English Faculty Policy
Curriculum Statement & Aims
English Faculty Curriculum Statement & Aims
The English Faculty delivers the National Curriculum programme of study for English with a few adaptations to meet the needs of our pupils. Our aim is to provide a broad and balanced programme of study that engages and encourages development of core skills including social communication skills. In line with the main objective of the English Language curriculum, we seek to enable students to formulate and develop their communicative competences through practicing listening, speaking, reading, writing and developing linguistic knowledge (pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar).
The programme is designed to provide a flexible learning framework for teachers to be able to respond to individual learning needs, using themes in texts to their fullest to support pupils to develop understanding of themselves and others. We aim to ensure that students are able to communicate their needs, ideas and emotions as fluently as possible: cross-curricular learning opportunities, including those linked to the World of Work, are made to build understanding of life beyond school including how skills gained will benefit pupil’s future plans.
Across the key stages, pupils engage with a wide range of texts designed to enable them to acquire knowledge and build on what they know. Spiral learning opportunities support pupils to gain skills and understanding; important themes are revisited to provide opportunity for greater reflection. The English Subject Framework provides a clear scaffold to support pupils to gain core skills culminating in examination accreditation when the necessary level of independence and ability to generalise learning has been achieved.
Language skills are essential to participating fully as a member of society and therefore these skills are prioritised. Pupils are taught with an understanding of the need to reinforce all written texts, incorporating individual learning styles and communication methods.
The attainment targets cover the principal areas of our work in developing pupils’ skills and understanding; gaining confident functional skills is a core focus for all pupils:
The National Curriculum reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum. Spoken language underpins the development of pupils’ reading and writing and therefore we work to ensure that pupils’ confidence and competence in this area is developed. We encourage pupils to develop these skills in a variety of contexts from one to one communication with an adult/peer, paired and small group discussions, to the use of role-play involving familiar and unfamiliar audiences. As pupils develop skills they will be encouraged to make presentations with an increasing focus on the use of language in different contexts and also engage in debates. Particular emphases is given to the use of drama as an effective means of building language and understanding as well as reinforce core communication skills. Use of signing and other augmentative and alternative communication devices are taught, as appropriate, to allow all students to communicate and express their opinion and choice.
Reading at all key stages aims to ensure that pupils have the opportunity to engage with a wide, varied and challenging range of texts. Pupils will read whole books, to read in depth and to read for pleasure and for information. Pupils move from gaining confidence in reading aloud to being able to decode text to a level where they can respond to implied and latent meanings beyond the literal. Pupils are encouraged to use their reading skills to review both their own work and the work of others. The wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including adapted versions of major works, used within the English Programme of Study are designed to meet the needs of the range of pupils and increase their awareness of language, comprehension and confidence as readers. This work will also support pupils to enhance their vocabulary and understanding of grammar and punctuation, which will benefit development of their writing skills. [See Reading Intervention below.]
Pupils are taught, in the first instance, to write communicating a basic idea as independently as possible and then build to using correct punctuation, interesting vocabulary and in a legible hand. Pupils are taught to control their speaking and writing consciously, understand why sentences are constructed as they are and to use Standard English. Decisions about progression are based on the security of pupils’ linguistic knowledge, skills and understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils whose linguistic development is more advanced are challenged through being given opportunities for increased breadth and depth in reading and writing. Those who are less fluent will consolidate their knowledge, understanding and skills, including through additional practice with a focus on developing confident functional skills. It is our intention that over KS3, KS4 and KS5 pupils become confident in writing for a wider range of purposes and audiences, in a variety of forms. Throughout the Faculty Programme of Study, extended writing opportunities are identified and planned for to further develop pupils’ ability to express and compose at their level. I.T. is used by all pupils as appropriate, particularly with helping overcome difficulties arising from specific learning difficulties, but also for the purposes of review, development and final presentation of work as well as supporting embed key functional I.T. skills.
In addition to the work completed in the English Faculty, the Reading Intervention programme reinforces core literacy skills and encourages our pupils to use these skills in all lessons. Reading Intervention lessons are delivered daily by Form Tutors. They are designed to build confidence applying skills at the start of the school day as well as provide opportunities to work on specific Personal Learning Intention Map (PLIM) targets. Reading Intervention provision includes a wide range of appropriate fiction and non-fiction texts designed to build skills as well as encourage discussion of relevant topics and build links to the world beyond school.
(see Reading Intervention Statement)
Aims and Objectives:
Through a wide, varied and challenging programme of study and a positive ethos focused on encouraging pupils to reflect on their learning, identifying achievements and next steps, we aim to support all pupils to achieve their potential in all attainment target areas.
1. How Language Works
It is our intention to teach pupils how to use language in order to communicate their ideas, needs and choices as fluently as possible in verbal* and written form and to benefit from studying and understanding the writings of others. Pupils will be given the opportunity to reinforce and build on knowledge gained in Key Stage 2 and then Key Stage 3 & 4. Decisions about progression will be based on the security of pupils’ linguistic knowledge, skills, understanding and independence.
(*to include signing and other augmented communication methods as appropriate to the individual)
Pupils will be taught to speak confidently and effectively, including through:
- using Standard English confidently in a range of formal and informal contexts, including classroom discussion.
- giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point.
- participating in formal debates and structured discussions, summarising and/or building on what has been said (higher level challenge).
- taking part in drama activities, initially with support, then through building skills improvising, rehearsing and performing play scripts and poetry in order to generate language and discuss language use and meaning, using role, intonation, tone, volume, mood, silence, stillness and action to add impact.
- additional focus will be given to supporting students to develop social communication skills to build skills for life and future learning/employment.
Pupils will be taught to
- develop an appreciation and love of reading, and read increasingly challenging material with increasing independence (wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts)
- understand increasingly challenging texts through learning new vocabulary, knowing the purpose, audience and context, making inferences and referring to evidence and checking to make sure that what they have read makes sense
- read critically through knowing how language presents meaning; recognising poetic conventions; studying setting, plot and characterisation, studying a range of authors; Higher Study: how dramatists communicate effectively through performance; making critical comparisons across texts.
Pupils will be taught to write as accurately, fluently, effectively and at length for pleasure and information as possible through
- writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences
- summarising and organising material, supporting ideas and arguments with necessary factual detail
- applying their growing knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and text structure to their writing and selecting the appropriate form
- drawing on knowledge or literary and rhetorical devices from their reading and listening to enhance the impact of their writing (Higher study)
In addition, they will be taught to plan, draft, edit and proof-read through
- considering how their writing reflects the audiences and purposes for which it was intended
- amending the vocabulary, grammar and structure of their writing to improve its coherence and overall effectiveness
- paying attention to accurate grammar, punctuation and spelling [English Faculty Subject Framework to be used to guide pupil progress gaining core skills.]
- IT will be used to support pupils to gain these skills including the use of assistive technology where needed.
Grammar and Vocabulary
Pupils will be taught to consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary through
- extending and applying the grammatical knowledge to analyse more challenging texts
- studying the effectiveness and impact of the grammatical features of the text they read
- drawing on new vocabulary and grammatical constructions from their reading and listening, and using these consciously in their writing and speech to achieve particular effects (Higher study)
- knowing and understanding the differences between spoken and written language, including differences associated with formal and informal registers, and between Standard English and other varieties of English.
- using Standard English confidently in their own writing and speech
- discussing reading, writing and spoken language with precise and confidence use of linguistic and literary terminology (Higher study).
2. Personal Growth
We aim to provide opportunities for discussion during which students are able to develop an understanding of themselves and others within society. These discussions arise by offering the students a wide range of texts both literary and non-literary. Developing students’ language and
communication skills is seen as being key importance in English as it supports pupils’ to fully participation as a member of society. Links will consistently be made to the World of Work and life beyond school.
3. The Social Dimension
Preparing for Citizenship is part of the responsibility of a school. Through reading, writing and discussion we endeavour to stimulate pupils to make stronger links with the world around them and consider the issues of relationships and issues from the family perspective through to the wider community and world vision.
4. Providing Appropriate + Stimulating Schemes of Work
The faculty programme of study is reviewed annually to ensure it continues to meet the needs of our pupils. Schemes of work are available at Pathway 2, 2+ and 3 to provide the appropriate level of challenge. The teacher will use the sequence of task as a guideline, adapting the line of learning where needed. Particular emphasis is placed on the need for accommodating a wide range of learning styles to ensure good progress for all students. Resources and texts are adapted and new resources identified and purchased to ensure that pupils encounter engaging and challenging texts. Pathway 1 groups work with a cross-curricular themed approach to their learning, incorporating stimulating texts that fit with the themes and build greater understanding of themselves and the world around them. Their work builds on skills developed through the Early Years Foundation Stage.
5. Student Involvement in Formative Profiling
In line with the school ethos and Marking Policy, the faculty works with the understanding that for maximum progress, pupil involvement is a vital ingredient. Pupils are therefore fully involved in the following areas as part of an on-going dialogue with staff about their progress:
- reviewing their work against the learning objective/assessment focuses
- teacher feedback on learning
- end of module review (including reference to exam assessment criteria in KS4 + 5)
- progress linked to PLIM targets
6. Examinations and Accreditation
The faculty aims to ensure that all students leave school with evidence of the skills that they have gained, through external qualifications/accreditation where appropriate. The key focus is to ensure pupils develop functional skills at their level to equip them for life and future learning. Pupil progress is monitored and exam readiness assessed using the English Faculty Subject Framework.
Whilst working toward accreditation, pupils continue to engage with modules of work that provide opportunity for pupils to study whole texts and study in greater depth. Themes are selected and differentiated units written by the faculty to reinforce knowledge gained and continue to provide cross-curricular learning opportunities, engagement with important PSHE issues and links to the World of Work and life beyond school.
[For further details on examination courses please see this section of the policy.]
Key Reference documents:
DfE Secondary National Curriculum English
DfE National Literacy Strategy The Reading Framework Teaching the Foundation of Literacy
MHS Curriculum Statement
MHS Language and Literacy Across the Curriculum Policy
MHS EAL Policy
Recovery Curriculum: Staff will continue to work with an awareness of the on-going need to address issues related to the recovery curriculum as well as the need for a broad and balanced curriculum to help pupils fill gaps in learning.
Awards & Qualifications
Through the study of a broad and balanced programme of study, the faculty enters students for the following qualifications:
|Exam Board||Qualification||Key Stage|
|AQA||Entry Level Certificate - English||KS4 & 5|
|Silver Step (ELC1 & 2)|
|Gold Step (ELC 3)|
|Exam Baord||Qualification||Key Stage|
|AQA||Unit Award Scheme||KS4 & 5|
|Exam Board||Qualification||Key Stage|
|AQA||English Functional Skills Level 1||KS5|
|AQA||English Functional Skills Level 2||KS5|
|Exam Board||Qualification||Key Stage|
In Key Stage 4 students begin working towards a variety of qualifications. Students will complete a range of units in Year 10 to build skills and understanding with working towards higher/more formal tasks. These tasks will be identified as either Spoken Language, Reading or Writing and have appropriate assessment focuses. Students will be encouraged to engage with these as independently as possible in preparation for Year 11 where they will take the appropriate AQA Step Up To English Non-Exam Assessments (NEA). Assessments are taken at appropriate times throughout the year; NEA’s are intended to create an engaging and supportive learning assessment experience for Entry Level students. Step Up To English is designed to support students to build skills and progress through the different steps and then on to higher level qualifications if they are able.
In Key Stage 5 students will work to extend their skills through the next step qualification for them. Individual planning for each student will support this process. To reinforce core skills as well as build a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them, students will complete longer AQA Unit Award Scheme units. These are designed to have strong cross-curricular links and support preparation for the world beyond school, core communication skills will be developed for this purpose. Step Up To English and the AQA English Functional Skills qualifications are designed to develop practical skills for the modern world and help them get the most from life, learning and work. These specifications aim to ensure students have good communication skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening. The exams assess whether students can use these skills in everyday situations. This work allows development of key skills towards G.C.S.E. English.
Presentation of Work
Student workbooks form a key link for students with their line of learning and it is therefore important that work is clearly identified. It is also important that students are taught to plan, draft, edit and proof-read their work to reinforce learning and support their participation in next step planning. Therefore it is important that
- each piece of work should be dated and should be given a title which is underlined.
- main tasks should be identified in schemes of work and clear preparation made for those tasks. Pupils should be encouraged to…
- re-draft this work until they and the member of staff are satisfied that the work produced is their best version. All students should be given the opportunity to develop their work through the use of I.T.
- students should be supported to review their work at the end of each module, identifying work they feel is particularly successful and select a piece that they wish to transfer to the Class Tracking Folder (see Assessment, Recording + Reporting). In KS3 students should transfer their ‘best work’ to a ‘best work folder’ which will build throughout the year and at the end of the year shared with their parents/carers.
- in Key Stage 4 & 5 student work needs to be produced in line with exam board requirements.
- student work should regularly be put on display either in a class book or on the wall. The Faculty runs a programme of displays in the English corridor which is designed to support the programmes of study being run. These displays also offer an opportunity for students to review their work and learn from the work of others.
All key pieces of work should be marked. Feedback should relate to the assessment focuses (AFs) set for the task and individual pupil targets. In KS3 these are linked to focused identified in the schemes of work; in KS4 & KS5 this work should be continued however the AFs should be linked to relevant Entry Level Certificate criteria or English Functional Skills exam. Students are encouraged to review their work to build independence making improvements to their work and support a more student-led discussion with the teacher/TA about next steps.
Most students should be working in pen, reviewing their work in blue. Teacher comments should be in green. [See Whole School Marking Policy for further details.]
For students who would benefit from this process, in KS4 & KS5 reference can be made to ELC or English Functional Skills mark scheme. Marking is most effective when completed with the student. There should be an opportunity for pupils to discuss comments made with the teacher when work is returned to gain the maximum benefit from the process and ensure that it is a positive process.
Content: Where this needs clarification staff should make comments at the end of the piece.
Punctuation: All errors in punctuation should be corrected. Where a pupil has extensive problems in this area the teacher must decide which rule should be focused on in the piece. This decision should make reference to student individual targets.
Spelling: Mis-spelt words should be underlined and the correct spelling written in the margin or if more appropriate above the word. Where the pupil has extensive problems in this area, the teacher must decide which rule and/or group of words will be corrected in the piece. It is de-motivating for pupils when their work is over-marked.
Feedback to students must be presented in a consistent way. Positive comments with one pieced of constructive criticism should follow each main piece of written work.
In line with school policy, using ‘WWW (What Went Well) and EBI and NS (Next Steps). Positive progress is recognised using the school's Behaviour Policy and subject certificates to mark positive achievements given out in assemblies and at the end of term.
Review by A. Sugden
Use of Display and Visual Imagery
Recognising the needs of our students, the faculty has a strong commitment to the use of good quality visual imagery to reinforce understanding. The Faculty creates displays to support the work being completed within the English Programme of Study. English teachers also have the responsibility of creating interesting and stimulating displays within the classroom to encourage engagement, reinforce key information and support students to review and value their achievements.
Creating visual cues for our students is an integral part of planning for all lessons within the faculty.
Reviewed A. Sugden
It is important that the positive comment is as specific as possible so that the student is aware of in what way they have achieved well. In line with school policy there are a number of ways that students’ achievement can be positively reinforced:
- Verbal praise - teacher / peers / Form Tutor / Head of Faculty/ Deputy Head / Head Teacher
- Positive Notes to parents
- Certificate of Achievement in weekly Celebration of Achievement assembly
- Nomination for termly subject award.
- Special certificates awarded eg Reading Challenge (termly), World Book Day (class and individual awards).
Certificates of Achievement are designed to reference the Scheme of Work being studied with an individual comment for the student on their achievement.
Reviewed A. Sugden
Assessment, Recording & Reporting
It is the intention of the English Faculty to work consistently with students to make good progress. Assessment for Learning principles are followed; pupil input in their learning, reviewing and discussing next steps is a whole school strategy.
Monitoring of Pupil Progress:
Progress should be monitored through teacher observations of student work, Evidence for Learning and moderation meetings.
Use of Data for Planning:
Entry point assessment are completed for all Year 7 pupils and new pupils starting at Meadow High School. Annual reading assessments are completed to support monitoring or progress, identification of gaps and next step planning.
Information gathered will be used to inform planning for pupils. In Key Stage 3 students are taught in their tutor group where possible as they are generally matched appropriately and this reduces the amount of ‘change’ experienced by our students in the school day. There is also an enormous amount of valuable PSHE work that can be carried out through the English Programme of Study as well as trips and shared experiences which are very valuable to group cohesion and stability.
Moderation is completed at the end of Key Stage 3 to ensure the appropriate level of challenge and pace of learning in Key Stage 4. Progress is monitored through on-going discussion between the Faculty Leader and English teachers throughout the year; a formal moderation is completed at the end of Year 10 and to review groupings and identify appropriate requirements for formal exams ensuring support is embedded as normal way of working.
Year 11 results are used to support individual planning for pupils in Key Stage 5, next step exams goals are identified and schemes of work planned to support the building of these skills as well as develop independence in using functional skills and greater understanding of themselves and others in preparation for the future.
AQA Step Up To English Entry Level Examination
Completed and graded Component 1 and Component 2 Non-Examination Assessments with assessment marks clearly recorded in line with examination procedure should be handed to the Faculty Leader for safe storage. Grades will be recorded on the Faculty Tracking document.
AQA Unit Award Scheme
AQA Unit Award Scheme units should be handed to the Faculty Leader. This should contain the Teacher Outcome Checklist, Student Checklist, copy of the AQA Unit Award unit and required student completed work only. No additional work is needed.
AQA Functional Skills Qualifications
(Level 1 and Level 2)
These Functional Skills qualifications are designed to allow candidates to demonstrate the fundamental applied skills in English that help people to gain the most from life, learning and work. Candidates should be entered for either Level 1 or Level 2 when they can demonstrate all the skills standards outlined at that level. This qualification has a clear component structure with reading, writing and speaking, listening and communication being assessed in separate tests or tasks. The examination should be dealt with in line with examination board instructions. Speaking, Listening & Communication component is over-seen by the Faculty Leader in line with exam board specification requirements.
AQA G.C.S.E. Examination
Work for this qualification will be dealt with in line with examination board instructions.
Rewards & Reporting
Reporting to parents should take place in line with school policy. Positive achievement is communicated to parents through Merits, comments in link books, subject certificates and Parents' Evenings.
The English Faculty welcomes the opportunity to talk to parents about the work we are doing with their child. English teachers and the Faculty Leader are always happy to discuss any concerns or answer any questions that parents might have as part of an on-going dialogue as well as through more formal means of communication.
Homework / Extended Learning
Homework and Extended Learning: are key components to progress for all students, especially students with special educational needs. It is therefore the faculty’s policy to use these opportunities and include them as part of planning for individual groups/students where possible. It is important that, in line with school policy, if homework is set support is available for students to allow them to complete it. It must be born in mind that not all students have this support at home therefore it is good practice to offer a particular ‘study period’ during one break/lunchtime in the week that the homework is set. By giving up their own time students are achieving the goal of beginning to take responsibility for their education. In addition, careful thought needs to be given to all homework tasks to ensure that all students will be able to gain from the experience.
Our aim is that homework should be set with the Every Child Matters philosophy in mind; students should enjoy and achieve through homework tasks.
Trips & Visits: The department is fully committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to reinforce/prepare for learning in the classroom through visits and trips. These learning opportunities should be part of the scheme of work planning for individual groups/students. The faculty recognises the important Life Skills opportunities presented within these trips and therefore encourage the use of public transport where appropriate, particularly for students in Key Stage 4 & 5. It is important that all students have the opportunity to experience a wide variety of different environments and have the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in how to manage them/rules and expectations. This is particular important for our A.S.D. students who find learning and transferring skills in this area more difficult. Appropriate preparation for trips should be made through use of photographs taken on previous trips and social stories.
Health & Safety - must be an important part of the planning for any trip, please refer to school policy regarding trips and ensure that all paperwork required is completed thoroughly and in the correct time-scale state.
Student experience on the trip must be recorded to support student learning in the classroom. Copy of a selection of photographs/videos taken must be forwarded to the faculty leader for faculty/school records. An on-going record of these experiences will be made available to students/parents through display and also through the new school website.
Funding - Whilst the department are very keen to support the important Learning achieved through trips and visits we have a limited budget that we have to use for a variety of purposes throughout the year, therefore, in line with school policy, letters to parents should be phrased in terms of a ‘voluntary contribution’. If a particular trip is going to be require too large a percentage of our budget the faculty reserves the right to ask that alternate funding be sought e.g. through Friends of Meadow etc.
English Faculty staff have generously given up additional time to plan and run the following trips/visits/activities:-
- Beksonscot Model Village (KS4 ‘Jack & the Beanstalk’)
- Black Park (KS3, 4 + 5 various activities related to several schemes of work)
- Chiltern Open-Air Museum (KS4 ‘Robin Hood’ –
- Thematic Study Myths & Legends)
- Cinema visits – including ‘Skyfall’ (KS3 ‘Spy File’);
- 'Jungle Book’ (KS4 Thematic Study Myths & Legends)
- Dogs Trust (KS3 ‘Call of the Wild’)
- Hellfire Caves (KS4 ‘Ghosts Research’ – Thematic Study Myths & Legends)
- Natural History Museum (KS4 ‘Mythical Creatures’ –
- Thematic Study Myths & Legends)
- Murrage Meadow (KS4 ‘Fairytales Reloaded’ – Carriage Ride)
- Odds Farm (KS3 + 4 various activities related to several schemes of work)
- Theatre visits to see - ‘Cinderella’ (KS5 Fairytales Reloaded),
- ‘The Gruffalo’ (CLDD PoS)
- Warner Brothers ‘Harry Potter World’ (KS3 Harry Potter)
- World’s End Garden Centre (KS4 ‘The Night Before Christmas’)
- Drama Project at the Compass Theatre (KS5 Fairytales Reloaded)
- HOAC – Archery Lessons (KS4 ‘Robin Hood’ – Thematic Study Myths & Legends)
- World Book Day (Whole School event to promote reading and enjoyment of ).
Please see the Trips and Visits page for photos.