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English

Our Aim:

Is to provide the very best opportunities for students across the college to reach their potential in English and have this recognised by external accreditation in readiness for the next stage of their life.

As a whole college community we are dedicated to providing the opportunity to all our students to reach their full potential in English in preparation for adult life when they leave us.

We reinforce across all subject areas the importance of learning, building upon and cementing skills that are vital for communication.

The English team is working specifically on reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, and use a variety of engaging and creative styles to do this.

The Team:

  • Sally Campion – Teacher
  • Jane Dobson – Literacy resource TA
  • Kevin Doherty – Teacher
  • Anne Douglas – Intervention TA
  • Sarah Ellis – Lead Teacher for English
  • Lucy Lock – Teacher
  • Marney Lowe – 6th Form English
  • Carol Noble – 6th Form English, 6th Form Curriculum Lead
  • Carrie-Anne Sillence – Teacher, Marvel Pastoral Leader
  • Heather Whiting – English TA

The Curriculum:

MLD students at the College follow a specifically designed long term plan that enables them to experience a wide-ranging set of literary resources. The texts have been carefully chosen from the top rated children’s classics and modern fiction and the suggested texts from different exam boards.

In Key Stage 3 units of work last for a half or full term and across the year will include the skills required to meet each of the Assessment Foci in the Assessing Pupil Progress National Strategy as well as the Key Progress Indicators from the National Curriculum. The team have spent much time selecting appropriate texts which not only demonstrate high quality English skill, but are also engaging, challenging and cover relevant real world and age appropriate issues.

In Key Stage 4 the students begin their accreditation journey and are able to work towards a qualification matching their ability. Generally in Key Stage 4 the units of work last for a full term to incorporate the controlled tasks for accreditation. The students work towards achieving the assessment objectives of the accreditation. The texts read alongside qualification work are again engaging, challenging and set to encourage a desire to read for leisure.

To ensure texts are accessible to all we use alternative versions including: large print, graphic novels, audio and on-screen versions.

Accreditation:

In Key Stage 4 (Year 10 and 11) students at Oak Grove College begin to work towards nationally recognised qualifications. Depending on their starting point students can follow three pathways. Students in Koa and Animus complete communication based units of work for ASDAN accreditation. This is a life skills based programme which builds on all aspects of everyday life.

Students in Avatar, Da Vinci and Marvel and some from Koa start to work towards an Entry Level Certificate in English. This is a qualification known as a pre-GCSE and awarded by the exam board OCR. When these students move into Year 11 they start a yearlong programme called Functional Skills English. This accreditation ranges from Entry Level 1 to Level 2 and focuses on the practical uses of reading and writing in everyday life. Entry Level 1/2/3 are completed in the classroom and Level 1 and 2 are exams. We currently use two awarding bodies for these AQA and Edexcel. Functional Skills accreditations at Level 1 and 2 have point values equal to GCSEs so FE colleges and employers like to know the results.

The third path students can follow is a GCSE route. These students work towards either an English Language or English Literature GCSE in Year 10 and complete the other in Year 11. This Year is the first time Oak Grove College has offered GCSE English and we are all very proud of the work the students have done.

6th Form students work on their English skills in a different way through engaging with work experience, work related learning, meal prep and travel training as well as discrete English lessons. The progress in English is tracked through the skills assessment of City and Guilds. These are split into reading, writing and communication units and are levelled by the Entry Level and Level system. The number of awards students get is dependent on how long they stay in 6th Form. The qualification is open for 3 years and marked through evidence in a portfolio.

If for any reason a student did not gain their expected qualification, we ensure they have an opportunity to re-sit them the following year.

Support:

Within college, students work in small classes with a specialist English teacher and a TA. This enables us to give specific support to students.

For many students improving their skill in English is a real challenge. Support from home is vital for our young people to feel confident and able to try new things.

Talking and listening are the first key steps to improving English skills; so talk to each other, ask questions and model how listening to answers is important. For older students a key area to work on is using formal language (Standard English) in certain situations. Having some fun with this would be a great way to support your child.

Doing things together; playing games, watching television, going shopping, taking a walk, all involve English skills. By showing your child how you deal with everyday things will support them in learning this life skill too.

Reading can be a tricky activity to do at home. Remember reading does not have to be from a reading book. Decoding words whether they are on a TV screen, computer screen, food package, sign or billboard is the same skill as decoding a book.

Writing also does not have to be long. Handwriting will improve with greater muscle tone in hands. Playing games such as Noughts and Crosses, Hangman, snake and boxes all require fine motor skills. Hand/eye co-ordination is an important aspect of writing, so throwing and catching games would be of benefit too.