ENGLISH CURRICULUM VISION
To ensure that all of our pupils are at the centre of a broad, varied and interesting learning experience and to equip each pupil for their future; in the hope that they will acquire the personal qualities, attitudes, skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for personal fulfilment and a developing social responsibility. The holistic nature of our practice will promote positive mental health and well-being and will enhance our pupils’ life skills and social skills.
The English Curriculum at The Mendip School is broad and balanced for all pupils. The National Curriculum forms part of the whole school curriculum: the programmes of study for English are followed where they are relevant and accessible, though this may well be at a different Key Stage.
The curriculum is planned very carefully to make sure it meets the particular learning needs of all pupils, whatever their attainment and ability. Class teachers are given the autonomy to the decide how, what and when English skills are taught to pupils. Teachers use our frameworks to ensure a planned sequence of skills and knowledge. Instead, each Class Teacher is given the autonomy to decide how, what and when the English skills are taught to their pupils.
The English Curriculum at The Mendip School is completely personalised for all pupils and uses a range of approaches and teaching styles with lots of explanation, modelling, scaffolding and practice. There are differentiated curriculums and the school adapts its approaches to the curriculum for pupils with different needs and in different school phases. The phases are:
Our holistic curriculum supports pupils to learn English skills at their own level and with real life experience, this can be trips and visits to the community, play and engagement, social skills and interactions, etc walks in our local environment, mark making, as well as sharing books and reading.
Some pupils are able to follow the National Curriculum and access exams at either Entry Level, GCSE or Functional Skills in English Language. Every teacher has the highest learning expectations and the teaching styles and resources meet the pupils needs including multi-sensory activities and over learning.
More detail of how this is taught in each area below.
- Pupils of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded.
- Pupils will have a wide vocabulary
- Regular opportunities for retrieval practice to improve both their fluency and mastery
- Progress is measured using formative approaches using the B level frameworks. Assessment informs planning and targets for personalised learning for each pupil
- Other means of evaluating progress is achieved through: Learning Walks, Book Scrutinies, Moderation, Observations
- Summative data is recorded on the Education Health Care Plan which is reviewed annually and it is also recorded on Evidence for Learning.
Phonics & Reading
At The Mendip School we use the Sounds Write Phonics programme, which is a highly structured, incremental and code-oriented, instructional approach, to teach children to read and spell. Throughout, Sounds~Write promotes the use of multi-sensory engagement with the materials pupils are working with in a manner that is commensurate with the level and abilities of the children being taught. Visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities are at all times combined simultaneously to promote learning. Pupil’ phonics levels are monitored every term to ensure that sessions are relevant and targeted.
Throughout the school phonics is taught daily with a focus on using appropriate strategies to support the group. With this in mind classes use Sounds Write as a primary model.
Sounds-Write is a stand-alone linguistic phonics programme that provides training in the teaching of reading and spelling for teaching practitioners working at primary and secondary levels. The programme is designed to be delivered whole class, small group, or one to one and all participants on our courses receive everything required to implement Sounds-Write at each of these levels.
Once pupils begin to read they are assigned an appropriate level of book which matches the sounds write stages to read in school. Pupils are encouraged to read daily in school. The school holds a wide range of scheme books which allow pupils to progress their reading at an appropriate pace for them, with a range of subjects and topics for different ages. Reading is assessed through the use of a Sounds Write assessment, progressing onto more formal tests of accuracy and comprehension which give age scores. These are reported as part of the annual review process.
There is also a particular focus on making reading fun and accessible for pupils through websites like Teach your Monster to Read and Multi-Sensory books. We have redesigned the library to ensure a calm and inviting environment for children to spend time enjoying books and story telling.
Accelerated Reader is a whole class management and monitoring programme that aims to foster independent reading throughout the school. The children take an online quiz three times a year that provides the teacher with a numerical score that relates to the books in the library. They are then aided in their selection of the next book allowing choice of interest with in the correct level of difficulty. The programme encourages pupils to read independently and more importantly at their own pace and level.
Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books to read, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them.
To go with Accelerated Reader, The Mendip School also has access to Myon which is an online library that gives pupils access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books. Titles are dynamically matched to each individual student’s interests, grade and Lexile® reading level. myON Reader fosters pupil engagement and achievement.
Class teachers are responsible to plan and deliver a series of literacy lessons, that respect the students’ individual needs, interests and strengths. In order to achieve this, teachers are provided with a framework with supportive materials and resources. The teachers use a Talk4Writing approach in their teaching of texts, the SoundsWrite Scheme in the teaching of Phonics and the government framework’s Appendices for Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation is introduced where appropriate.
The Talk4Writing approach is used from KS1 throughout KS4 so that students become used to tackling and breaking down, then recreating, texts in a consistent way. The repetitive nature of the approach allows for a reduced cognitive load when learning a text and how to innovate it. Throughout the series of lessons, the children are introduced to new objectives that cover a mixture of writing genres and grammar rules. The children then get the chance to use their imagination to invent their own stories, allowing for creativity throughout the subject.
Life skills Learners, follow an adapted overview of English, using suggestions from the EQUALS curriculum for support, subsidised with additional activities and programmes designed to develop fluent communication, such as, Colourful Semantics, sensory stories and additional speech and language activities.
Access for all
Students have opportunities to write at length in independent writing sessions, with access to ICT and scribes, according to their needs. Where appropriate, students follow the Colourful Semantics approach to aid their understanding of sentence structure and to communicate their ideas. The students are also given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts, using quality texts as a model, and for a variety of purposes and audiences. There are many opportunities for students to improve their writing inspired by multisensory activities, such as drama techniques, topic boxes and film clips. They may be asked to produce their writing on their own or as part of group. Students will also be given the opportunity to use ICT for their writing.
The Mendip School does not adopt a specific approach to teaching handwriting, but uses a variety of approaches that best suit the individual child. As a school, we also recognise that our learners will all develop their handwriting over different periods of time based on their individual needs. More details on handwriting at The Mendip School can be found in Appendix 1 of our English Policy.
Please see the links below for our English frameworks:
Home Learning Zone
Click on the links below.
- Reading books online:
Sign In – myON® – Each child has their own Username and Password to access this online library (please ask your child’s teacher).
Click on the link to go to Accelerated Reader:
Click on the link for a Parent Guide:
- Listen to stories online:
- Creative Writing:
- Grammar and spelling practice
Spelling Shed – Spelling Shed – Spelling game for school and home (your teacher should give you a Username and Password).
- Practice your Comprehension Skills:
- Practice Touch Typing: