English is a core subject. It includes the development of language and literacy skills and the study of English literature. Since the English language is our principal means of communication, English is taught by all staff in all subjects, as well as in dedicated lessons. English therefore has a central place in the curriculum.
In common with mainstream pupils, students at Moor Hey are entitled to have access to the full range of skills and literary genres laid out in the National Curriculum (N.C.). This includes word, sentence and text level work, and at Key Stages 3 and 4, works by Dickens and Shakespeare. All pupils are entitled to a curriculum which is differentiated to meet individual needs, using resources which are accessible; and wherever possible appropriate to their age.
We use the National Literacy Framework, providing objectives appropriate to our pupils’ ability. In the secondary department, we also select some appropriate objectives, resources and teaching strategies from the National Literacy Framework for Key Stage 3, AQA and functional skills syllabuses. We make every effort to provide meaningful access to literature for all our pupils.
In English and “across the curriculum” at Moor Hey, we teach pupils:
- To be active and effective speakers and listeners.
- To read with understanding and independence, for pleasure and for learning.
- To write appropriately in different styles for various purposes, both by hand and on the computer.
- To experience and enjoy a wide range of literature.
- To use their literacy skills effectively in different contexts and situations.
- To develop their imagination and creativity, through a variety of literary activities.
- To enable external accreditation for all pupils in Years 10 & 11, in speaking & listening, reading and writing through AQA units and Functional skills at levels 1, 2 & 3. Most pupils should also achieve the entry level award in AQA. Exceptional pupils may achieve at GCSE level.
In the Primary classes where pupils are of mixed ages, a flexible, daily “literacy lesson” is taught by the class staff. Additional time is given to language and literacy skills outside the literacy lesson, sometimes as part of other subjects.
Pupils in KS3 & 4 are timetabled for four 50 / 55 -minute English lessons each week with negotiated / timetabled access to the computer suites. Pupils are taught in class groups which may be of mixed ability, most with TA support. The secondary department also has reading time during registration. Most staff and all pupils are involved. Drama is included within the English schemes of work and within a carousel option ‘performing arts’.
The Speech and Language team (SALT) are active partners with the school / English team. In addition to taking individuals & groups of pupils, the therapist and her assistant offer advice for supporting specific pupils; e.g. reports, specific programmes of support. This can include daily sessions of speech and language delivered by TAs from a programme devised and monitored by SALT.
Moor Hey has its own library. The English staff are timetabled to have a weekly library session with each of their classes. Pupils are encouraged to browse through the books in this quiet relaxed environment then choose a book to keep for at least a week.
Books used for reading are kept on trolleys/ boxes in form rooms. Other literacy resources are kept in the English classrooms. Dictionaries and thesaurus are available.
In Reception/Key Stage 1/Key Stage 2: Oxford Reading Tree books are used as central reading schemes. A large selection of books is available for shared reading. In key stages 3 and 4, Livewire and Impact books for teenagers, are available. There is a wide range of book sets for guided reading at all levels, including poetry, plays, fiction and non-fiction. Big books, class sets of small books and photocopy materials are available. We use the internet, intranet, Moodle and other resources available through the computer network to support reading. Additional books are borrowed from Lancashire Schools’ Library Service. We receive project loans which are boxes of resources for a specific topic or genre.
Display / achievements
Pupils’ writing can be displayed. Photographs are used to record and display pupils’ achievements in language work, drama, reading or visits by theatre groups. Staff recognise the importance of valuing and celebrating pupils’ work, and award a pupil from each class ‘writer of the month’ in a whole school assembly. The winner’s names are also written in the school’s newsletter sent home to parents.
Key Stage 3
On 1st February 2019, 6 year 10 pupils took part in a reading session provided by our local library (Lostock Hall Library). The pupils used a mine craft package created by Lancaster University to help them engage with the story Kensuke's Kingdom. It was a great afternoon of learning.
Following on from studying the novel 'Moondial' in English lessons, in January 2019, all of the Year 10 pupils went to Judges Lodgings in Lancaster to learn about life in the Victorian Times. They experienced being in service and spent time in the Victorian school room. It was a fantastic educational day where history was really brought to life.
In July, a group of Year 9 and Year 10 pupils are going to Shakespeare's first ever pop-up theatre in York to watch a live performance of Romeo and Juliet. We are very excited about this trip and are looking forward to experiencing a Tudor theatre experience!
Romeo and Juliet
Whilst studying Romeo and Juliet, Year 10 recently made some masks so they could act out going to a masked ball in Shakespeare's time. They greeted each other using Elizabethan language and even tried the dances!
Sealife Centre trip December 2016
Whilst studying the plat 'Our Day Out', the pupils in KS3 group 1 planned and organised a day out. We went to the Sealife Centre in Blackpool and had a fantastic time upon returning to school we wrote a review of 'Out Day Out' and all agreed it was a great success.