English Language and Literacy

English Language and Literacy

Throughout the school, one of our key philosophies is to ensure our students are able to communicate assertively when faced with diverse situations, contexts and for a range of different purposes. This is achieved in and out of our English lessons, as students are accorded opportunities for speaking and listening in order to help them feel confident when expressing themselves. With the support of our teachers and practitioners, our aim here at Holden Park is to inspire a lifelong love for all types of literature, and language to convey ideas in speaking and in written work.

Our English curriculum has been created to:

  • ensure that our students appreciate the importance of English to their lives, inside and outside of school
  • provide a curriculum which meets the needs of our students so they can engage with the world, beyond the classroom
  • develop independent thinkers and workers
  • develop their comprehension and understanding
  • develop personal response
  • develop their confidence in reading, writing, speaking as well as listening
  • ensure they can communicate effectively, both in speaking and writing
  • ensure high standards of literacy, including spelling and handwriting
  • provide opportunities for creativity
  • provide real audience and contexts for student tasks
  • develop a love of reading
  • stretch and challenge as well as support learning
  • allow for effective use of ICT and media technology

Key Stage 3

We want our students to find English exciting and fun, inspiring as well as relevant. English is all about being able to communicate what you think and feel – this could be while speaking to friends and family, during written tasks in school or on social media and during other everyday conversations. We want our students to be able to think independently, to read widely and, most importantly, to be creative.  

It is important to us that children learn to read, write and discuss text competently and confidently from a young age, as this forms the foundation for all aspects of English and many other subjects. Students have access to a wide variety of books, text and e-books throughout the school. As students move through the school they are introduced to increasingly challenging text, encouraging them to think critically. Also, Students are encouraged to voice their opinions, creating opportunities for them to discuss and justify their opinions, hence gaining a better understanding and enabling them to appreciate and engage with what they are reading.

By the time they come to the end of their journey in Holden Park they would have developed a lifelong love for literature, be able to express themselves confidently and competently both in reading and writing and acquired the skills set to think critically. In addition, at the end of year 9, they will sit for the Cambridge lower secondary check point examinations.

Key Stage 4

During the two-year programme, students follow the Cambridge 9-1 IGCSE syllabus. English Language and English Literature are studied and both feature a range of non-fiction and literary texts, as well as poetry; a wide variety of writing skills are also taught in preparation for the final exams/ IGCSEs.

Educational visits and extra-curricular activity

Students are encouraged to enter a variety of non-fiction and creative writing competitions both internal and external. We run an extensive programme of writing workshops and we endeavour to visit all relevant theatre productions. We also offer opportunities for extra-curricular and additional support within English.

 Rooms and resources

The majority of teaching takes place in the classrooms and occasionally in the language room. A wide range of resources are used in delivering the curriculum. These include a trolley of Laptops, interactive whiteboards, Smart Board TV as well as a vast collection of video clips, PowerPoint presentations and online resources which students can access with ease using their tablets/ laptops.

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