Miss Leah Day - Subject Lead
Mr Neale Pledger - Deputy Headmaster
Miss Chloe Broxup - Trainee Teacher
|Interleaving skills||Writing ladders||Reading ladders|
In English, we focus on expecting the absolute best from our students and we encourage this by setting challenging and differentiated tasks in every lesson and scheme of learning. Whilst as a Free school we are not obliged to follow the national curriculum, we are committed to giving our students a breadth of experience in English and as a result, we do address those skills dictated by the national curriculum levels – as well as currently assessing our students using those level criteria.
Students have English every single day, so we are taking full advantage of the time and have allocated Mondays as pure grammar lessons, Wednesdays as Drama lessons and one lesson every fortnight as a library lesson, forging links with the existing library at the Winslow centre. We also have structured reading through intervention sessions as well as through two dedicated registration sessions per week, where tutors and students are enjoying reading a range of texts for pleasure. We believe strongly in the importance of reading for pleasure and, let’s face it, this can’t be denied when studies have proven that this will even improve students’ attainment in Maths! With this in mind, one of our tutor sessions is actually dedicated to individual reading with a reading record book and folder that go home to parents as well – to continue the good practice that students have been used to in primary schools.
All of our schemes of learning focus around a base text, which we use as a springboard to explore all English skills in an ‘interleaved’ way. This results in us revisiting and compounding key skills on a regular basis, rather than having an entire scheme dedicated to - for example - non-fiction, and only looking at this once or twice in an academic year. As a result, our students rapidly develop confidence in the English curriculum and higher-level tasks are becoming everyday expectations of what our students should achieve: we have developed a curriculum that genuinely challenges, stretches and differentiates for every student.
In terms of text choices, we feel passionately about diversity and encouragement. We currently begin years 7 and 8 with Roald Dahl, which gives the students a light-hearted, familiar and yet unexpected spring-board for their transition into the skills demanded by Secondary School. On the other side of this, we have set challenging and popular texts for our students (such as ‘Wonder’ by R.J.Palacio, ‘Thief’ by Malorie Blackman and ‘Stone Cold’ by Robert Swindells). We do acknowledge that we are a completely inclusive school and have catered for the enthusiasms and genre preferences of a range of children, also having class sets of some of the classic school novels such as ‘Skellig’, ‘Holes’, ‘The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas’ and other texts.