English Language is both a core and a gateway subject. It enables students to develop the reading and writing skills necessary to access other subjects in greater depth. The curriculum in both Key Stage 3 and 4 gives equal weight to reading and writing. A wide range of texts are used in class to ready students for the iGCSE English Language and/or Functional Skills.
Students develop their reading skills, so they are able to extract meaning from text and at the same time extend their comprehension and vocabulary skills. Texts are selected to inform and entertain as well as promote an appreciation of the value of reading. Learners are encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. They also develop their writing skills so that they can produce a piece of writing that is coherent and meaningful. Time is given to understanding the importance of punctuation as well as developing personalised spelling strategies. Opportunities are provided for students to enhance their speaking and listening skills by preparing presentations on topics of interest. Small classes mean that teachers can address the specific needs of individual students.
Students follow the Cambridge Lower Secondary English pathway curriculum. They develop skills and understanding in four areas: reading writing, speaking and listening. Students learn how to communicate effectively and respond to a range of information, media and texts. Students will:
- become confident communicators, able to apply all four skills effectively in everyday situations.
- see themselves as readers, engaging with a range of texts for information and for pleasure, including texts from different times and cultures.
- see themselves as writers, using the written word clearly and creatively for a range of different audiences and purposes.
Prior learning, along with where in KS4 students are on arrival will determine the pathway that they will follow:
iGCSE English Language
The iGCSE First Language English develops general analysis and communication skills such as inference and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.
The qualification consists of 3 pieces of coursework (argumentative, descriptive and narrative writing), followed by an exam designed to assess reading comprehension skills as well as writing.
NCFE Functional Skills
Level 1 and 2
Functional Skills English qualifications enable learners to develop confidence and fluency in, and a positive attitude towards, English. Students will be able to competently use English in the real world and gain a sound grasp of basic English knowledge and skills.
Functional skills consists of a reading paper, a writing paper and a speaking and listening assessment.
High achieving students and those who are with us for longer periods can be entered for both iGCSE and Functional Skills.
Students are able to complete the Functional Skills tests when they are ready at Brunel College, with the option to resit if necessary. Some students opt to take the Functional Skills assessments in Y9 and Y10.