We seek to empower our students to become confident communicators who can formulate independent responses to complex texts and ideas. We support our students to think critically and articulate their ideas in fluent and accurate prose. Reading is at the heart of our curriculum design and we have a simple aim: to ensure that every child is a reader.
By studying English, students gain the ability to read and write fluently, which has obvious lifelong benefits. They also gain the confidence to interrogate and enjoy enriching texts that deepen their social, moral, spiritual and cultural understanding. An unequivocal commitment to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion is at the heart of our curriculum, hence we seek to actively promote these values and maximise opportunities to educate our students, celebrate diverse voices and enable students to voice their own opinions with discernment and confidence.
Our enriching and ambitious curriculum is fully inclusive and all students experience the full curriculum in mixed prior attainment classes. In order to support their social and emotional wellbeing and development, especially post pandemic, Year 7 students are taught in tutor groups, so that they can develop friendships and a sense of belonging. From Year 8, students are set with careful consideration of their preferred learning styles and productive peer relationships. At Key Stage 4, all students experience the same curriculum at the same time, enabling adaptive setting that can respond to learners’ developing needs.
Reading is a priority in our school and we deliberately invest significant amounts of curriculum time at Key Stage 3 in supporting all learners to become confident and fluent makers of meaning. We know that enabling all students to leave school with age appropriate literacy skills, or better, will enable them to succeed in life. Reading in Years 7 and 8 is personalised for students, using the Accelerated Reader scheme and reading is a key home learning expectation, which is closely monitored. To promote reading, we have invested in a wide range of texts that promote Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. We have also expanded our stock of dyslexia friendly and age appropriate quick reads to support reluctant readers to make rapid progress. From Year 9 onwards, students are supported to read more challenging texts and we have also invested significantly in small sets of quality texts from our ‘Bucket List’ so as to enable groups of students to support each other in reading more ambitiously
Fully invested in the global movement to decolonise the curriculum, we periodically reflect on and adapt our offer so as to provide texts and learning opportunities that take into account the diverse backgrounds of our students. We believe in integrating contemporary fiction and non-fiction texts with works that may be considered typically canonical, firmly believing that all learners, and especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, should be enabled to deepen their cultural capital.
We are also firm advocates of the neurodiversity movement and actively encourage all students, but especially those with neurodiverse traits, to develop their own learning strategies. We also focus on not only making our thought processes explicit to students but also on clarifying that there can be many different ways that people who think differently approach tasks and all of these have value. We aim to unlock barriers to learning for neurodiverse and SEN students and are constantly seeking to refine and develop our practice in this area.