English Department Portal House School
At the heart of English at Portal House is a commitment to developing pupils’ literacy skills to the standard required to access learning across the curriculum. We seek to ensure that every pupil at Portal House is able to engage in conversation with others in a considered and thoughtful manner; we seek to ensure that every pupil is able to read with confidence and pleasure and we seek to ensure that every pupil can write clearly and accurately.
We have selected strategies to enable this in the first instance we encourage pupils to read for pleasure. Research shows this to be the most effective way of securing literacy to the standard needed in the 21st century. To this end, we promote DEAR time across both key stages. We place an importance on the ability to read and understand, as the demands of the new GCSE are ever greater in all subjects.
In addition to DEAR time, we have a well-stocked library (with a high ratio of books to people, including e books). While each class is equipped with book boxes packed full of relevant and stimulating material. Next, we select the very best from the national curriculum for English enabling pupils to access a broad range of literature, including writing by canonical greats such as William Shakespeare and Charles Dickens as well as contemporary writers such as Michael Morpurgo and Benjamin Zephaniah. The study of literary texts is supplemented by close attention to different forms of nonfiction writing, especially that which involves multimedia technologies. Finally, pupils are encouraged to engage in cultural activities such as theatre and cinema visits, author visits and drama workshops. Our aim at KS3 is to ensure that each pupil enters KS4 English secure in the knowledge that he can ‘do’ English and that he has the skills to achieve an English GCSE.
All new pupils (regardless of age) who join Portal House will be tested and given a base line to enable us teachers to have an indication of a pupils current knowledge, strengths and weaknesses.
All pupils will be assessed in English every half term as a means of assessing and building on any knowledge. This assessment enables us as teachers here at Portal House to further plan and teach to the needs of individual students.
Pupils will be assessed using an AQA style exam that is specifically designed to meet the needs of KS3 and KS4; ultimately preparing them for the final GCSE in year 11.
All Ks4 pupils are offered extra English on a Friday to increase their confidence with the Language and Literature exams.
Aims & Objectives
- To expose students to the best literacy teaching possible
- To enable all pupils to be competent in basic literacy skills
- To support pupils in reaching their full potential enabling them to take their place in the world of work
- To enable students to achieve their full potential
Extra Curricular Enrichment
We believe that all students should be exposed to cultural opportunities and we provide this within the English department with our many theatre trips and workshops.