Key Stage 3, 4 and 5
Our English curriculum is designed to enable students of all abilities to access the subject. It is current and varied, and is adapted to meet the needs of every student. Students experience a rich English curriculum which fosters and promotes an enjoyment of all three elements of English:
Students experience a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Each student regularly participates in Guided Reading sessions. Authors that students will enjoy at Castledon include David Walliams, Roald Dahl, Michael Morpurgo, Morris Gleitzman and Dan Freedman.
Reading for meaning is promoted as well as reading for pleasure. Students are encouraged to read regularly both in and out of school.
Students learn how to write for different audiences and purposes and in varying forms and styles:
- Transactional writing such as speeches, letters and newspaper articles that inform, persuade, argue and explain
- Imaginative writing in response to pictures or quotations using language and structural features to engage the reader.
There is a consistent focus on improving written accuracy.
3. Speaking, listening and communication.
Students are encouraged to express themselves clearly and in a variety of ways across all areas of the curriculum. In English, speaking, listening and communication is taught as a discrete aspect of English through speeches, conversational techniques, discussions and debates but is also modelled and embedded as a part of the fabric of the lessons, and lessons across the academy. Answering and asking questions to clarify, consolidate and further understanding is crucial to student success. Verbal and written communication is developed to allow students the confidence to communicate in all areas which, in turn, enhances and enriches their learning experience across all subjects at Castledon.
In Key Stages 4 and 5, students prepare to achieve their targeted Pearson Edexcel English qualifications ranging from Entry 1 - Entry 3, Level 1 - 2 and GCSE English Language.
Students work to develop key transferable skills such as reading, writing and communication which they can take into all areas of the curriculum including work placements, community-based learning and trips and visits. Skills are practised outside of the classroom environment in various settings to prepare students for communication and interaction in the next phase of their educational or work life.
Comprehension, reading and writing PLIs are set for KS3 students to allow literacy progress to occur across all subject areas. English PLIs for KS4 and 5 students are set in accordance with their English Functional Skills target level. These are commensurate with their EHC Plan outcomes to allow for progress towards these.
Key Stage 1 and 2
Our English curriculum is designed to be thematic and link to the overall topic for the half term, enabling students to immerse themselves in their learning and enhance their experiences. The curriculum is designed to be accessible for all and enable students of all abilities to access the subject, with adaptations where appropriate to meet the needs of all students. The curriculum covers the three elements of English and is primarily based around fiction texts, to engage and inspire students. Through exploration of these texts, students will also experience a range of non-fiction texts linked to the main theme.
As part of their discrete English lessons, students will experience a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and complete a variety of activities linked to these to further develop their understanding. Students are supported to apply their phonics knowledge to their learning throughout their lessons and learning tasks are tailored to ensure that the texts are accessible for all students irrespective of their independent reading ability. Activities to develop skills include, but are not limited to; comprehension, vocabulary, rhyme, sequencing, description and prediction. Students are supported to apply these skills across the curriculum and encouraged to read regularly both in and out of school.
Writing activities are tailored to the individual needs of each student and cover a range of fiction and non-fiction genres, in line with the students’ phonics knowledge. Students will develop their spelling and sentence writing skills to retell stories and begin to write their own as well as writing descriptions of settings and characters. Students will learn the features of common non-fiction texts such as letters, instructions and fact files and how to write these. They are encouraged to edit their work to make improvements in line with their PLI targets and the Key Skills documents.
3. Speaking, listening and communication
Students are encouraged to express themselves clearly and in a variety of ways across all areas of the curriculum and this is modelled and embedded as a part of the fabric of lessons. Students are supported to answer questions in line with their blanks level to support the development of their communication. Within English lessons, students will take part in discrete speaking and listening activities including role-play and asking and answering questions about texts they are studying. These skills are then transferred to other areas of the curriculum.
Comprehension, reading and writing PLIs are set for all students to allow literacy progress to occur across all subject areas. These are commensurate with their EHC Plan outcomes to allow for progress towards these.
Students are assessed regularly as part of their curriculum using the Castledon Key Skills documents which are reviewed and updated as necessary in line with the national curriculum requirements. They complete 3 assessed pieces of writing each year which inform next steps and PLI target setting in line with their EHCPs.