English holds a significant place within the heart of the school and in the progress and development of each student. The Department aims to provide Quality First teaching which is tailored to the needs of individuals, enabling them to leave the school as confident communicators, writers and motivated readers.
The content of our English curriculum is broad, relevant and engaging to meet the needs of a diverse range of students. We recognise that success in literacy is central to success in all other aspects of learning.
The new National Curriculum clearly recognises the importance of English which underpins what we wish to achieve at The Rose School:
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. It is a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding language provides access to the whole curriculum. Through being taught to write and speak fluently, pupils learn to communicate their ideas and emotions to others; through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, spiritually and socially. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to read and write fluently and confidently, are, in every sense, disenfranchised.
To encourage a school-wide interest in reading, we have invested in a highly successful programme known as Accelerated Reader. This scheme is proven to boost reading levels and engage students. After reading a book, a short quiz is completed online. Students collect points for each book read which will eventually result in a range of rewards. We have invested in an extensive range of new books to appeal to all ages, interests and abilities. Students are also encouraged to use ibooks which are easily accessed from individual student iPads.
Wherever possible, written tasks delivered in school are of a practical and functional nature to ensure that students understand the importance of the written word. Students have been encouraged, for example, to write formal letters to the Head Teacher to express their views, or to local businesses to raise money for charity.
IPads are playing an increasing role in supporting students’ writing, particularly those who need more support.
When students arrive in Year 7, we carry out extensive assessments to ascertain any areas of need in the area of literacy. In addition to CAT testing, we use WRAT 4 reading and spelling assessments and Star Reader to assess comprehension skills.
Any students needing extra support in Literacy will receive appropriate provision such as handwriting sessions, 1:1 SpLD input or extra reading support.
Individuals with significant needs will be provided with an individualised literacy programme to target specific needs. Where necessary, students will be given extra learning activities to complete at home.
Key Stage 3
Within Key Stage 3 it is our aim and duty to provide a broad and balanced English curriculum that gives all students the opportunities needed to develop current skills and acquire new skills both independently and within small groups.
We use film, current affairs, historical texts, fairytales, music and personal interests to capture the imagination of each student to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.
We encourage all students to develop an appreciation and love of reading and to read increasingly challenging material independently through reading a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts.
Through effective teaching and learning, our students work towards writing for a wide range of purposes and audiences, including: stories, scripts, poetry and other imaginative writing as well as writing balanced arguments, instructional texts and personal and formal letters. We also encourage our students to apply their growing knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and text structure to their writing and to their selecting of the appropriate layout and organisation.
Our provision extends outside the classroom with cinema trips, theatre trips and through our ongoing collaboration with the Burnley Youth Theatre who provide drama and media opportunities with all of our Key Stage 3 students.
Within English lessons our students access Accelerated Reader. This is a computer based software that uses the books within our school library to generate spelling and comprehension based questions to test the knowledge and understanding our students have of the wide range of reading texts they have access to. Alongside these questions, the software provides assessment tools that can be used throughout the year to measure progress.
AR gives teachers the information they need to monitor students’ reading practice and make informed decisions to guide their future learning. A comprehensive set of reports reveals how much a student has been reading, at what level of complexity, and how well they have understood what they have read. Vocabulary growth and literacy skills are also measured, giving teachers insight into how well students have responded to reading schemes and class instruction.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
The primary aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils should be taught to:
Increase the breadth of their reading through:
Studying high-quality, challenging, whole texts in detail including:
Two plays by Shakespeare
Representative romantic poetry
A nineteenth-century novel
Representative poetry of the First World War
British fiction, poetry or drama since the First World War
Seminal world literature, written in English
Read for understanding
Write accurately, fluently, effectively and at length
Plan, draft, edit, and proof-read confidently and effectively
Consolidate and build on their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary
Speak confidently and effectively
Whilst the main form of assessment in KS4 is GCSE, we recognise that there are students for whom a GCSE qualification is too challenging.
Linking the Entry Level Certificate with the GCSE course ensures that all students follow the GCSE content and therefore have every opportunity to be entered for GCSE if they reach the required standard. Most pupils take the Entry Level Certificate in case they do not meet the grade in GCSE No pupil will leave The Rose School without an appropriate qualification in English.
Our GCSE students have the option of taking two GCSE subjects: English Language and English Literature. In addition to these qualifications the opportunity for pupils to take Functional Skills Level 1 and 2 is also provided.
A number of our Key Stage 4 students will be given the opportunity to complete the Functional Skills qualification. This qualification is designed to ensure students have good communication skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. It assesses whether students can use these skills in everyday situations.
Entry Level Certificate
A number of our Key Stage 4 students will be given the opportunity to complete the Entry Level Certificate. This qualification is designed to build skills, increase student’s knowledge and develop confidence for students to fulfil their potential. The Entry Level Certificate in English offers a skills-based approach to learning, encouraging students to take small steps to achievement using a unit-based approach. This approach allows students to develop basic literacy skills and progress towards GCSE English. The specification allows teachers to select materials most appropriate to the needs and interests of their students, so they can progress incrementally and methodically.