By the time pupils leave at the end of Year 8, they will have encountered poets from John Agard to Dylan Thomas, playwrights from R.C. Sheriff to Shakespeare, and the history of English from the Old English of Beowulf to the present day.
The programme of study for English enables pupils to explore the many facets of English literature and language. We encourage children to read as much and as widely as possible. We all enjoy our weekly reading time, which provides a wonderful period of silence in which to lose ourselves in our imagination. Supported by Accelerated Reader, we are always able to recommend new and suitably challenging texts for pupils to read and enjoy.
We aim to develop each pupil’s ability to communicate on the written page by maintaining a rigorous approach to all types of formal writing. This remains the central focus of our work and assessment, although we challenge pupils to be creative with their approaches to presentation tasks and during extended group projects. Pupils gain confidence in written and oral presentations as they learn how to communicate effectively through a variety of media. ICT is used frequently in English lessons, but not at the expense of the development of pupils’ handwriting and ability to communicate on the written page.
It is of course essential to build children’s basic skills, so our spelling, punctuation and grammar teaching is all aimed to match and surpass the requirements of the revised 2014 state curriculum. We try to teach as much through creative writing as possible so children learn by doing. Through the detailed feedback we give children, and their responses to our feedback, each child makes progress in areas appropriate to them. Each year group is given weekly spellings to learn and there might even be the occasional surprise spelling test. Above all, pupils will be taught and encouraged to think independently throughout the programme of study for English, reflecting on their errors and finding ways to improve their work.