At Minehead Middle School we aim to make English relevant, interesting and enjoyable. We recognise that English lies at the heart of our pupils’ success in every subject. Without effective communication skills, a pupil’s capacity to succeed throughout the whole curriculum is limited. English provides the navigation skills necessary to explore an increasingly complex world and helps our children to achieve and flourish.
English in Key Stage 2 is taught in mixed ability classes by the class teacher and consists of a balance of reading, spelling, grammar and writing.
Children read independently every day in school and at home. All classes in Key Stage 2 also have guided reading lessons where children work in differentiated groups with their teacher to develop reading comprehension through improving the skills of inference and deduction.
Spelling is taught using the ‘No-nonsense’ spelling programme and children have differentiated spelling homework linked to class learning weekly.
Specific grammar skills are taught in SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) lessons, through text analysis and in preparation for writing lessons. These skills extend to a very high level in preparation for Year 6 Sat’s.
Besides being prepared extremely well for SATs exams, our children also enjoy a very creative and enriching writing curriculum. They have the opportunity to write for a variety of purposes and have clear guidance enabling them to make considerable progress in the areas of sentence structure, vocabulary development and the accurate use of advanced punctuation.
The writing topics covered are engaging, respond to children’s interests and experiences and most importantly help children to develop a love for writing. Children make good progress because they are fully involved in their own assessment process; are given time to reflect and act upon feedback; and lead their own target setting.
In Key Stage 3, pupils are taught by experienced English specialists in attainment groups. Assessments occur periodically throughout years 7 and 8 and these enable us to make sure pupils are in the correct groups and ensuring the pace of work is challenging.
We are building the AQA syllabus into our Key Stage 3 Schemes of Work and pupils will learn how to retrieve information, summarise, evaluate and compare texts which are increasingly challenging. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of fiction and non-fiction and we read a broad range of contemporary fiction, including several whole class novels in year 7.
Regular weekly time is given to creative writing and pupils have their own original writing books which are used enthusiastically by all our pupils. Pupils will learn to write for a variety of different purposes throughout Key Stage 3, including formal speeches, police reports and persuasive letter writing.
There is a strong reading culture in Minehead Middle School which we are very proud of. In conjunction with our highly experienced and skilled Librarian, tutors monitor the reading of pupils and reading achievements are celebrated on a weekly basis in assemblies. Our library is well stocked and is used by all children throughout the school.We offer our children many opportunities to extend their love of reading, writing and speaking through participation in extra-curricular events such as Youth Speaks (where we reached the National Finals in 2016), Rotary Young Writer and the Carnegie Shadowing group.