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Weobley High – English
The English department is a team of fully dedicated professionals committed to supporting, guiding and enriching the learning experience for all students.
Key Stage 3
At KS3, students follow a lively, engaging and challenging course where Assessment for Learning is given a significant emphasis.
All KS3 schemes of work have been reviewed and revised in 2015. This is to allow the skills needed for the new summative KS4 exams to be taught to all students- at age and ability-appropriate levels – from the outset of their Secondary education.
Key Stage 4
Students in Years 10 and 11 currently follow the AQA examination syllabus and sit GCSE English and English Literature at the end of year 11. In Year 10, an express group of gifted and talented students in English and Maths has been formed where students work in a challenging, exciting and vibrant learning atmosphere.
In the light of fundamental changes to GCSE examinations in English, all-new KS4 schemes of work have been produced; as well as building on the skills developed at Key Stage 3, these schemes will allow the students every opportunity to develop the stamina necessary to achieve their potential in English Language and Literature GCSEs, both of which are now assessed entirely in end of Year 11 terminal exams. There are a number of extra curricular activities available for pupils. There is a Drama club available for Key Stage 3 pupils from September to December in which pupils create their own Christmas performance. There is also a successful Book Club in which pupils read and exchange their thoughts on books, culminating each year in an annual trip to the Carnegie Book Awards and trips to Hay Festival.
Key Stage 4 pupils are offered theatre trips to assist their revision of Literature texts and develop their understanding.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Intent” tab_id=”1648043227946-0da101b3-94e9″][vc_column_text]
Our English curriculum nurtures a passion and love of Literature from across the world, with the ambition of equipping all students with the ability to speak, read and write fluently and confidently.
The English department at Weobley High School are passionate about providing our students with the tools to build the brightest future for themselves. The English curriculum provides our students with powerful knowledge and access to cultural capital through a variety of well-considered texts across the cannon and beyond; students are exposed to a diverse range of contextual backgrounds and significant moments in history. We believe texts should be both mirrors and windows, ensuring children feel represented and seen, whilst empowering them to grasp opportunities and enjoy the best that has been thought and said in our rich cultural heritage.
Our curriculum aims to teach students critical reading skills to enable them to read a range of texts intelligently, analytically and perceptively.
The study of Literature allows students to engage with complex issues of morality and the human condition. At WHS, we view all texts through the lens of our overarching themes of Heroes and Villains, Power and Conflict and A Teenager’s Place in the World – finding your voice in KS3 in preparation for participation in discussion of “the big ideas” at KS4 and beyond the school gates.
Our knowledge-rich curriculum is delivered by subject experts, who are committed to excellence and constantly hone and refine their craft. Teachers present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion and interest about the subject matter they are teaching.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Implementation” tab_id=”1648043435985-753bd817-e465″][vc_column_text]
The English curriculum is planned and sequenced coherently – each year group at both Key Stages study the units chronologically and under an overarching theme for the year to ensure that links to prior and future knowledge are made explicit to our learners.
Our curriculum has knowledge and skills at the heart of its design. Pupils are taught reading, writing and oracy through a wide selection of texts, covering the English National Curriculum in appropriate depth.
In English, all students access a challenging, ambitious curriculum, taught through our carefully crafted contextualised PowerPoints and co-planned medium-term plans. Lessons are scaffolded to ensure stretch and challenge, allowing all to realise their potential. Our commitment to diversity enables all students to hear stories from a range of cultural experiences regularly.
The challenging and exciting programme we provide is supported by a range of effective teaching techniques. We continually revisit foundation elements to ensure all pupils can progress and develop their knowledge, understanding and skills regardless of prior learning. This ensures that pupils possess a solid grounding on which to support their Key Stage 4 examinations and beyond. The sequencing of lessons enables skills to be practised and refined across all key stages, whilst preparing our learners for the transition to the next phase of their education or into the workplace.
Sitting alongside our Literature and writing curriculum is also a bespoke vocabulary programme where students are exposed weekly to tier 2 vocabulary whilst using stories from Greek mythology and Classical and Biblical allusions to contextualise what they have learnt. We explicitly teach tier 2 vocabulary to enable students to consider, communicate and articulate challenging ideas so that they become active and empowered citizens.
Literacy is embedded across the curriculum, supported by explicit vocabulary instruction and insistence on full sentence answers. These are then built into our retrieval practice activities which aim to support students in transferring knowledge from working to long-term memory.
At Key Stage 4, we develop and improve upon the skills learned at Key Stage 3. Pupils follow the AQA English Language and English Literature specification. Each time pupils revisit a topic they are exposed to more complex content, building on what they have already learnt. English lessons provide opportunities for discussion and reflection to help pupils explore the complexities of life and will allow them to increase their confidence in the study of English.
Students at Weobley High School are given a wealth of opportunities to write creatively and using foundational principles of rhetoric. Student writing, wherever possible, has links to the real world: students see that what they write can change the world.
All students are assessed regularly via questioning, low-stakes quizzing, short and extended tasks, assessments and examination. Live marking and the use of visualisers enables students to gain instant feedback in order to make progress. Whole class feedback is given to students regularly with specific targets for improvement set. Assessment is designed to review understanding and address misconceptions. This information is then used to inform planning to enable teachers to respond and adapt as necessary. All students sit the same end of unit assessment or examination. These are standardised and moderated within department meetings to ensure consistency of task setting, assessing and feedback.
Reading for Pleasure is driven by the English department but supported by all. Our library is the very heart of our school, both literally and metaphorically, ensuring all students carry a challenging reading book to support learning. We ensure reading is celebrated and enjoyed in assemblies across the school, visits to the Hay Festival and with author visits. Our thriving Junior and Senior book club enjoy reading a range of exciting texts which expose our students to an even greater range of forms, genres, topics and viewpoints. Our Library Ambassadors enjoy assisting with World Book Day events and with organising our entry to the Carnegie competition – all of which aim to raise the profile of reading across the school.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Impact” tab_id=”1648043438744-b7b40a37-c87f”][vc_column_text]
At Weobley High School, the impact of the English Curriculum will be such that:
- Students will leave with a deep, sustained knowledge and understanding of the impact of Literature on the world.
- They will have read a diverse range of texts both fiction and non-fiction and will be to read these texts with fluency and comprehension and think about these texts critically.
- Students will be able to communicate ideas with confidence. This will be reflected in national examination results and the progression shown by the individual learners.
- Students will feel prepared for the transition into the next phase of their education or employment and will have confidence in the subject, having embedded, developed and applied knowledge learned from their study of English so that they can thrive in the world and progress to destinations which meet their interests and aspirations.
We measure the impact of our curriculum through:
- Learning walks/lesson observations and professional dialogue with teachers.
- Book Monitoring.
- Student engagement and teacher feedback.
- Interviewing students about their learning.
- Improved subject vocabulary.
- Student and teacher progress tracking.
- Attainment and achievement outcomes.
- Attendance and behaviour data.
- Evidence of wider cultural and intellectual enrichment.