“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” Albert Einstein
What takes place before implementation in the classroom?
The intention of the English team is to engage, inspire and enable pupils to develop knowledge and skills that will help them achieve in school and the wider world. We are committed to supporting our pupils through a holistic approach that we feel enables them to grow as people as well as learners.
Our broad curriculum is organised in such a way that there is a thread connecting the themes across the school year. This thread incorporates the fundamental skills of speaking and listening skills, reading and writing. These are not taught or perceived in isolation but approached holistically to ensure skills are fully embedded and connections are made which we feel further enhances the learning. Within each topic pupils are given the opportunity to explore and learn to utilise each of the skills.
Across the broad secondary curriculum there is scope for exploring topics such as Shakespeare, Fiction, Non Fiction, World News and Persuasive Writing. Each topic allows for a variety of creative experiences which help to nurture pupil’s creativity as well as the core English skills.
We promote an atmosphere of inclusivity and through our topics we allow all pupils access with a range of differentiation provided.
A well as school based projects we are passionate about giving pupils opportunities to link with the wider community and experience English outside their classrooms. Pupils get to experience visits to the local library, Shakespeare workshops delivered by a local theatre company and Multi-sensory workshops promoting English skills. Our intention is to enhance their learning and help establish a lifelong love of English.
The Senior Leadership Team will:
- Lead the school staff to develop a clear overarching curriculum intent which drives the ongoing development and improvement of all curriculum subjects
- Ensure that the curriculum leaders have appropriate time to develop their specific curriculum intent through careful research and professional development.
- Provide sufficient funding to ensure that implementation is high quality.
The Languages Curriculum Leader will work closely with the subject teachers to:
- Understand and articulate the expectations of the languages Department to the Head teacher and Governing Body.
- Support teaching and support staff.
- Ensure an appropriate progression of knowledge is in place which supports pupils in knowing more and remembering more.
- Ensure an appropriate progression of English skills and knowledge is in place over time so that pupils are supported to be the best students they can be, and challenge teachers to support struggling pupils and extend more competent ones.
- Ensure an appropriate progression for vocabulary is in place for each phase of learning, which builds on prior learning.
What does this look like in the classroom?
Teaching and Learning
Secondary English provision is overseen by qualified English Teachers and Associate Teachers/SSA’s who specialise within the subject.
Key Stage 3 English
Pupils experience a range of co-ordinated, progressive activities based on the National Curriculum in KS3. They have four lessons of English per week where they experience a mixture of topic based sessions and reading focused sessions. Reading sessions aim to equip pupils with reading skills that will help them achieve as they progress to the KS4 curriculum. ‘First News’ newspapers are used to structure these sessions and aim to enhance their reading comprehension skills and increase their understanding of world affairs through the weekly news items explored.
The English Department has detailed planning which links with our curriculum progression document and assessment opportunities. The St Anthony’s steps clearly outline progression from pre step level through key stage 3 where they transition to key stage 4 assessment focusses set out by the relevant qualification.
Key Stage 4 English
The Key Stage 4 curriculum has been developed to support St Anthony’s pupils with their individual development, learning and appropriate level of accreditation. As pupils progress into KS4 they will access either the OCR Entry Level Curriculum in KS4 or the ASDAN curriculum, depending on the level and needs of each individual learner. In addition to these there is also the option for some pupils to access the Functional Skills English accreditation in Year 11.
The English Department has detailed planning which links with our curriculum skills progression document and assessment opportunities. In its implementation we:
- Outline specific key vocabulary to be used through each topic studied. Key vocabulary cards are available to support pupils with this as well as visual symbols used in PowerPoints and Makaton.
- Promote reading in school and at home.
- Plan learning that allows pupils to build and develop on the core English skills.
- Provide varied experiences for pupils to engage creativity and critically in the subject
- Ensure pupils experience a wide range of texts and learning themes
- Promote values of inclusivity, tolerance and wellbeing.
- Detail how each topic will be personalised/adapted to meet the needs of all pupils.
- Ensure links are made to other subjects to enhance pupils learning beyond their English skills.
- Highlight opportunities for pupils to experience trips and enrichment experiences.
- Provide details on assessment opportunities.
- Evaluate their learning and consider how they have achieved through individual tasks and units of work.
Lessons are engaging and pupils are challenged by the curriculum they are provided with. Pupils have the opportunity to respond in a variety of ways. These may include, written work, Speaking and listening tasks Art, Drama and Makaton
- Pupils work in a whole class, small groups or individually to support pupils in their development of their skills.
- Music is used in many lessons to promote an atmosphere of calm and focus.
- Activities that promote mindfulness are used in some lessons to help pupils to self-regulate and prepare themselves for learning.
- Differentiation and personalisation are planned for within activities and allowance is made for ability and experience.
- Engaging displays and keywords are evident.
- Support staff are deployed effectively to enhance learning.
- Reading corners are deployed for pupils to engage with books and calm activities that help promote well-being and the experience of being around books.
- Each term we run a Rising Stars enrichment programme for pupils who have shown an interest in English. Activities have included a group collaboration working on creating sensory stories and sharing these with younger learners from Jessie Young Husband School.
- Year 9 pupils experience a Shakespeare workshop which allows them to see the texts they have studied performed by a local theatre company.
- Chris North a local poet visits us to provide pupils with a multi-sensory experience of English. Projects he has managed to evolve from pupil’s own interests and most recently involved a focus on wellbeing and celebration of diversity. ‘This is Me’ used music and poetry to allow pupils to express themselves and create a performance they were proud of.
- Pupils in Key Stage 4 meet and collaborate with the local team behind ‘The Final Straw’ initiative aimed at tackling the effects of plastic on our oceans.
- We have visits from the local library to promote the services they provide particularly in the Summer term when they host the Summer Reading challenge. Rising star pupils are given the opportunity to visit the library, become members and meet the team there.
- World Book Day is celebrated in a number of ways in school. Staff and pupils are invited to dress as their favourite characters and a whole school book swap is organised to allow pupils to take home a new book.
How is success is English Measured?
English contributes to broader curriculum aims by educating the emotional, intellectual and physical development of children. The teaching of English develops pupil’s literacy skills which they will use in every other subject in school and more widely in the outside world. We promote the values of self awareness, reflective learning, critical thinking skills and acceptance and celebration of others.
Our pupils are:
- Engaged because they are challenged by the curriculum which they are provided with.
- Encouraged to ask questions and show interest in the world around them.
- Developing English skills that are appropriate to their own needs and levels.
- Resilient learners who are learning to overcome barriers and understand their own strengths and areas for development.
- Safe and happy to be active participants in English lessons (having been given opportunities to explore their own creative development in a supportive and nurturing environment).
- Showing progression of knowledge and understanding, with appropriate vocabulary and technical skills which support and extend learning.
- Becoming confident in discussing English, their own work and identifying their own strengths and areas for development.
- Pupils are provided with personalised progress trackers showing their subject targets. These are linked to St. Anthony’s Assessment Steps and allow pupils to discover areas of strength, as well as areas they might like to improve upon.
- Our Progress Trackers for Steps and Pre-Steps are in place in pupil’s subject folders.
- Data is recorded termly onto Classroom Monitor (our online recording system used for data collection). This enables staff to identify pupils who need additional support and develop those meeting or exceeding expectations.
- Pupils are encouraged and nurtured to overcome any barriers to their learning or self-confidence because feedback is positive and focuses on literacy skills and knowledge.
- Assessment shows that pupils develop literacy skills and confidence over time because of careful planning, focused delivery and time to practice and hone skills.
- Observation, listening, questioning, discussing, digital recordings and involvement in the activities are used to make assessments.
- We monitor the impact of our English provision through termly assessments, lesson observations, learning walks, performances and work scrutiny.
- In addition to academic achievement, social emotional progress including self-confidence, interaction with and awareness of others and self-reflection may be discussed during Annual Reviews, in EOY reports, parent consultation evenings, open evenings and in postcards home to parents.
For more curriculum information about what pupils study in this subject please visit our curriculum and exams provision page .