The overarching aim for our English curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. Our curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
• read fluently and with good understanding
• develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
• acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
• appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
• write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
• use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
• are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Our curriculum follows the guidelines of the National Curriculum at its core and covers the key areas of Spoken English; Reading; Writing; Vocabulary development; Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. It also considers the often difficult journey our students have been on, prior to joining us, and aims to build up powerful knowledge gradually over time. By visiting and re-visiting particular types of texts / genres / styles, students can build and reflect on their progress, by practising their new knowledge and applying the skills they’ve acquired as they study incrementally harder, more challenging texts.
Underpinning the whole ethos of the department, is our desire to instil an appreciation of reading. Special care is taken to ensure that there is a focus on exploring new vocabulary, until students can embed the new phrases in their own work. By focusing specifically on vocabulary, we are helping to take away the biggest barrier to reading: the frustration felt by the uncertain reader when encountering a new word.