Head of Department: Mrs S Morter
The English Department’s aims are based closely on the central elements of the National Curriculum and also link to the National Literacy Strategy:
- Reading – encouraging a love of books, reading a wide range of texts independently, becoming discriminating and responsive readers
- Writing – developing confidence in writing for a range of purposes, developing a distinctive style, learning to write correctly using different formats, layouts and ways of presenting work
- Speaking and Listening – developing fluency and sensitivity in oral work, learning to speak and listen in a wide variety of contexts
- Word Level activities – focusing on spelling strategies, use of vocabulary, word patterns and classes, use of a dictionary and thesaurus
- Sentence Level activities – focusing on sentence construction, punctuation, paragraphing, use of Standard English
Building Blocks: the Key Stage 3 course is designed to allow pupils to progress effectively within an exciting but logical teaching and learning framework. Throughout the Key Stage, pupils will cover a full range of learning experiences that become progressively more challenging and ambitious.
In Year 7, pupils are taught in form groups. Seven fifty minute lessons per fortnight are allocated to English studies.
Programme of study
This is designed to build on the experience and attainment of all pupils up to the end of Key Stage 2 and to lay the foundations for Key Stages 4 by ensuring the establishment of essential knowledge and skills.
Speaking & Listening
- oral skills are developed through a wide range of activities, including: individual presentations, whole class debating, performance of poetry, paired interviews, listening comprehensions, improvisation and role play activities.
- pupils are encouraged to make use of the Internet and specified websites for individual talks and debates.
- The course ensures that a basic core of reading is covered by all forms. This includes an autobiographical unit, ‘All About Me!’, a pre 1900’s text, the language of persuasion, a prose text, a play script and examining multi-cultural representations in a range of media forms.
- A reading scheme must be maintained called ‘Quest Seekers’ which encourages all pupils to read regularly across a range of genres and record their reading experiences.
- A range of tasks are set; these include personal/autobiographical writing, narrative and descriptive writing, writing and analysis of poetry, discursive writing for different audiences and purposes, reviews of books read, responses to literature, writing in different formats and genres (e.g. informal letters, diaries, character studies, script, dialogue, instructions).
- There is a concentration on the drafting process, focusing on effective planning and note-taking, as well as basic annotation.
SPAG! (spelling, punctuation and grammar)
- The course is designed to ensure that all pupils understand basic grammatical elements, structure of whole texts and paragraphs, sentence construction, the management of tenses, the principles of correct punctuation, the use of direct speech and Standard English and various spelling rules and strategies.
- Activities focusing on vocabulary and word groups, encourage the use of the dictionary and thesaurus as an ongoing feature of the course.
- All pupils will have a SPaG booklet that they will work on both at home and in school.
Homework and Assessment
- Homework is set each week with regular written assignments. Other options may include reading, preparation for oral assignments, research or grammatical exercises. The written homework may be part of a longer unit, taking more than one homework.
- There is continuous assessment throughout the year and indeed Key Stage. All girls complete standardised reading, spelling and sentence completion tests at the start of the year, all of which assist in the identification of possible dyslexia or other language disorders. Pupils will complete one piece of assessment at the end of each half term and will receive an attainment grade. In addition, work will be marked with specific targets throughout each half term which pupils will record on target sheets. An assessment folder is provided for pupils to store all formal assessment pieces.