Curriculum Lead for English: Mr N Cooke
English Teacher: Mr J Quirke
English Teacher: Miss S Bayliss
English Teacher: Miss P Watson
Associate English Teacher: Mrs H Bowring
English is a unique subject within the school curriculum. It empowers students; it enables students to communicate more effectively with their peers and a wider audience; it develops the skills students require to participate in a modern multi-cultural society and it enables pupils to access the whole school curriculum. English has so much to offer. It is important that pupils develop the skills which are vital to their success beyond school life, such as literacy and communication. However, it is also important that pupils develop a love of literature that will enrich their lives, and that they develop the skills and confidence to express themselves creatively. Pupils of all year groups receive4 hours of teaching each week.
KEY STAGE 3
Speaking and Listening
We aim to enable pupils to become increasingly confident speakers by helping them to choose a vocabulary and style of speaking appropriate to the situation, and also to become discriminating listeners. We often choose tasks that reflect situations that are likely to come up in the work place, in order to best prepare pupils for the future.
We aim to develop pupils’ ability to read; to extend the range of their private reading, both of fiction and non-fiction, literary and non-literary texts; to encourage private reading for enjoyment and to become increasingly sophisticated readers able to extract information from what they read and use it, whether in speaking or in writing. We also aim to help pupils develop reading skills such as inference, deduction; and empathy.
We aim to extend the range and style of pupils’ writing; to increase the fluency and technical accuracy of written work and to enable pupils to select a style, vocabulary and tone suitable to the task given.
In years 7 and 8, pupils will have a dedicated literacy lesson that is aimed at developing specific grammar, spelling and reading skills.
Students are assessed on a half-termly basis using the National Curriculum Assessment Focuses to grade them for reading, writing and speaking & listening. Results are monitored and intervention strategies are put in to place where required.
KEY STAGE 4
English skills as detailed above are continued and extended. All pupils will be entered for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature which will result in two separate GCSEs. Due to a national overhaul in the structure, assessment will involve 4 separate examinations. Pupils will access and interrogate a wide variety of texts spanning three centuries of non-fiction and fiction, including works from Literary Canon. Alongside the reading requirements, pupils will be exploring and applying a wide variety of writing purposes demonstrating a keen awareness of accuracy and flair to their own work. Currently, we use the AQA examination board and up to date information about the GCSE course(s) we offer can be found by visiting www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english
Marking and Feedback
In Key Stage 3 and 4, all pupils’ books are marked on a three weekly basis. Marking is formative and clarifies what the pupils have done well and which specific areas need development to ensure continual progress. In addition, students at key stage 3are given half-termly assessments which are marked in line with National Curriculum assessment focuses. The results of these assessments are tracked and enable the department to place students in the appropriate set. These results also inform teachers’ short and mid-term planning.
Learning Resource Centre
The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) occupies a central position within the school, not only geographically but also in the pivotal way it serves all departments, staff and students alike. It is managed by the LRC Manager - Mrs J Hands, and there are student librarians who assist at breaks and lunchtime.
It is the policy of the school to have open access to the LRC during school hours and also before and after school. Pupils enjoy this privilege and the room is in constant use. As far as possible, the room is not timetabled but staff are allowed to book it for specified periods. We deliver a Home Learning programme to Year 7 and research skills are reinforced in subsequent years through the LRC Manager identifying and becoming involved with appropriate research-based lessons.
The extensive fiction and non-fiction book stock in the LRC is supplemented by newspapers, journals, DVDs, subscribed websites and subject information packs. The school subscribes to WCC’s Schools Library Service from which stock is borrowed and advice obtained.
Students have access to 21 networked computers, 10 networked laptops, 2 iPads and a photocopier/printer/scanner is available for pupil use. A plasma screen informs students of developments within the LRC and throughout the school as a whole. Students are encouraged to explore the attributes of Internet technology to reinforce the fundamentals of information retrieval. The need to select the most suitable research path, whether electronic or hard copy is emphasised.
We are an Accelerated Reader School and actively encourage students in years 7, 8 and 9 to read books within their range and take quizzes. Students are also encouraged to read for pleasure through various shadowing schemes, both regional and national. Author visits and literacy workshops are organised. World Book Day and other days celebrating literacy are highlighted. Students take part in the Warwickshire Secondary Book Award and the Alcester Schools’ Book Award. The LRC has been awarded a Warwickshire County Council Gold Certificate for its resources, implementation of programmes and facilities.