‘Literacy is the road to human progress and the means through which every child can realize his or her full potential.’
Extra English lessons at Chapel High School support students who find reading, writing and spoken English more challenging. In these lessons, we encourage students to see that words and language have the power to broaden their understanding of themselves and the world around them, as well as offering additional support in the skills needed to access learning across the curriculum.
Extra English students are taught in small groups in the school library. As in their main English lessons, students in extra English are encouraged to empathise and to consider life’s big questions through the texts that they study. In year 7 we read Carnegie-winning ‘Lark’ and consider how this mirrors the lives of teenagers in a rural setting. In year 8, we broaden this experience to texts such as ‘Stone Cold’ and ‘Windrush Child’ which explore ideas such as homelessness, justice and immigration. By year 9 students progress to tackling issues of class, knife violence and good versus evil through ‘Teacher’s Dead’ and ‘Blood Brothers’. Students are encouraged to make links with what they are studying in English and other subjects, as well topical news events.
Students follow intensive reading and spelling programmes as part of their extra English lessons. Students also have the support of our librarian who will help them to choose books that will engage and challenge them. We have a focus on reading for fluency and reading for pleasure and students enjoy hearing their teachers read to them, as well as reading aloud themselves in our regular reading sessions.
Oracy is a priority for us and students are encouraged to think before they speak. High standards of written work are equally important and lessons explicitly remind students that grammar and punctuation are not just something that they ‘know’ but that they actively ‘do’.
Students in extra English are taught to ‘think big’ and to continually strive to improve their literacy skills. Our students’ sense of self-worth is integral to our teaching of extra English and we aim to boost students’ confidence in these lessons and to ensure they are well equipped for their future lives in the hills of the High Peak and beyond.
You can find our year 7 to 9 curriculum here.