The English Department at Patcham High School promotes personalised learning through creative and innovative practice. We pride ourselves on making English relevant and exciting for our students and on extending learning beyond the curriculum. We use Assessment for Learning strategies to ensure that students understand what they do well and what they need to do to progress towards personalised goals. We individually tailor our lessons to ensure that all students are motivated and engaged towards achieving to the best of their abilities.
WHAT IS ENGLISH?
English allows students to communicate in all aspects of their lives and is the gateway to learning in all curriculum subjects. In English, students develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will need to participate in society and employment. Pupils learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and clearly.
English also includes the study of English Literature, reflecting the experiences of people from many countries and times, contributing to our understanding of cultural identity. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts, gaining access to the pleasure and world of knowledge that reading offers. Looking at the patterns, structures, origins and conventions of English helps pupils understand how language works. Using this understanding, pupils can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers.
All English classrooms have access to Smartboard technology to enable interactive multimedia teaching. The department also has a dedicated computer suite and access to laptop computers to ensure that students use ICT to develop their reading and writing skills. Portico allows students access to school resources at home.
At Patcham High School, we want all of our students to achieve their targets in English. We set classes from Year 7, based on teacher assessment of pupil progress. Setting allows us to personalise our curriculum to enable all our students to make excellent progress. Students who make excellent progress are likely to move up into higher sets, whilst students who make inadequate progress are targeted for individual support through smaller groups.
Homework tasks are designed to support and extend learning in class. Teachers will provide regular homework, which may be shorter tasks or longer project-based tasks. It is important that homework is taken seriously and completed on time, as the ability to work independently will become increasingly important as students move into KS4.
We know that all students are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses. We work hard to get to know students and tailor our teaching to enable all students to achieve to the best of their abilities.
We appreciate that students have different learning styles and we aim to incorporate a wide range of teaching and learning strategies into our schemes of work to ensure full access to the curriculum and to make lessons engaging for our students.
Gifted and Talented
Students who are gifted and talented in English are identified by their teachers. We aim to offer opportunities to extend learning in school and through access to extra-curricular experiences, such as visits, competitions and mentoring opportunities. We are proud of our gifted and talented students and do everything possible to ensure that their potential is recognised and shared.
Special Needs (SEN)
Students who have special needs in English may be identified by their teachers or may already appear on the SEN register. We aim to offer opportunities to personalise learning for these students to enable them to access the English curriculum successfully. We work closely with the SEN Department and teaching assistants to provide tailored learning for these students.
We understand that teaching and learning in English does not just happen in the classroom. Every year, we aim to provide opportunities for our students to experience English in the real world.
Visiting speakers – Rachel Wright, Emmanuel Jal
Trips – Theatre, Poetry Live, Rottingdean Coastal Walk
Competitions – Spelling Bee, Poetry, Writing
The KS3 curriculum aims to support student progress in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students will read poetry, prose and non-fiction writing. We aim to give our students an appreciation of literary heritage and contemporary writing, including writers from other cultures. Students will learn to improve their written work in a variety of forms, adapting their style to suit different purposes and audiences. Students will also improve their speaking and listening skills through drama, discussion and individual speeches.
Assessment – APP
Assessing Pupil Progress (APP) is designed to improve the progress made by students in English. APP is a structured approach to pupil assessment in English. It allows teachers to track pupils’ progress in reading, writing and speaking and listening through Key Stage 3 and to use diagnostic information about pupils’ strengths and weaknesses. It is based on the assessment focuses (AFs) that underpin National Curriculum assessment and this approach has been proved to improve the quality and reliability of teachers’ assessment.
The KS4 curriculum builds on the skills developed in KS3. It continues to support student progress in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students will read poetry, prose and non-fiction writing. A more in-depth appreciation of literary heritage and contemporary writing, including writers from other cultures is developed. Students will continue to improve their written work in a variety of forms, adapting their style to suit different purposes and audiences. Students will also improve their speaking and listening skills through drama, discussion and individual speeches.
Most students study English Language and English Literature, gaining two separate GCSE grades. Generally, students complete English Language in Year 10 and study English Literature in Year 11.
Students study for their GCSE exams through the AQA Exam Board. For more information, go to: http://www.aqa.org.uk/resource-zone/english/overview.php
Students are assessed on their reading, writing and speaking and listening skills through controlled assessments and exams. Controlled assessment makes up 60% of English Language, 20% of which is for speaking and listening tasks. For more information, go to: http://store.aqa.org.uk/resourceZone/pdf/english/AQA-ENGLANGA-W-TRB-SPG.PDF
Students are assessed on their analytical reading skills through controlled assessment and exams. Controlled assessment makes up 25% of English Literature. 75% of marks are awarded for two final exams. For more information, go to: http://store.aqa.org.uk/resourceZone/pdf/english/AQA-ENGLIT-W-TRB-SPG.PDF
We want all of our students to achieve or exceed their targets. In order to ensure that all students achieve their potential, we offer catch-up sessions. In the run-up to exams, we also run booster classes, holiday classes, residential courses and breakfast and after-school revision.
English Across the Curriculum
The skills developed in English are vital for learning in all subjects. We work closely with other subject areas to ensure that students are able to apply these skills in other areas. We also work to ensure continuity between our schemes of work and those of other subject areas to support students in making connections between subjects and to promote joined-up thinking.
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL ASPECTS OF LEARNING (SEAL)
SEAL is a comprehensive approach to promoting the social and emotional skills that underpin effective learning, positive behaviour, regular attendance, staff effectiveness and the emotional health and well-being of all who learn and work in schools. SEAL objectives are incorporated into our schemes of work. For more information about SEAL, go to:http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/inclusion/behaviourattendanceandseal
Functional Skills are embedded in our schemes of work. For further information about Functional Skills, go to:http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/16039
PERSONAL LEARNING AND THINKING SKILLS (PLTS)
The personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) provide a framework for describing the qualities and skills needed for success in learning and life. The PLTS framework has been developed and refined over a number of years in consultation with employers, parents, schools, students and the wider public. PLTS competencies are incorporated into our schemes of work. For more information about PLTS, go to:http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/key-stages-3-and-4/skills/plts/index.aspx
You should use this code whenever you do a piece of writing, whether that’s in English, Science, History, Food Technology, etc. It will help you to improve your work in every subject.
Write down the code before you start writing and then tick it off as you go.
1 2 3 P . , ! ? “ “ – … : ; ( ) PW
1 = short or simple sentences
2 = medium or compound sentences
3 = long or complex sentences
P = paragraphs
Then try to use every punctuation mark you know how to use
PW = posh or powerful words
The thing to remember is that you’ve got to do all these things on
You have to make sure that you’ve used all different types of sentences in every paragraph that you write and that you always use the most powerful words that you know.
Even at Level 2 in English you have to be able to use an exclamation mark, a question mark and speech marks, so you can see that for higher levels you need to try to use them all!