English at The Levels School
At KS2 the English curriculum is led by a specialist teacher and designed with two major aims.
To develop skills in reading, reading comprehension and writing (including spelling) that will support learning across the curriculum at KS3 and 4
To ensure that pupils are able to explore literature and express themselves, both in writing and orally, at age and developmentally appropriate levels. This would be scaffolded to support any barriers to learning which are presented by literacy or language and communication skills.
Each pupil has individual targets for literacy development that will be worked on through challenging and engaging class-based literacy and writing tasks. We aim to develop a love of literature and writing so that literacy learning has a meaningful context. One lesson a week will be an IT lesson where the pupils will develop the skills needed to allow them to read and write accurately, fluently and independently. The pupils will be taught how to use spell checks accurately, how and when to use text to speech or speech to text facilities, touch typing, use of predictive text and using IT to support proof reading.
The English schemes of learning at both KS3 and KS4 concentrate on building and consolidating the key skills that will prepare students for the best possible outcome at KS4 whatever their level of entry. These skills are embedded in themed examples and content which allow the sharing of vocabulary and ideas with other subjects taught at The Levels School. Often, what makes dyslexic students so special is their ability to make links and the content of both schemes allows students to do this confidently. As a skills driven curriculum for English, it means that it is a unique curriculum in that it can be personalised and adapted to suit individual needs and promote progress. Each lesson focuses on using the shared literacy based vocabulary and building confidence when talking about work and progress across the half termly schemes and the year group.
Key Stage Two
KS2 students are taught in mixed-age and mixed-ability groups consisting of children from Years 4 to 6. All KS2 children are taught the same curriculum which is adapted for individual needs. To avoid repeating the same units, the KS2 curriculum has been mapped over two years, with students studying different units in years A and B.
Key Stage Three
At The Levels School, English is a core subject at KS4, meaning it is compulsory for all students. We offer AQA GCSE English Language, which consists of two exam papers at the end of three years of study and a non-examination assessment. Find out more details about the GCSE below.
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing
Written examination, 1 hour 45 minutes. Worth 50% of the total GCSE.
Section A: Reading (40 marks) (25%)
Students are given one literature fiction text to read.
1 short form question, 2 longer form questions & 1 extended question.
Section B: Writing (40 marks) (25%)
1 extended writing question.
If you're looking to support your child's English studies at home, try the following activities:
Engage with books for pleasure, whether it's audiobooks, ebooks, paper books, graphic novels, comic books, short stories, poems, magazines, news articles or any other kind of books! We recommend at least 20 minutes of reading for pleasure a day.
Discuss the news and current affairs, perhaps after watching Newsround or reading an article on The Day (linked above). For older children, you could discuss the use of emotional or biased language in a news story.
Watch films and TV shows, especially ones based around books that children are reading. Children can enjoy discussing the similarities and differences between book and film versions. Children who might struggle with the language in classic books may find the film versions easier to access.
Play word games, such as 20 Questions, Who Am I?, Boggle and Scrabble. These help children to learn and embed new vocabulary.