English is the subject which teaches the knowledge and skills necessary for self-expression and for full participation in society. Throughout the curriculum at St Thomas More, pupils are taught to speak, read, write and listen fluently, so that they can communicate effectively with others. These skills are at the heart of our curriculum, as is the acquisition of knowledge through the study of literature.
The English curriculum aims to be a curriculum that is accessible and stretching for all. To that end texts choices are ambitious and varied. Exposing students to a range of texts and perspectives is key, this includes both classics to build cultural literacy and contemporary texts to nurture students’ understanding and engagement with the world around them.
In our department we aim to develop critical learners, who are able to make inferences from a variety of texts and adapt their own language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
By the end of KS4, we aim for our pupils to be articulate, express respectful and knowledgeable opinions, listen to others, and be able to look for answers independently. With this in mind, we ensure that our KS4 year ten students have the opportunity to learn all required texts that will be in their two English Literature exams and a further two English Language exams. This enables us to build on their basic knowledge in year eleven delving deeper into writers’ intentions and themes thus enabling the students to confidently answer all exam questions to a high standard.
Whole School Literacy
This term we have continued to develop our whole school literacy strategies in order to develop pupils' vocabularies and embed a love for reading. We have strived to put a real emphasis on pupils' acknowledgement and understanding of the Word of the Day and encourage teachers to use the words frequently and effectively in their lessons. KS3 pupils participate in literacy focused activities, throughout the week during form time, which includes twenty minutes of silent reading and a Words of the Week spelling and definitions test. Key Stage 3 pupils have also continued to enjoy the school's Drop Everything and Read sessions where they are asked to stop what they are doing in their ordinary lessons and read, for 30 minutes, once a week.
Although there are current restrictions on usage due to Covid bubbles the school's library is still at the heart of the school, there is a rota for usage by different year groups. We are continuing with initiatives such as the Spelling Bee with Year 7, where pupils are put into teams and tested on a number of challenging words in order to be named Spelling Bee Champions of St Thomas More. Weekly literacy interventions, which take place before school, during lunchtimes and Saturday mornings, are now at full capacity and are proving to be a successful way of supporting pupils who need additional help with their reading and writing.
Mrs K Clifford, Acting Head of Department
Miss A Daniels (Second in English)
Mr B Andrews
Miss N Agostini
Ms R Mackay
Mr J De Groot
Miss P Ward
Mr C Strickland
Ms K Morris
Ms D Secgin
Ms C Dag
Miss K Michaelis
Mr H Dalrymple
For further information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org