It is the key to developing in young people the capacity to express themselves with confidence, to think logically, creatively and imaginatively and to developing a deep understanding of literature and the wider culture. The teaching of English at Brompton Hall School will focus on equipping each student with the full range of skills necessary to enable them to participate successfully, where literacy is a requirement for understanding, both within and out of school.
In Key Stage 2 students are taught through the statutory guidelines and programmes of study for English set out in the National Curriculum. They are supported in the development of their reading and spelling skills at a personal level using the phased phonics, letters and sounds program and the NC suggested spellings. They are given daily reading, spelling, phonics and grammar practice in small focused groups with work set dependent on their needs. The NC linked units of work are delivered in groups arranged with the students ability and needs taken into consideration.
In Key Stage 3 (years 7 and 8) students are taught through the statutory guidelines and programmes of study for English set out in the National Curriculum. From year 9, pupils are taught GCSE English Language following the OCR Guidelines and Assessment Objectives outlined in the specification. Pupils working below expectations and unlikely to achieve a GCSE grade are taught the Entry Level Certificate in English (AQA). All pupils complete differentiated Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation (S.P.a.G) tasks daily.
- To enable students to have key skills in reading and spelling to access the curriculum (through letters and sounds and the phased phonics programme)
- To deliver the National Curriculum for English through appropriate, challenging and meaningful lessons.
- To provide opportunities for learning experiences in all areas of English
- To encourage and develop key attitudes of co-operation, independent study and perseverance.
- To assess progress through the National Curriculum end of year expectations
- To widen students experience of English and to teach an appreciation of literature and language in their everyday lives.
- To enable students to gain enjoyment from reading and ability to access a range of information texts by regular use of the library and other mediums.
- To enable students to use ICT as appropriate for a range of tasks and to encourage creative use of the media available.
- To involve students in the exploration and enactment of human experience through the aesthetic, technical and historical aspects of drama and theatre.
- To enable students to achieve their individual potential at an appropriate level for their age, ability and emotional and behavioural difficulties. This goes up to (but not always including) external certification.
- To use differentiation to the extent that all pupils will make progress according to ability.
- To employ intervention strategies for those pupils in need of catch up.
Resources are available in each key stage to support the needs of the students in all areas of the English guidelines and programs of study set out by the National Curriculum. The school takes a cohesive approach to resources ensuring each student has access to the resources that meet their individual needs and can gain an understanding of these throughout the Key Stages.
Resource materials for English teaching and delivery of the courses are planned based on the individual requirements of each group and the equipment needed to deliver the course. Bids for capitation are prepared and submitted to the Head teacher and Governing body and budget allocation managed by the department. Full use of ICT is made available to the students as appropriate, similarly usage of other media. Regular educational visits are made to enhance learning of literature texts (all visits are risk assessed). Additionally, external speakers and guests are invited as a curriculum support.
KS2 and KS3 (years 7 & 8) students are assessed throughout the year against the national curriculum objectives, this is done through the assessment of independent work, teacher observations and written tasks in other areas of the curriculum. Assessment opportunities, for students to complete a piece of writing in assessment conditions, will be given throughout the year. Year 6 students, if working at a level that allows then to access the paper, will sit the end of Key Stage 2 SATs papers in SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) and the reading paper.
From year 9, students are entered for externally assessed awards as appropriate at the end of the course, namely OCR English Language, and Entry Level Certificate (AQA) for those working below GCSE level.
Staff regularly attend local network meetings and training courses and regularly meet to moderate assessed work.