Miss H Bowers – Head of English
Miss L Bishoprick – Second in Department
Miss K Evans – Vice Principal
Miss O Wyss
Miss C Coldwell
Miss B Glover
Mrs N Randall
Miss H Paton
Miss H KIlligrew
Miss M James
Mrs J Lewis
Mrs L Handley
Mrs S Percival – HLTA
Mrs F Dawson – Librarian
The English dept offers a ‘broad and balanced curriculum and is clear on the big ideas [we] want our [students] to understand’ (Ofsted blog June 2016) which includes Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing skills. The following descriptors are adapted from the WJEC English Language Specifications:
It is important that we recognise that students are able to develop their ability to use English as active and informed citizens and be able to speak, listen, read and write fluently, appropriately, effectively and critically – for a wide range of personal, functional and social purposes.
Every teacher focuses on the same scheme of work (differentiated) which allows for sharing of ideas and collaboration between staff as well as students. We also attempt to match as many elements as we can to National days such as Poetry Month, World Book Day and Shakespeare’s birthday. This allows for special enriching events to take place.
By the end of year 6, pupils’ reading and writing should be sufficiently fluent and effortless for them to manage the general demands of the curriculum in year 7, across all subjects and not just in English, but there will continue to be a need for pupils to learn subject-specific vocabulary. They should be able to reflect their understanding of the audience for and purpose of their writing by selecting appropriate vocabulary and grammar. Teachers should prepare pupils for secondary education by ensuring that they can consciously control sentence structure in their writing and understand why sentences are constructed as they are. Pupils should understand nuances in vocabulary choice and age-appropriate, academic vocabulary. This involves consolidation, practice and discussion of language.
Subject-specific vocabulary and spelling at KS2 (Appendix 4) is consolidated in Year 7 in lesson starters, Literacy Boost lessons. Also, a greater emphasis on grammar at KS2, with students being able to use the terminology should be applied to KS3. Students should come to secondary school equipped with the knowledge of grammar which can be transferred into different genres of writing. A hard copy of the English curriculum can be found within our English dept for teachers to refer to.
At KS2, Schemes of Work are thematic, which allows teachers and students to experiment with different genres of writing. At KS3, we have adopted this approach, particularly in Autumn 1.
Specific requirements for pupils to discuss what they are learning and to develop their wider skills in spoken language form part of this programme of study. In years 5 and 6, pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language should be extended through public speaking, performance and debate.
This is extended further at KS3 with opportunities for class debates, public speaking competitions and performance, for instance, using Shakespeare as a stimulus.
At KS2, schools have now moved away from levels and all students are assessed differently:
In terms of Assessment on entry into KS3, the English dept sets KS3 tests for all learners in order to establish Reading and Writing ability. This informs setting from September. Throughout KS3, students complete assessments after completion of units of work. The results of these assessments inform data collection in line with OCA policy; progress is then analysed and interventions, where necessary, are put in place.
To support this, the dept uses Accelerated Reader and Reading Age tests to track the development of these specific skills throughout Years 7 and 8. The AR scheme is also used in most primary schools, and in particular, is used effectively in our link school (All Saints). This ensures that students are able to develop and consolidate these skills further at KS3.
Our KS3 curriculum is differentiated and success criteria is based around ‘Working towards’ to ‘Greater Depth’. Students at ‘Pre- key stage’ would normally enter into a Nurture group and follow a simplified version of the SOW. The class teacher may even follow the KS2 curriculum depending on the students’ needs.
It is clear from discussion with KS2 teachers that students working at ‘Greater depth’ need stretch and challenge particularly when it comes to reading. Quite often, texts at KS3 have been read by these students. Therefore, we have acquired a list of age appropriate yet challenging texts that will stretch this group of students. We are also purchasing 19th/20th century texts which will also prepare students for GCSE.
Within our KS3 Curriculum, each year consolidates and enriches prior learning. Each term we focus on the same AOs across the year groups which also have links to the English Language and Literature Components in the GCSE specification (Appendix 5). For details of the GCSE components, see Appendix 6.
Prior learning allows us as a dept to lead into the GCSE specification which builds on and progress from the levels of literacy expected at the end of Key Stage 3. As stated in the WJEC specification document ‘subjects such as English language, where topics are taught in progressively greater depth over the course of Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, GCSE outcomes may reflect or build upon subject content which is typically taught at Key Stage 3. There is no expectation that teaching of such content should be repeated during the GCSE course where it has already been covered at an earlier stage’. However, we firmly believe that, with the introduction of the AOs, and if we are to show this progression along the learning journey, this is common sense and can only enhance the education of our students.
Marking and Feedback – The department aims to provide all students with timely, high quality feedback on the work they produce both in lesson time and at home. Marking should provide feedback with regards to how well a student has performed during a particular piece of work and include their progress to date. All students are expected to respond to their teacher’s feedback to enable them to make improvements to their work and ensure further progress. This process ensures that any misconceptions are addressed in students’ learning.
KS3 – At KS3 in English, Schemes of Work generally last for half a term. During this time, teachers will deep mark students’ work once every two weeks and award a grade. Students will then improve their work using green pen. This will then be remarked and regraded if further progress has been made. All work must be read and acknowledged with staff initials to ensure that any misconceptions have been identified.
KS4 – At KS4, Schemes of Work can vary in length. Deep marking will also take place once two weeks and a grade will be awarded. Students will then be expected to respond to targets set to improve their work using green pen. The teacher will then check these improvements and where appropriate, re grade their work. All work must be read and acknowledged with staff initials to ensure that any misconceptions have been identified.
When deep marking, teachers should comment on:
• Strengths and Targets or;
• +, Challenge, Exam Tip, Think.
When giving feedback, teachers should remember the following:
• Feedback should make the students think about and reflect on their work
• Feedback should allow students to make further progress
When deep marking students’ work, teachers should check for spelling, punctuation and grammar. When marking work, teachers can apply the following codes:
|//||New paragraph needed|
|^||Something missing such as a word or a letter|
|?||Does not make sense|
Each half term, a book trawl will take place. The Head of Department will collect at random a selection of books from each teacher. These books will then be scrutinised using the whole school policy. Photographic evidence will be collected during the review. Each member of the team will then receive personalised feedback detailing the quality observed in students’ books. A judgement will be made on the quality of marking and feedback along with targets and areas for improvement. If a judgement identifies marking and feedback to require improvement or less, a further book trawl will be repeated within 3 weeks to ensure improvements are made and support is provided. An overall judgement will then be reached about the quality of marking and feedback across the faculty and reported in the DSEF. The Head of Faculty will delegate, on occasion, book trawls to other members of the faculty as and when appropriate.
Homework should be set using the following guidance:
|Periods (hour/s)||Total Set||Day Set – Year 7c||Day Set – Year 7o|
|4||1 hour 30mins||7c1 – Friday||7o1 – Tuesday|
|4||1 hour 30mins||7c2 – Friday||7o2 -Tuesday|
|4||1 hour 30mins||7c3 – Friday||7o3 – Monday|
|4||1 hour 30mins||7c4 – Friday||7o4 – Monday|
|4||1 hour 30mins||8c1 – Tuesday||8o1 – Wednesday|
|4||1 hour 30mins||8c2 – Tuesday||8o2 -Wednesday|
|4||1 hour 30mins||8c3 – Tuesday||8o3 – Wednesday|
|4||1 hour 30mins||8c4 – Tuesday|
|Periods||Total Set||Day Set – Year 9|
|5||2 hours||9pr/En1 – Wednesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||9pr/En2 – Wednesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||9pr/En3 – Tuesday & Thursday|
|5||2 hours||9pr/En4 – Wednesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||9pr/En5 – Wednesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||9pr/En6 – Wednesday & Friday|
|5||2hours||9pr/En7 -Wednesday & Friday|
|Periods||Total Set||Day Set – Year 10|
|5||2 hours||10pg/En1 – Tuesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||10pg/En2 – Tuesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||10pg/En3 – Tuesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||10pg/En4 – Tuesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||10pg/En5 Tuesday & Friday|
|5||2 hours||10R/En1 – Monday & Thursday|
|Periods||Total Set||Day Set – Year 11|
|5||2 hours||11pg/En1 – Monday & Wednesday|
|5||2 hours||11pg/En2 – Monday & Wednesday|
|5||2 hours||11pg/En3 – Monday & Wednesday|
|5||2 hours||11pg/En4 – Monday & Wednesday|
|5||2 hours||11pg/En5 – Monday & Wednesday|
|5||2 hours||11R/En1 – Monday & Wednesday|