Individual and unique:
Our curriculum is ever-changing and we are increasingly using research to improve our practice. The English curriculum is carefully devised so that students revisit key ideas and make links within and across the subject area. Every learning journey includes the questions and resources needed for students to build on previous experience. Learning is planned as a sequence of steps, which might include reading, speaking or writing. Every teacher and every student brings to the class a unique set of life experiences, skills, knowledge and understanding. We see the teacher as the artisan: adapting each stage to ensure that all students receive appropriate support and challenge. We continually assess and adapt our teaching to fill gaps and create the opportunity to think deeply and share ideas. We encourage exploration and discovery by using open-ended questioning. We use progress data to identify any cause for specific additional teaching; further support might then come from the class teacher or learning support assistant, within a lesson, or occasionally a group of students are offered a series of booster lessons. In this way we plan to meet the needs of all students.
The literary works we study are at the very heart of our curriculum. They lead us to places we have not seen and experiences we may never have. Students learn that words carry power; they can make us angry, laugh and cry. We see. We think. We wonder. We feel. Like detectives solving a mystery, we learn the skills to visualise, summarise, predict, link, question, clarify, evaluate and explore the effect of a text on the reader. We find regular opportunities to enrich students' vocabulary by exploring language in context. Students learn to create and communicate effectively and, in doing so, put a little of themselves into the mix: by finding a voice.
We provide differentiated resources to support and extend students' learning, both at home and in other subjects; for example the Linking Literacy Passport and Vocabulary Booklet. We provide students with the tools to support independent learning at all stages of their learning journey.
Our curriculum includes many opportunities for personal development and independent learning. For example, challenge home learning gives students choice, and the time to purposefully practise something they have found difficult or need to commit to memory. Preparing students for the Year 6 SATs gives us the opportunity to endure. Students are taught how to revise and to work towards the tests. All students are encouraged to do their very best and take pride in their personal achievements - no matter what level of challenge they are facing.
We are not afraid to explore challenging texts and challenging issues. We study a wide range of modern and classical texts, which engage and inspire. Students are given suggestions to guide them when reading a challenging text. Students are given a safe environment to feel 'stuck' and experience the deep learning associated with becoming 'unstuck'. Students are encouraged to find their own paths and to read for pure enjoyment; we know this can mean different things to different people at different times. We recognise that academically successful students read for many hours each week. We continue to develop and improve our school library to support this.