It is vital that our students are equipped with the range of tools and skills to facilitate their success in life; to do this they must be able to communicate effectively and convincingly via both written and spoken language.
We constantly strive for our students to appreciate and discover the distinct link between reading and the ability to produce high quality writing. Our aim is that students become increasingly confident communicators in the written and spoken form: they will not only have a clear grasp of grammatical structures, but also an interest in vocabulary and, vitally, in producing and receiving information – in a variety of fiction and non- fiction forms – which helps them to make sense of the world around them. Students will develop an understanding of the importance of English as a subject but also as the method through which other subjects are taught.
As the national curriculum states:
“English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.”
The aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
• read easily, fluently and with good understanding
• develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
• 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
• are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
(The National Curriculum in England – Key Stages 3 and 4, 2014)
Written and verbal communication:
Students will learn to be confident with manipulating and adapting their own language in order to deliberately craft and structure appropriate and effective fiction and non-fiction texts suitable for a range of formalities, audiences and purposes. As language choice influences and shapes decisions, our intention is to enable our young people to develop an awareness of the importance of all stylistic choices they make - this will include but is not limited to: vocabulary, sentence forms, technical accuracy and selection of punctuation, paragraph style and linguistic devices, avoiding clichés and developing original and imaginative viewpoints.
Reading and investigating Literature:
We aim to enrich our students’ lives with some aspects of cultural appreciation and opportunities to experience a range of ideas from different historical eras, cultures, countries and ideologies. The social construct of texts will be emphasised as equally important as character motivations and the art of deliberate and judicious crafting of linguistic choices. Students must understand that texts are a deliberate construct designed to be received with a particular intention- in particular students must view characters as representations rather than real people so that they may understand the more subtle and implicit meanings as well as the explicit ones.
Students will experience a range of reading materials but more importantly must be able to demonstrate the ability to read, understand and interpret texts and develop confidence and skill to question and interact with unseen and prepared material with maturity and interest. We encourage pupils to discuss Literature and its related ideas and to take a keen interest in the world around them. This ethos will produce individuals who see reading as a lifetime's pleasure; we aim to imbue students with an intellectual curiosity that will remain with them long after they leave Sir John Hunt Community College.
Developing confident and able readers is our ultimate purpose; without these vital reading skills, students will struggle to be successful communicators across all subject areas.