Developments in English
English medium term planning is reviewed after each term to create the best learning opportunities available. The texts chosen for each unit match the ability of the students and we have invested in different versions of the same book so all students are able to access them. This year we have made the decision to rotate the units so that each class has all the available resources at one time.
Is a crucial part of the work we do Internal moderation of all strands of English take place regularly as part of English department meetings. Members of the English team also take part in moderation with other special and mainstream schools to ensure our decisions match those of others. The introduction of assessment without levels means this is even more important than ever before.
Alongside this moderation, in Key Stage 4 we also have visits from exam board advisers to validate our marking as well as sending off samples of controlled assessment portfolios to be moderated by exam boards.
Year 11 students will be entered for an English Functional Skills accreditation. This will range from Entry Level Certificate 1 to Level 2. Level 1 and level 2 are GCSE equivalent qualifications. Our Year 10s are working towards their OCR Entry Level Certificate English coursework. These will lead to them gaining two nationally recognised qualifications in English by the end of Key Stage 4.
In Key Stage 5 students work towards a new qualification from the exam board Ascentis. This is an Extended Award in English Skills and ranges from Entry Level 1 to Level 2.
English lessons are timetabled so that year groups are taught at the same time. This enables us to split the students into smaller groups and focus on particular needs. Classes have no more than nine students with a teacher and at least one teaching assistant.
Literacy Half Hour
All MLD students from Year 7 to the 6th Form have been allocated a specific group to work in for half an hour every day. During these sessions the students have a different literacy focus including phonics, guided reading, guided writing and communication skills. Students working at Phase 4 and above in phonics are taught through a rotation of exciting cross-curricular topics. This enables them to continue to practice and build upon their literacy skills whilst making links to other areas of the curriculum.
Literacy Half Hour was introduced to our timetable 4 years ago. The feedback from pupils, staff, parents and outside visitors is incredibly positive, and the sessions are now firmly embedded in the learning day at Oak Grove College.
27 staff from across the college teach groups that are of mixed ages. Groups are specifically formed with students whose needs and abilities are similar to each other. We have specialist groups for our students who have visual impairments, dyslexia and social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. This has made a real difference to many students, who now feel more confident about literacy and are more willing to participate in lessons.
We offer a programme of specific “Reading Recovery” for five students per term; evidence from which consistently shows significant impact on pupil progress. The students take part in a programme of study for 30 minutes every day for ten weeks. The focus of each session is dependent on the needs of the individual. Generally the key areas include building confidence in writing and reading skills, learning how to decode phonetically and increasing the range of sight vocabulary. a £10 book token is presented to all students on completion of the course.
Literacy Tips for Parents
Click the button below to see examples of how you can help your child with their literacy at home.