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English & Literacy

Curriculum Leader: Charlene Ward

English and Literacy underpin all aspects of day-to-day life at Arbour Vale School and therefore lessons reflect the variety and diversity of our pupils.  A common thread throughout the school is communication and we have therefore adopted a total communication approach throughout school, where pupils have access to their own means of communication throughout the day.  This aims to support pupils to develop a means of communication appropriate to their individual needs and create opportunities for communication throughout the curriculum to enable each pupil to communicate to the best of their ability, building confidence in communication so that pupils can make their needs, feelings, and opinions known.

It is our wish that all pupils benefit from a wide range of inspiring, challenging and topical literature to enhance their desire to read and their passion to discuss new concepts and interests.

Over the year pupils will have opportunities to be part of themed days and events such as World book day, Nursery rhyme week and Poetry day.  We believe above all that learning happens best when we are having Fun!

English Aims

We aim to

  • Ensure that literacy is embedded into the curriculum with a focus on reading, speaking and listen and writing
  • Expose pupils to a full and enriching range of language experiences in reading, writing and the spoken word
  • Enable pupils to communicate to the fullest extent of their capability and in accordance with their own communication needs
  • Enhance pupils’ capacity to make their voices heard at school and in life beyond through their achievement and progress in English.
  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both purpose and fun
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1

In Early Years and key stage 1 pupils experience the strands of English through discrete and cross curricular learning opportunities.  English is supported through the framework areas of Physical development, Communication and Language and Literacy. The school encourages pupils to engage in a hands on, sensory curriculum which provides opportunities for them to:

  • Experience a rich language environment
  • Develop confidence and skills through listening and attention, understanding and speaking
  • Communicate and listen in a variety of situations
  • Link sounds and letters
  • Read, mark-make and write
  • Access and enjoy a range of books, sensory stories, online texts, songs and rhymes.

Key Stage 2

Key stage 2 continue to develop the skills needed for Communication, Language and Literacy. This is achieved through integrated topic work, creative and practical activities, sensory learning and structured teaching.  Pupils will experience opportunities to:

  • Develop their communication skills to express ideas and emotions and to interact with others
  • Access discrete phonics lessons following the letters and sounds programme
  • Develop reading and writing skills
  • Use their knowledge and understanding across the curriculum and throughout the school day
  • Develop comprehension and build on previous learning

Key Stage 3

In key stage 3 we provide creative and practical activities that stimulate and challenge pupils to demonstrate their spoken language, reading and writing skills, in a wider range of contexts and for various purposes.

This is achieved through:

  • Encouragement of discussion and debate at every level, ensuring all pupils can be supported to make a contribution.
  • The sharing or reading of books from a full range of genres to develop understanding, comprehension skills and literary appreciation. This may occur in topic related contexts or in specifically targeted sessions such as guided reading or phonics
  • Encouragement of pupils to write clearly and accurately, adapting their language to suit a range of purposes and contexts, in topic related English lessons, or through cross curricular links.
  • Topic based experiences and events

Key Stage 4

In key stage 4, as well as embedding the skills learnt in previous years many pupils have the opportunity to work towards ‘Step-up to English’ Gold or Silver Award, this is the new name for the Entry Level Certificate.

Post 16

The Post 16 curriculum for English focuses upon functional skills.  This provides students with the competences they will need to operate confidently, effectively and independently within the classroom, their communities and work.

Post 16 students follow the Adult Core Curriculum. They use Skills for Life or ASDAN Towards Independence as accreditation for their application of Literacy skills in real life situations. Assessment is made using Milestones, Entry Level and Level 1 and 2