Preparing our students for life, enriching their education, ensuring we give them the skills they need to be active, critical readers, writers and speakers.
Critics interrogate what they read, making judgements and giving their opinions. They think about the writer and what the intended impact was in the piece, then, they decide how effective the writer has been in achieving this goal. They lower the author, playwright or poet from the pedestal, but with respect!
Readers feel something about what they read, understand it in its context and are able to read for deeper meaning between the lines. They appreciate a text for what it is and the way it makes them feel, showing empathy for situations and characters.
Speakers aren’t afraid to discuss and debate, or question others. They voice their thoughts, share their creative ideas and question why things happen the way they do. They speak in front of an audience comfortably, confidently and with respect.
Writers communicate their thoughts, imagination, opinions and ideas in a way that engages someone else. They compel you to read their work using language and structural tricks to transport you to other places. You can understand what they are saying as they ensure their meaning is clear and coherent.
Students come to Wyedean with a strong skill set; well prepared for English.
Many students go on to succeed academically; achieving above national expectations.
For those students who do not achieve what they want first time round; most achieve their English GCSE grade with us in Year 12 or 13.
For Gifted students, the high expectations built into our curricular design and individual lessons provide them with opportunities to extend their knowledge and develop skills of wider reading or preparation for further academic study.
For students who come to Wyedean without meeting national expectations for progress, our Progress Group, combining Fresh Start phonics and intensive English lessons enable them to make rapid progress toward achieving in line with expectations or exceeding these. The intention of this is to ensure they close the gap before it continues to widen into Key Stage 4.
Many students speak highly of the English department at Wyedean and love their English lessons. We are lucky to have mature, sensible and self-reflective students here at Wyedean; many of whom are heavily involved in the local community. Like we do, the students have high expectations of the education they receive and are not afraid to let us know if we fall short.
Here are some recent comments:
“I think X is a good, helpful teacher because she goes to everyone to make they know what they are doing this is good because I don’t always ask for help.”
“I think that our relationship is good. I can listen to Miss and know what is expected of me.”
“Good teaching style.”
“I am proud that I have not been sent out.”
“I think I am kind and helpful in class.”
“I think English lessons are going really well.”
KS3 Assessment at Wyedean
There are a set of criteria that have to be met to be ‘secure’ for each year for each subject. Each year is a stage and within that there are 3 steps. The extent to which that year’s criteria are met will indicate which step they are on; emerging, developing or secure. This could be decided based on a certain number of criteria being met or it may be that you would not consider anyone as developing if they have not achieved this particular piece of knowledge or skill. It is possible for a student who is in Y8 to be working on Y9 work so may be Y9 emerging, or to still be at the Y7 secure stage.
On student reports there will also be a comment about progress:
- Not making expected progress
- Making expected progress
- Making accelerated progress
All subjects will roll this out with Y7, 8 and 9 from September 2015. English and maths did not have a choice as the current Y9s will sit the new GCSEs. For other subjects, it will be next year’s Y9s who will sit the new GCSEs so need the increased rigour of the new KS3 curriculum to prepare them for the new GCSEs. So the new Y7 and 8 need the new curriculum and new assessment that goes alongside. It was decided that all subjects will use the new system for Y9 to avoid the situation where there are two different systems running in KS3 (along with two different ones in KS4 and another in KS5).
The aim is for students to be secure in that year’s knowledge by the end of the academic year. Where their starting point is lower, the progress grade indicates to what extend progress is being made. For students with higher starting points this is also true, so they may be on Year 7 developing by the end of term one but still need to be making expected progress towards Year 7 secure. So there will not be targets set for individuals.
Key Stage 4/5 Transition
The Extended Project and our rigorous programme of support for our students enables them to make a smooth transition to Key Stage 5. The increased rigour at GCSE level will help us to promote the wider reading aspects of the A Level which are a challenge for students who come to the Sixth form unprepared.
Key Stage 5
Julie Smith and Lucy McManus have worked tirelessly to improve outcomes for our students in the Sixth form. Results have improved year on year; despite transitions, course changes and the new reforms.
Their outstanding leadership of this Key Stage is the reason we attract top quality students to our subject; have excellent attitudes to learning; outstanding results and positive student feedback. Their support for staff, students and parents is exemplary.
We are currently working with:
Bristol University – PGCE students
Bristol University (UWE)– PHD student
Leading Schools South West – NPQSL
John Cabot – NPQML
University of Cardiff – Teacher training
Classics for All – Latin
AQA Regional English Hub group – Bradley Stoke School
WJEC A Level
English Secondary Subject Leader Network
Pupil Premium Network
The Crypt School
Tim Connole – Adfecto
Rotary Club Chepstow
Ned Heywood - Drill Hall Chepstow
Fiona (HOE) Marlwood School
Kathleen McGillycuddy – Orchard School
Sarah Cooksley – Severn Vale
GITEP – ITT Programme
We work hard to build and retain strong links with our local and wider community. This involves liaison, networking, leading and attending external training and engaging outside agencies in the day to day working of the department.