Communications

The department has a firm belief that every learner is known, valued and understood. It is this belief that inspires the learners to achieve and raise their attainment. The staff  are committed to these beliefs in order to nurture the growth and development of all learners.

KNOWN

The department uses data efficiently in order to ensure that all learners are sufficiently challenged. Strong working relationships are formed, and a detailed analysis of prior attainment and success ensures that all learners are placed in groups that they feel inspired to achieve. The use of intervention strategies and a detailed tracking system enables the department to adapt schemes for learning in order to meet their individual needs

VALUED

The department has employed several strategies to ensure that learners feel valued –walls are constantly used to display high quality work produced by the learners.  We endeavor to send letters home to parents that celebrate achievement and value class contributions. The department implements the whole school reward system, awarding stamps for instant praise. There is an expectation of high quality discussion and dialogue between all learners and staff.

UNDERSTOOD

The department works together ensuring that all learners are understood – this involves matching the curriculum organisation and schemes for learning in order to support learners.  Texts are chosen to ensure maximum enjoyment of the subject and Speaking and Listening is integrated where possible to ensure pupil participation and through which staff develop the learners’ language. LSA’s are involved in planning, and the department has subject specific LSAs. The department prides itself on the ability to motivate learners through a shared understanding of barriers to learning and strategies to overcome them.

Staffing

KGE Kathryn Grice
  • Director of Personalised Learning – Communications
JTY – Jenny Tierney
  • National Lead Practitioner for English
  • Assistant Vice Principal
MHD – Mike Howard
  • Teacher of English
  • Assistant Vice Principal
MFN – Mary Fenton
  • KS4 Leader
RPD – Ruth Pollard
  • Lead Practitioner, KS4 Leader
CBN – Curtis Brennan
  • Teacher of English and KS3 Leader
ZBN – Zoe Brearton
  • Teacher of English
SDD – Sameera Dad
  • Teacher of English
KMN – Kayleigh Marsden
  • Teacher of English
AHR – Alexandra Homanyoonpoor
  • Teacher of English
RGK – Romina Gilson-Hook
  • Director of Personalised Learning – Modern Foreign Languages
SMT – Stella Marchant
  • Teacher of Spanish
SQN – Siobhan Quinn
  • Teacher of Spanish
AME – Amy Moorhouse
  • Teacher of Spanish

Quality First Teaching and Learning

The Staffing in the department is of high quality.  We have a DoPL of Communications as well as Key Stage  Leaders, a National Lead Practitioner for English – attached to the SSAT and responsible for creating innovative materials and teaching strategies for challenging schools and a Lead practitioner within the Academy responsible for whole staff training as part of the lead practitioner group.

The English Curriculum

In KS3 all learners are assessed in the three areas specified by the National Curriculum at the end of each unit – one speaking and listening, one reading and one writing assessment. All classes have class curricular targets and following these assessments, individual targets

“Based upon thorough and accurate assessment that informs learners how to improve, work is closely tailored to the full range of learners’ needs, so that all can succeed. Learners are guided to assess their work themselves.”

At KS4, most students are entered for both AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature.  English Language consists of 40% Controlled Assessment completed in class throughout the year, Speaking and Listening, again completed in class throughout the year, and 60% terminal exam.  We are also looking to offer a second GCSE in English, an IGCSE, for those students we feel have not reached their target grade through the traditional route.

English Literature consists mainly of external examination with one piece of Controlled Assessment worth 25% completed in class.  We are also looking to offer a second GCSE in English, IGCSE, for those students we feel have not reached their target grade through the traditional route.

In KS5 we offer both GCE English Language and GCE English Literature.  Both of these courses are a combination of coursework and external exam.  We also offer courses for our level 1 and 2 learners:  GCSE English Language Re-sit; IGCSE, Functional Skills levels 1 and 2 and Entry levels 1 and 2.

All learners have course overviews and are fully aware of the assessment criteria and deadlines. One of the department’s strengths is the use of peer and self-assessment and regular feedback and assessment from staff.

Target Setting and Tracking

The department follows the whole school initiative for PUR- a developed tracking system which enables intervention and monitoring.

“Realistic and challenging targets…. are grounded in the analysis of the pupils’ attainment and progress, and are being used effectively to improve”

All classes have a completed context sheet ensuring the setting of relevant and challenging targets. All planning is informed by ILP’s and the Gifted And Talented Register.  Students are set half termly targets which are challenging and regularly monitored.

Pupil Grouping

All classes are mixed ability – the department feels very strongly about the opportunities given to all learners and as such create detailed differentiated schemes for learning  that  can then be delivered to all groups – thus avoiding groupings where learners feel devalued and demotivated.

Students are allocated the following number of English lessons:

  • Year 7: 2 lessons
    There are links with the transition team and the department  jointly plans and delivers English to year 7. The transition team establishes the groupings and the department support this during their allocated time.
  • Year 8: 3 lessons
  • Year 9: 4 lessons
  • Years 10 and 11: 4 lessons
  • Years 12 and 13: 5 lessons

Intervention

All classes have a context sheet where intervention is clearly identified. All staff have differentiated schemes for learning and summary planning. The department works closely with the Raising Achievement Team and support whole school initiatives which tackle barriers to learning.

Small groups are withdrawn from whole class situations in order to increase confidence such as year 11 – a small group is currently practising for the ALAN tests – it is hoped that this intervention will help support the comprehension section of paper one , and also boost confidence.

The Gifted and Talented provision involves a proposed trip to Haworth And Liverpool  – specific electives and competitions.

The Learning Environment

Our Hub is the heart of the English Department, English classes revolve around that space in the main. Our A-Level classes are smaller and don’t generally take place in the hub, to allow for a more private discussion space.

Our teachers swap classrooms every year to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to benefit from the different aspects of each room, such as the team teaching classroom with the collapsible wall, the independent classroom with offers easy access to the breakout space and static I.T. equipment and the classrooms which are furnished with easily moveable tables to create instant drama spaces.

Within each room we have Promethean Whiteboards which are used every lesson.

The department feels that an aesthetically pleasing environment encourages pride within work and  therefore there are high quality interactive displays which are changed on a regular basis.

Our schemes are reviewed, updated and changed when necessary to meet the needs of the Learners. They are constantly evolving and improving and show awareness of the differentiation needed for mixed ability teaching.

Extended curriculum

Our Elective programme is focused on Key Stage 3 and 4 at present and runs weekly on a Thursday 3.15 – 4.30 for KS4 and on Thursday 3.15 – 4.00 for KS3 . Currently the main aim is to boost skills with KS3 in a Skills Surgery and to catch up with any outstanding coursework at KS4.  Booster classes for learners also take place in the holidays close to exams.

The department organises opportunities such as trips and visits which support the curriculum and also enable relationships to strengthen.  Conferences have also been held, Speaking and Listening days, performances by visiting theatre companies are just some of the activities organized this year to raise attainment.

Below are the overview documents for each year group:

The Modern Foreign Languages Curriculum

The MFL Department believes and supports the academy’s ethos of ‘Every Learner is Known, Valued and Understood’.  As a department we want to develop our learners to be active and have autonomy over their learning.

We believe that learning a foreign language can benefit the learner both personally and professionally.

This is the first year that Spanish has been offered to our learners. Our current year 7 cohort are the first year 7 students to learn Spanish at Bradford Academy. The year 8 cohort students and some year 9 students have also started to learn Spanish this September 2013.

We hope that the Spanish Curriculum will inspire, engage and challenge our learners; as they open their minds to the learning of a new language and culture.

Homework activities and online resources for this area are under license and can be obtained through the  password protected Learning Gateway area of the Academy virtual learning environment.