Why choose this subject?
English and literacy skills underpin learning across the curriculum, and are vital for adult life. Well-developed skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing are necessary for everyone to: communicate, think, organise and succeed.
At Cloughwood English is an amazing journey which opens the world up to us and lets our imagination wander and soar. You could be a teenage secret agent one minute before entering the world of evil witches determined to wipe out all the children on the planet; you could be evacuated because the Germans are bombing your town and then end up helping a poor tormented horse trapped in barbed wire in the trenches during the war; a great footballer scoring the winner in the Champions League final; a young man witnessing a horrific murder; an innocent man on death row waiting to be executed. When you come to English you are entering a world of the unexpected and sampling the delights of great imagination and horrific reality. We all learn in different ways so there are opportunities to read, watch, hear, play – in fact absorb knowledge and develop understanding in the way that suits you.
English aims to:
· Support pupils’ learning by sharing and using practices which will help pupils improve their literacy and communication skills across the curriculum;
· Outline our high expectations of both ourselves, and of pupils, in order to improve standards of literacy;
· Increase our own knowledge and understanding of our pupils’ standards of achievement in literacy, and continue to identify and address those areas still in need of improvement;
· Recognise that language is central to our pupils’ growth as learners and as human beings, it is vital for self‐expression, self‐confidence and success.
What will your child learn?
In English you will develop the foundational skills of language by studying a wide range of topics. These skills are, broadly, split into three subject areas.
We want our pupils to develop increasing confidence and competence in writing, through:
1. Improving their ability to write in sentences. Pupils should be given the opportunity to write in sentences in all subject areas. They will then develop the skills needed to produce detailed and well‐structured writing. Pupils will be given a number of opportunities to produce a wide variety of different pieces of writing both formal and informal.
2. This skill will be taught across all Key Stages and through various topics, developing writing appropriate to the task and for different purposes. This will be used so that pupils can learn to write texts of an appropriate length, which stay ‘on‐purpose’, are well‐structured and develop ideas in detail. We will develop writing frames to help pupils develop the skills needed to plan and structure extended writing. These are needed for lower attaining pupils and pupils with specific learning difficulties. EAL pupils will be offered opportunities to write in detail in other languages, if appropriate, to develop their existing literacy skills.
3. Continuing to improve pupils’ use of connectives and subject specific vocabulary, using a variety of approaches, including display and interactive techniques. All classroom will contain an alphabet and days of week and months of the year.
4. All staff contribute to improving the use of accurate sentence grammar, spelling and punctuation. They will ensure that PowerPoints and other resources pupils read provide an accurate model of literacy, ensuring these are ‘proof read’. Selected pieces of writing will be marked for accuracy across each Key Stage, with some errors highlighted and targets set.
We want our pupils to experience rich and enjoyable reading experiences within the classroom and beyond, by:
5. We will ensure lessons regularly offer challenging and active reading tasks, which develop their skills and lead to the development of higher order thinking. We will provide opportunities for non‐fiction reading (providing vocabulary support, using summarising skills and giving pupils the opportunity to write).
Speaking and Listening
We want to develop pupils’ skills in this area so that they are able to explain their thinking, rehearse ideas for writing and listen with understanding, responding sensitively. This will be achieved through:
1. Using Standard English in talk and academic language in the classroom, so that pupils have a model of this to help them to express their ideas clearly in formal English (and writing). Develop confidence in speaking through the use of oracy.
2. Providing planned opportunities in lessons for pupils to listen actively and demonstrate understanding through an appropriate response. Teachers will take into account the demands on concentration and ensure pupils are not required to listen for unrealistic lengths of time.
3. Using a variety of teaching strategies so that pupils talk together, with a partner or group, to share and develop ideas, solve problems and arrive at an agreed viewpoint. In planning for talk we will consider pace and timing so that purposeful talk is maintained.
4. We will endeavour to ensure a wide range of activities take place, for example: we will link to emotional well-being by encouraging pupils to talk about thoughts and feelings in response to a visual stimulus: exploring and describing events, activities and problems; reporting back to an audience to consolidate ideas and understanding; generating questions as well as answering them; speculating, hypothesizing, imagining and generating creative solutions or ideas; evaluating experiences and reflecting on learning; talking at length and adopting the ‘expert’ role.
Medium Term Plans
Are you brave enough to enter a haunted house? Could you resist the power of the Woman in Black? Would you be able to face the horror of the Tooth Fairy when darkness falls?
Would you be able to fight alongside your friends and your brother in the trenches during World War I? Or cope with being evacuated away from your parents during World War II? What would you do if you were sent to a concentration camp?
Would you be willing to defend an innocent black man in a racist court in the southern states of America, or write letters to protest at the death row sentence of an innocent man found guilty of murdering his family? Could you sentence a serial killer to death when the evidence is overwhelming?
These are some of the challenges and dilemmas that face you when studying English at Cloughwood. You will respond to these in a variety of ways – writing summaries, accounts, letters. Producing newspapers, news broadcasts, writing poems, creating plays, acting in plays. These are some of the things you will be doing as you develop the skills that will stay with you for the rest of your life
Each half-term will focus on a text and we will look at of the areas above. The topics covered will then be assessed at the end of the half-term so that we can analyse strengths and weaknesses. Each pupil will receive a personalised sheet with their Cloughwood Academy grade for the work covered as well as identifying topics to focus on for improvement.
At KS4, all pupils will be entered for their GCSE in English. However, their lessons and Scheme of Work will follow a similar pattern to that at KS3 when we will be considering different language devices and different styles of writing.
LOTCS/Drop Down events
In the Scheme of Work for English at Cloughwood Academy, we have tried to incorporate as much Learning Outside the Classroom as we can whilst still fulfilling the requirements of the curriculum.
Some examples include: –
· Theatre visits to see relevant performances of text studied
· Visit to Liverpool Docks and Museums to develop the persuasive aspect of the course / cross-curricular links with history.
· Beach visit linking to descriptive writing / PHSE – Citizenship cross-curricular links
· Report writing through school football matches
· World Book Day – drop down day inviting published writers into the school to talk about their work
· Weekly reading for pleasure – hot chocolate and a good book / magazine
· Magazine and Film clubs.
· Queen Elizabeth II Law Courts visit
English is one of, if not THE most important subject that you will study in school. It is the first qualification that any future employer will look out for as it is the subject that will demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively; firstly, during the application process and also during the interview stage. It is also a measure of your perseverance and dedication. Therefore, the better the grade that you achieve, the better your chances are of gaining the career that will fulfil you and your interests.
To help you to achieve your full potential in English, we will promise to deliver lessons in a caring, supportive environment where everyone is on board striving to do their best – no exceptions.
Furthermore, if you pass your GCSE with at least a Grade 4, you will not have to see another English lesson unless you choose to study further.
What your child will gain from this subject
Through English we are able to better understand the world around us and our place within it. We aim to develop fully rounded individuals who are aware of the cultural changes which have help mould us into 21st Century citizens. We help to develop an appreciation of the written word by looking at novels, poems and plays from the UK and around the world – both modern and pre twenty-first century. We consider other cultures views on a variety of topics. We look at moral and ethical dilemmas through a variety of controversial subjects such as the death penalty as well as other aspects of crime and punishments.
Our source material looks at diversity and helps pupils challenge their preconceptions by looking at topics such as stereotyping; race; religion; sexuality and disability amongst other things.
You are on a journey that may take you anywhere in the world. A journey with endless possibilities. Wherever you may go, the skills you acquire when studying English will help you on this journey. If you are looking for a job, a holiday, a new car – then studying English helps you read, search, analyse question and understand. Your writing will help you apply for the correct job, keep in touch with people and give you the skills to confidently contact anyone at any time – just look at the letters we have written to famous people and countries getting information from them. Your speaking and listening skills help you communicate confidently with different people from different backgrounds and give you the skills to go and get the jobs and experiences you really want.
The essential skills required when reading, writing and speaking and listening are a part of the requirements for Entry Level Functional Skills. We will be working with the pupils who find this a challenge and will help them to achieve certification to prove that they have reached these standards.
We will also be practicing telling the time on both analogue and digital clocks and using this to read and interpret a bus or train timetable to plan a journey through the ABAS curriculum.
Throughout KS3 and KS4, you will undertake a series of Functional Skills examinations to add to your portfolio, starting from Entry Level 1 through to Entry Level 3 and then finally a full Level 1 which is equivalent to a Grade 3 at GCSE.
In the Summer of Year 10, each pupil will be entered for their GCSE. Prior to this they will complete three pieces of coursework where pupils will demonstrate their ability to create pieces of persuasive, descriptive and narrative writing.
ALL papers MUST be undertaken to achieve the best grade possible.
How this subject contributes to the whole child.
English will help you understand the world around you and hopefully make you realise that your experiences are similar to young people the world over. It will give you the self-belief so that you can explore the world with confidence.
It will also improve and widen your employment prospects while giving you the chance to access a world class education and attend top rated colleges and universities if you want to. Studying English improves your communication skills and develops your confidence. It also gives you access to a wide world of entertainment, popular culture and classic books, plays and poems.
English is important to access further and higher education as it demonstrates your ability to argue, persuade, describe and narrate. It also shows your critical analysis which is vital when making and proving an argument to be true in a logical, concise manner.
We have pupils in Year 8 who have passed their Functional Skills Level 1 and a student in year 9 who had passed their Functional Skills Level 1 and 2. Well done – we build on these skills to produce positive GCSE results in later years.