Landgate School offers a diverse and adaptive English curriculum, which caters to the needs, abilities and interests of all our learners. It is important for our learners to employ the skills, knowledge and understanding they learn during English lessons throughout their time at school, when at home and beyond.
Speaking and Listening
At the core of the English curriculum is communication and we offer Total Communication Environments to ensure every learner has a voice and has the opportunity to communicate. Together we develop this into other aspects of speaking and listening including Drama, Role-Play and Oracy. Speaking and listening is delivered throughout the curriculum as well as within discrete lessons and performances.
At Landgate, we principally use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics, reading and spelling skills. We supplement this with Jolly Phonics and Read Write Inc. to ensure that we are adaptive to the learning styles and abilities of all our learners. Phonics lessons are timetabled throughout the week and our staff receive regular training on the delivery of phonics to keep up to date with the latest methods and developments. Learners in year one complete a phonics screening test and if needed will repeat this again in year two.
Our English curriculum focusses on both dimensions of reading: word reading and comprehension to build fluency and pronunciation as well as appreciation and love of reading. We also ensure our learners use their reading skills to gain knowledge across the curriculum. We encourage learners to underpin their reading with phonics and decoding skills as well as linguistic knowledge (grammar and vocabulary) to ensure good comprehension. All learners are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in. We have several book corners in classrooms as well as an outdoor reading shed with a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. For learners who best learn sensorily, we teach reading through sensory stories and immersive story telling events.
In school, learners access Dandelion Readers within the primary department and Dockside Readers in the secondary department, as appropriate to the content of each scheme. Both schemes build upon phonics learning to further enhance consistency in reading development. Reading books are sent home with learners who are ready to share their reading practice at home.
From initial mark making to writing and editing a range of texts and genres, learners are given a wide range of opportunities to access writing and mark making experiences throughout the English curriculum. For learners who are beginning to develop their gross or fine motor skills and letter formation, we use the system of ‘Squiggle Wiggle’ which encourages letter shapes to music and mark making on various surfaces and areas. For learners who are recording their communication in sentences and simple texts, we have developed a system of Colourful Semantics which encourages learners to use colours and symbols to support how they put a sentence together. Our more emergent writers follow ‘Writing for a Purpose’, which gives learners the opportunity to focus upon the reason for the writing as well as learning about the structure of the genre.
For learners who have additional needs in any area of the English curriculum support is offered from our SaLT and OT therapists with individual targets and support plans as well as training in delivery of interventions and support strategies for staff.
In key stage four, learners follow accreditation including pre-entry and Entry Level AQA unit awards and OCR Entry Level specification. In key stage 5, learners continue to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills through a range of vocational opportunities, which include adult literacy.
English homework is sent home once a term as part of the whole school homework menu, where appropriate reading books, spelling and additional homework may be sent home by the class teacher.
Mark Sanders and Monty Dogge https://www.montydogge.com/ are working closely with us this year as our resident author. Monty the dog has visited school and all our learners enjoy reading Mark’s books and discovering what he will be up to next.