English at Walton Hall Academy

At Walton Hall Academy we believe that it is vital that we not only teach children to read and to write with competence, confidence and as much independence as possible, but that we inspire and stimulate them so that they want to read and write, so that both activities bring them happiness and fulfilment.   Embedding literacy across the curriculum and promoting high standards are an integral part of learning across all subjects. Through all of our lessons, and at all levels, literacy skills are encouraged and promoted so that the skills taught in specific English lessons can be applied, practiced and consolidated effectively.

Key Stage 3

In KS3 we have 5 differentiated English classes which follow different pathways matched to meet the needs of every student.  By grouping students accordingly, we are able to teach English in the way that best meets the diverse needs of the individual students.

All groups in KS3 will follow a programme of study, linked to a common text or theme, wherever possible, incorporating a wide range of appropriately differentiated and engaging activities. 

Students requiring a sensory pathway will follow an English programme which appeals to the physical senses with links to developing language and communication skills and signing skills using Makaton.

In the booster group, students will study differentiated versions of the text linked to a generic topic across the curriculum to ensure that students are immersed in the language and historical contexts to develop and broaden knowledge and understanding. Basic literacy skills are further developed using integrated phonics, handwriting and drama programmes.

The remaining groups, work on gradually developing higher level skills over a three year rolling programme following a spiral curriculum incorporating exciting approaches to teaching. We aim to enable students to make as much progress as possible in preparation for transition to KS4 where their future pathway will be discussed.  Students will develop the skills throughout KS3 so that they can access GCSE English Language and/or Literature or Step-Up-To-English (Entry Level).

To develop reading skills, targeted students will also follow the Toe-by-Toe reading programme, comprising of 3 sessions per week on a 1-1 basis.

Key Stage 4

We have four teaching groups for English in Key Stage 4 where students follow the relevant pathways established at the end of KS3. This enables lessons to be differentiated appropriately and linked to appropriate accreditation.

Students following a sensory pathway and the Booster group follow a two year rolling programme in Personal Progress where lessons are delivered through daily morning communication sessions, sensory stories and enrichment activities and are linked with the KS4 texts where appropriate. Students develop basic communication skills using Makaton signing and resources using Communication in Print. Reading and writing skills are delivered via a topic based structure and are embedded across the entire curriculum.

Where further challenge is needed, KS4 students can follow a two-year course aimed to develop skills in English to achieve relevant accreditation in GCSE or at Entry Level  following the AQA English Language 8700, or AQA 5970 Step –Up- To- English programmes of study. Students will develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as learning how to write clearly, coherently and accurately.

Students will be able to access quality texts such as Frankenstein, The Lord of The Flies, Anita and Me and A Christmas Carol. In addition, many students will be able to gain a separate qualification at GCSE level in Spoken Language. All students will be able to gain relevant accreditation in Functional Skills with these key skills embedded within the GCSE programme.

Key Stage 5

English in Post 16 is an integral part of the curriculum and a highly valued tool that we believe all our learners should be equipped with to the highest possible standard. We aim to achieve this by consolidating previous learning and building on skills, knowledge and experience already within a students’ understanding and guiding them to a level of attainment appropriate for their future needs, whether that be work, training or supported living.

Regular assessment ensures that students are working to their full potential, in ability set groups where they can access the most appropriate curriculum style and content. This is provided through schemes of work that are designed to be flexible enough to reflect the individual needs of the learner, from Pre-Entry Level to Level 2.

All our schemes of work reflect the most current accreditation pathways such as Step-Up-To-English, GCSE Language, Functional Skills and Personal Progress, ensuring access and achievement for every student. They cover the elements of Spoken Language, Reading and Writing, all of which are presented in a format that are designed to engage the learner, facilitate progress and promote life skills, independence and self-esteem.

Qualifications are a major part of the English curriculum and are highly valued by students and future providers. Where these are out of reach we ensure that accreditation in other forms is made available to celebrate the achievements of all.