English forms the basis for our development, relationships and our understanding of the world around us. The study of English is key to our personal growth and, through the development of effective written and spoken communication, it is the foundation for all our learning. The ability to communicate effectively, confidently and with clarity is crucial in school, but also in becoming an effective participant in our wider society with skills of communication being key to accessing the world of work and in navigating adult life. In a fast paced, global world the importance of fluent written and spoken English is crucial and it is essential that we develop these skills through an effective English curriculum.
From Year 7, our students will be building on the foundations of the primary curriculum through a systematic exposure to a wide range of high-quality literature. We not only promote reading for enjoyment to ignite a curiosity in students, but also as a way of acquiring knowledge and exploring the world in ways that develop a student’s cultural and emotional intellect. Our Secondary Reading Strategy recognises the barriers students face in accessing challenging texts such as: complexity of narrator, non-linear time sequences, complexity of story or archaic texts and encourages students to confidently explore and probe the literal and layered meanings in the texts they read. Through our curriculum we actively encourage students to develop their close reading skills so they can confidently and methodically break down the language and structure of a complex passage to establish and analyse meaning. Furthermore, in order to develop accountable and independent readers, we have designed a curriculum which requires different types, or layers of reading, which is supported by text dependent questions and where possible, with mastery shown through a range of writing opportunities.
The English curriculum at The Vale Academy is robust and systematic in exposing students to effective challenge, so they can build and refine long-lasting skills for the future. Subsequently, we offer a curriculum which has appropriate challenge for all students and aims to allow students to flourish in the skills required for success in their chosen KS4 and post 16 pathways.