Learning Zone » Literacy
English has a very special place in the curriculum. As a subject in its own right, it is vital to the social, cultural and intellectual development of the individual but it is also crucial to success in all subjects. It is through English that students gain key skills to equip them for our increasingly complex world.
The aim of the English learning area is to provide the highest quality teaching to enable our students to:
- Communicate fluently, effectively and confidently in speech,
- Become attentive, discriminating and responsive listeners,
- Write with confidence, flair and precision,
- Foster a love of language as a creative end in itself,
- Develop as discriminating, appreciative, lifelong readers,
- Experience a wide range of learning experiences,
- Develop the critical thinking skills of information-processing, reasoning, enquiry, evaluation and creativity,
- Use ICT effectively to enhance presentation, develop research skills and improve literacy skills.
Much of our work is founded on the enjoyment and appreciation of reading and to this end, students encounter a wide range of stimulating material: fiction and non fiction, novels, media texts, short stories, poetry, plays and writing from other cultures. Independent reading is an important focus and students are encouraged to read widely and with discrimination.
We are fortunate to have interactive whiteboards as a teaching and learning resource and students also have access to the excellent ICT facilities in the Learning Resource Centre. Although the new technologies are an important part of our teaching, we believe in a firm foundation of traditional skills. Formal grammar, reading and high literacy skills are a focus of our teaching and students' learning. In writing, students learn to meet the needs of specific audiences and purposes using the conventions of Standard English and also to develop and enjoy their own creativity through a wide variety of forms.
We believe that no one should be limited in his or her experience of English by their ability and so, for instance, Shakespeare is taught to all students in every year in a way that is accessible and enjoyable. Drama is an important element in our teaching and students are able to experience it as an integral part of English study and as extra curricular enrichment.
In addition to our commitment to academic excellence, we think extra curricular activities are of great importance to a well-rounded, educated student. Students throughout the age and ability range are encouraged to enter national writing and public speaking competitions.
Class teachers use a variety of assessment strategies to continually assess work and students are encouraged to participate fully in this process through self-evaluation and peer marking. Formal testing takes place on a regular basis and evidence is used for individual target setting to raise individual achievement.
Students follow the National curriculum and are prepared for Standard Assessment Tests in Year 9 and for WJEC examinations in GCSE English Language and English Literature. At GCE A level, students have the opportunity to follow AQA courses in English Language, English Literature, English Language and Literature.