At KS3, pupils are supported in their transition from the nurturing environment of the Primary classroom by working with staff to develop an individualised learning path, enabling them to take control and ownership of their own development. Prior learning is developed and expanded upon in such a way that the student is able to pursue his own interests and topics; staff facilitate this by ensuring that the demands of the National Curriculum at KS3 are followed and that progression across the various strands of learning is challenging and engaging.
KS3 is pivotal as this is the time when students’ specific needs are identified, allowing intervention programs to be put in place where necessary. The program of study includes Literacy and Grammar, Media and Non-fiction, Poetry, Shakespeare and Creative Writing. This program is developed and expanded upon as students move through the Key Stage, each one completing termly assessments in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Students are expected to revisit work, proof-read, reassess, re-draft and improve their work to the best of their ability, creating a sense of ownership and pride in the finished piece, building a solid foundation for the challenges of the GCSE course.
Reading for pleasure is a key element of the timetable and students have one designated Reading lesson per week, this is monitored by staff through discussion and, more recently, Reading Journals, in which students record their Reading experiences in written communication with staff.
Writing Practice is also a regular feature and the department co-ordinates closely with Future Steps, our occupational therapy consultants, to strengthen essential motor functionality for later life. However, students have appreciated and enjoyed the individualised Writing Books provided by their regular Teaching Assistant. These are geared towards special interests, such as: Transformers and Minecraft – students write words and phrases unique to these interests, making the work more accessible and enjoyable.