The aim of the English department is to enable all pupils to meet the highest level of language and literacy that they can achieve so that they can one day participate as a member of society. We aim to do this by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, to develop their love of literature, by promoting reading for enjoyment and by developing their functional literacy skills, which will prepare them to effectively use these skills in life, after school.
We also hope to help the pupils develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. These goals are pursued through the teaching of reading, writing, speaking and listening and a focus on vocabulary. These all combine to develop literacy.
Learning to read deepens knowledge and skills developed in pupils’ spoken language, such as vocabulary and the sounds of language and learning to write interacts with both reading and spoken language
(Leading and teaching literacy, Ambition Institute, 2022)
Through the teaching of reading, we aim to continually develop our pupils’ reading vocabulary, fluency and comprehension skills. We aim to develop their love of reading by promoting reading for pleasure and introducing them to our rich and varied literary heritage. Through reading, we aim to enable pupils to acquire new knowledge and build on what they already know. Reading, in particular the teaching of literature, is an effective way of helping our pupils to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
We aim to help our pupils to develop their writing skills so that they can write as clearly, accurately and coherently as they can. We aim to help them acquire a wide vocabulary to use in writing. We will give the pupils the guidance and opportunity to adapt their language and writing style in and for a wide range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
We aim to guide our pupils so that they can reach the highest level of spoken language that they can. This will enable them to communicate their ideas, feelings and emotions while understanding those of others too. We aim to use literature (listening to stories), discussions and presentations to help pupils develop their spoken language skills and to help the pupils develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually by getting them to consider and give their own thoughts and opinions while listening to those of others.
We aim to build and develop their vocabulary so they have a greater expression for reading, writing and spoken language. We aim to do this through all of our English lessons by preteaching, scaffolding, incorporating oracy tasks and reading texts that some students may not access independently. We aim to take the time to demonstrate the value of a rich vocabulary knowledge, make word exploration an integral part of classroom culture and to create a word-rich environment
Key Stage 3:
In this Key stage we aim to develop our pupils’ reading, writing and oracy skills. Our schemes of learning will also aim to develop pupils’ moral, social and cultural awareness and knowledge through reading a
range of texts and writing in different styles, forms and for different audiences.
We ensure that we are covering a wide range of skills and text types throughout each scheme of work.
Every scheme of learning will include example texts of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories and plays (unless the scheme of learning is focused on a particular text type where this might not be feasible). In schemes of learning where there is a set text, this should be used as a springboard to include a range of different text types; in schemes where there are extracts following a topic, there should be a range of extracts included (especially non-fiction and a short story).
Each scheme of learning will develop key vocabulary. We build in repetitive quizzing of key terms and knowledge to ensure that it is embedded in long-term memory (it can take students up to 7 times exposure to fully grasp a new word or concept).
An element of functional skills will be taught in each year group to ensure our students leave Bank View with the appropriate skills needed for independence.
There are four English lessons a week, three of which will follow the English curriculum with one lesson a week allocated to Reading Stars. Reading Stars lessons are used to help the pupils improve their overall reading skills. In these lessons, pupils read a range of texts on their own or in groups implementing guided reading strategies. Students are placed in ability groups to focus on reading. Teachers rotate each week with each group. In these lessons students read at their reading level, complete comprehension tasks and practice their spellings (spellings for entry level and high frequency words). They complete a range of tasks related to these texts. These tasks are set with the aim of helping the pupils to develop various reading skills and should also enable them to develop their writing, grammar, spelling and spoken language skills too. Pupils are awarded stars related to the effort they have put into the texts and tasks. These stars are collected by pupils until they have enough to receive a reading certificate. The texts and tasks are chosen so that they are related to the pupils’ individual ability.
Key Stage 4:
In Key Stage 4 students prepare to take examinations in English and Functional Skills English. Pupils continue to work on improving their overall literacy skills whilst also working towards achieving external qualifications. There is a greater focus on non-fiction formats such as reports, letters, persuasive texts, discursive texts and job applications. However, the pupils will continue to follow the National Curriculum and will therefore also study literature that is recommended on GCSE courses, including classic texts, such as, Of Mice and Men, Macbeth and Blood Brothers. Class readers are used as a springboard for writing, speaking and listening activities, to cover SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development) topics and to promote British values.
Students in Key Stage 4 follow an exam course according to their ability. We offer pupils the chance to sit Open Awards Entry Level 1 to Level 2 Functional Skills English Exams and the OCR Entry Level English course. These qualifications focus on communication skills that will be useful for life beyond the classroom. Students sit short exams/ tests at the correct level in reading, writing and speaking and listening. Grades range from Entry Level 1 to Level 2. An element of functional skills is taught to pupils in Key Stage 3.
GCSE English Language and Literature is also offered to students deemed capable of success at this level. There are four English lessons a week in Key Stage 4.
Key Stage 5:
Students will be working towards a functional skills qualification. If they have passed a level in Year 11, they will look to pass the advanced level in 6th form. In the instance that we have a pupil in 6th form that will repeat the GCSE language exam, they will join the English lessons with an English specialist. For those working at Entry Level 1 – Level 1 we teach reading, writing and oracy skills through literature.
Delivering a Broad and Balanced Curriculum as a Progression Model
Our curriculum is a cumulative one, that is, we do the same things year on year whilst increasing the maturity and challenge of texts. Learners will gain knowledge about places in the world, people, social issues and history. They will develop empathy and understanding for, and be inspired by, those whose stories they engage with and they will explore a wide array of authors. There are purposefully reoccurring themes and ideas in our curriculum planning, this means learner’s understanding is not superficial and is facilitated to become broad and deep as they have opportunities to make connections and comparisons across texts, places and time. Main texts are supplemented with wider reading to reinforce and deepen knowledge. Alongside technical accuracy input (spelling, punctuation and grammar), the expression of viewpoint (written and spoken) is developed as learners have well-reasoned opinions due to the breadth of deep knowledge they gather in textual study. As we draw learner attention to what writers purposefully do for effect and they revisit these choices in different contexts, their ability to write effectively about what they read and the creation of new works of their own is increased. Our learners are given opportunities to use what they know for we understand if they do not get chance to apply knowledge, they will lose it.
- A whole-school reading action plan has been put in place to ensure reading is taking place across the whole school in all subjects.
- Subjects have created a ‘big four’ document with an overview of how they embed literacy into their subject area.
- Staff have received CPD (continuing professional development) on embedding reading and vocabulary into their subject areas.
- Some subject areas have begun to embed reading domains into their subject area e.g. Compare, contrast, comment, retrieval, inference, summary and prediction.
- The RAG rating and reading scores have been shared with the whole school so all teachers know their pupils reading and comprehension age.
Building Pupils’ Self-Esteem, Self-Worth and Confidence:
- Developing a pupil’s ability in reading, writing and oracy skills will build their self-esteem and self-worth immeasurably.
- Pupils are rewarded and praised for working to the best of their ability and for achieving subject targets suited for their ability. Self-worth and confidence are built by pupils achieving these ambitious but manageable targets.
- All pupils in English will succeed academically by gaining external qualifications suited to their level and needs. This will build their self-worth and confidence.
- In Reading Stars, pupils are rewarded for their effort. The certificates they achieve and the letter sent home informing parents of their success, builds their self-worth and confidence.
- At the end of each term, students who have improved or excelled in the area of reading will be presented with a certificate.
Developing Pupils’ Employability:
- All pupils gain qualifications in both general English and Functional Skills English.
- Pupils in KS3, KS4 and 6th Form are taught Functional Skills English which prepares them for using English skills in the world of work.
- The spoken language element of English develops the pupils socially, which will help them when both working in a job and when applying for one.
Supporting Pupils’ Memory Retention:
- The curriculum is designed so that pupils cover a broad range of different skills and knowledge throughout the years. Such skills and knowledge are revisited and advance each year. This is achieved through the teaching of ambitious texts each year.
- Teachers across the curriculum embed the ‘big four’ into their subject areas. The big four being; reading, writing, oracy and vocabulary. These are developed further across the school so that children are constantly practising their literacy skills. Teachers have attended CPD to help them embed literacy into their subject area. We are confident at Bank View that literacy skills are taught across the school and to a high standard.
There are many English resources for all levels. A wide range of well-designed units of work that are adapted and suited to the various needs of our learners. They provide support and structure for any teacher of English in the school.
phonics set for our
|Full dandelion catchup phonic sets for red|
and amber readers at
|Full Project X set|
For reading ages 4 – 11
|Full class sets of main|
texts for English lessons
|Full class sets for|
our ‘Let’s Read’
|ICT resources including:|
Lexia, Spelling shed and
online books (Oxford
|A wide range of book to|
choose from for our
ICT Resources /Homework:
Pupils have the opportunity to use laptops and iPads in lessons. Laptops are booked for every Reading Stars lesson in the lower-school, so that students have the opportunity to access Lexia Core 5, Power up Literacy, Oxford Owl and Spelling Shed. Students will have the opportunity to practise their IT skills, using Word Document and PowerPoint throughout their English lessons. Each student in KS3 has a login sheet that looks like the following:
This is sent home at the beginning of each term to remind parents of the programmes their children have access to. This is also given out to parents during parent evenings.
- A wide range of well-designed units of work that are adapted and suited to the various needs of our learners. They provide support and structure for any teacher of English in the school. These change and can be adapted for different classes, for example, a base or nurture class.
- The Reading Stars lessons are aimed at pupils improving their reading, phonics and spelling at an individual level. Pupils work in ability groups/pairs and at times independently. The wide range of reading resources available means that pupils can continuously work at a suitable level for their
- Staff to support children in identifying books they may enjoy reading, thus promoting their specific interests.
- The Open Awards Qualifications pupils sit are suited to our learners, so that they can all achieve to their potential.
- The school offers GCSE English Language and Literature to our most able pupils.
- All English classrooms have an additional learning space which provides pupils/groups with a quieter learning space when needed.
- There are reading/study areas placed around the school with bookshelves for pupils to use when they need to work in a different environment from the classroom.
- Pupils are given feedback in lessons to work on as extension tasks e.g., highlighting their target, finding it in a text or other students’ work
Assessment and Feedback:
The English Department follows the whole-school marking policy.
Effective feedback through marking and reviewing work will result in improved learning outcomes and show students what they have done well and what they need to do to improve.
Feedback is verbal, written, or received through tests and can be
- student to teacher / learning support assistant
- teacher / learning support assistant to student
- peer assessment
Any written marking should be
- meaningful – appropriate to that student’s learning levels and needs
- motivating – motivate students to make progress
- manageable – consideration to frequency and complexity of written feedback
How does marking help our students?
- They recognise what they have achieved
- They know how to move forward
Year 7, 8 and 9 pupils’ reading skills will be assessed using the diagnostic reading assessment completed by our reading intervention staff. If they have a reading age below 7 years, they will complete a phonic assessment using our monster phonics scheme with our reading intervention staff. These are known as our red readers who will receive reading intervention in four 20-minute sessions a week. Our amber readers will receive extra support in lessons on decoding and comprehension. They will also complete the amber package delivered by form teachers in the spring term of the academic year. Green readers will take part in their regular English lessons with ambitious objectives. At the end of Year 9 students will complete an English assessment and another reading assessment to determine their predicted grades. If they are secure in the Entry Level 3 objectives for functional skills they will be given the opportunity to sit the GCSE Language and possibly the Literature exam, depending on the pupils’ needs.
Summative assessment in Key Stage 3:
Students will complete a knowledge-based assessment at the end of each topic.
- Teachers plan the assessment using the scheme of learning and key vocabulary.
- Students will not be tested on anything that they have not covered as this will widen the gap between students.
- Students should be given the same support as they usually would have in the classroom e.g., TA support (reading/scribe)/extra time etc.
- Assessments should be divided into the following: key subject terminology, what students should know, and what they should be able to do. At the end of each scheme of learning, students should be assessed under these three areas based on the topic they have completed.
- Three students’ assessments from each year group will be moderated within the English Department.
- All results will be reported on the English Department assessment records, which will track progress and for staff to monitor.
All parents will be phoned if their child is not making progress with support.
Anyone who needs intervention should be put on the intervention sheet
The Head of English will complete the curriculum progress report based on the above.
Parents will be given the following on reports:
Making progress independently
Making progress with support
Not making progress with support
End of Topic Pupil Voice
This is a short questionnaire for pupils to voice how they did on the topic. There is a range of ways this can presented to the children. Children can be asked what they feel they did well with, what they would like to improve and anything they would like to revise. This is an effective way to assess our curriculum from the pupils’ point of view.
Summative Assessment in Key Stage 4
Assessments should be based around the objectives from the qualification the students are due to sit. Pupils all have the opportunity to sit exams suited to their level in both Functional Skills English and general English.
- Knowledge checkers should be completed at the half way point of a topic whilst summative assessments should be completed at the end of a topic.
- Assessments for students working at entry level should be created by teachers, linked with the topic and should be marked against the English functional skills objectives on the level they are
- GCSE class assessments should be marked against the GCSE exam board assessment objectives.
Every term, English staff assess pupils’ learning and record their progress. Pupils who are behind or above this expected level are then placed on an intervention list. The intervention strategy is actioned and the staff responsible are made aware.
The pupils who are on the intervention list will be re-evaluated every half-term and adjustments are made accordingly.
The pupils requiring intervention in English are shared with all teaching staff to make them aware of the areas of literacy they may need support with.
The English Department take part in a lot of extracurricular activities. This includes and is not limited to: book store visits, author visits, events from Liverpool Learning Partnership, theatre trips, theatre shows in school, museum trips that link with literature, library visits, the yearly book fair and World Book Day activities.
Specific to Whole School:
The curriculum is successfully implemented so all pupils continually progress to achieve their targets in all areas of the curriculum.
The curriculum is successfully implemented so all pupils develop socially, morally, ethically and spiritually. So, they develop their personal discipline, thinking skills and employability skills ensuring that they are ready to become a good citizen and member of society when they leave Bank View.
Specific to English:
All pupils continually improve their literacy skills, enabling them to communicate effectively in spoken and written language, to better understand what others are saying and to read and comprehend what they are reading to a higher level. Furthermore, this improved literacy ability helps the pupils to achieve in other subjects in our school. All of our pupils achieve external qualifications in both general English and Functional Skills English. Finally, through the teaching of literature and a range of texts, pupils will develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and