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English

Intent

At St Matthias Academy, we believe the skills of reading, writing and communicating effectively are essential if students are to make the most of life’s opportunities and interact competently with the world around them. We strive to overcome barriers to learning, address cumulative dysfluency and re-engage students in a core subject that students often see as daunting. By offering a varied curriculum that develops core literacy skills, whilst preparing students to access the broader English curriculum, we aim to empower students and instil the self-belief needed to flourish in English and beyond. Each term is structured to allow students to focus on both literature and language and nurtures skills such as language and structural analysis, reading and writing stamina and speaking and listening.

We choose challenging and engaging texts and topics to stimulate discussion and debate and actively promote the British values of tolerance and respect. These texts are from a range of cultural backgrounds and aim to help our students develop empathy and knowledge of the world around them. Students benefit from a multimedia approach with opportunities for discussion and creativity throughout.   

Implementation
KS3

At key stage 3, students follow the national curriculum. Students benefit from engaging with both classic and contemporary literature as well as non-fiction texts. Students’ skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are developed through a broad range of topics and engaging texts. At KS3, these include war poetry and literature, Shakespeare, stories from other cultures, our society, dystopian fiction and travel writing, amongst others. Students are given the opportunity to study extracts, poetry, plays and a novel.

KS4

At key stage 4, year 10 students study both language and literature through themed topical units, including the opportunity to study poetry, plays and a novel. Each unit aims to engage students with a variety of different writing styles, reading materials and lively discussion. Students have the opportunity to be creative, enter competitions and win prizes with their work. Each topic includes elements of both fiction and non-fiction. Year 11 students follow an intensive skills-focused programme of study to prepare them for the AQA English Language GCSE and the AQA Step Up to English qualification.

Accreditation Offer (with link to exam boards)
AQA English Language GCSE

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700

AQA Step Up to English Qualification

https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/elc/step-up-to-english-5970

Impact

The initial induction period at St Matthias Academy allow us to identify skills gaps and target areas in the form of baseline assessments, CATS tests and reading age assessments. Impact is measured regularly through re-assessment and this cycle of reflection drives a fluid and reflexive approach to teaching and planning. As a result of the approach we use, pupils make expected or better than expected progress. Last year, 100% of our GCSE students received GCSE passes in English.