SPALD English

Curriculum Intent

To have uncompromising aspirations for every individual and for our school to be an exceptional and inspirational community of lifelong learners.



To develop literacy skills in order to be able to access the rest of the curriculum and the world around them, through reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students are exposed to a broad experience of a range of accessible texts (bespoke to the cohort) which aim to develop their cultural capital in order to assist them to integrate and function in a wider society. Through English in Spald we want to foster a love of reading and writing in different forms and develop ways to express themselves and communicate with others. Key to this is enabling students to develop their language skills and vocabulary in order for them to be able to communicate effectively and function fully in society, equipped with literacy skills which will enable them to be successful in further education or careers, along with appropriate accreditation and qualifications.


Key concepts that underpin the curriculum
  1. The Writer’s Craft
  2. The Reader’s Response
  3. Context
  4. Genre
  5. Spoken Language


Key features of learning

Our lessons are very interactive with a wide range of activities, such as using mini white boards, ELKLAN strategies and games, which develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. We use technology both in and outside the classroom to enhance the learning, for example, Quizlet to help students learn vocabulary or IDL where they independently work through a series of modules. Reading and literacy intervention including Dockside and Toe by Toe, delivered by TAs, are also used in conjunction with the class teaching.


How does our curriculum shape learners?

By reading and writing a wide range of genres and forms, students will be able to experience the world around them, allowing them to make more informed decisions in their own lives.

Beyond developing their language skills and literacy competence, we want learners to widen their cultural capital, become resilient learners, and equip them with life skills. This will include developing self-help and organisational strategies as well as resilience for life beyond school. In this way, the opportunities and life choices that they will have available to them will be widened.



Year 7

By the end of year 7, students will have developed some confidence in speaking audibly and fluently and be able to participate in discussions well as listen and maintain attention. We aim to develop their love of reading through poetry, plays and novels, helping them to be able to read common words with fluency and accuracy. Not only should they be able to understand what is read and develop prediction and recall, but be starting to develop some ability to use inference and deduction. In terms of writing, students need to be able to spell common words, write and sequence sentences and use capital letters and full stops correctly in a variety of written forms. Students will also develop some knowledge of parts of speech, including identifying nouns, adjectives and verbs as well as some figurative language such as similes. They can produce short texts with some connectives and opinions and grow in confidence in developing their own personal response. There is also the opportunity to read a variety of rich literary and non-fiction texts, such as Macbeth, and be able to find evidence as well as begin to understand what a quotation is. Our ambition for our year 7 students is to feel confident and positive about their progress in their reading and writing and experience the joy of reading and discovering new things.

Year 8

By the end of year 8, students will continue to develop their confidence in speaking audibly and fluently and be able to participate in discussions well as listen and maintain attention. They will continue to develop their love of reading and be able to read less common words with fluency and accuracy. They will read more challenging texts including a Shakespeare play, speeches and myths and legends short stories and develop their use inference and deduction. In terms of writing, students need to be able to spell words of more than one syllable most of the time and write simple and compound sentences and use capital letters and full stops correctly, question marks and exclamation marks in new forms of writing including scripts and speeches. Students will also develop further their knowledge of parts of speech, including identifying nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs as well as re-visiting figurative language such as similes. They can produce longer texts with connectives and opinions clearly crafted. There is also the opportunity to find and explain what a quotation is and explore characters. By the end of year 8, students will have been able to practice and build on their reading and writing skills that they developed in year 7 and feel confident and ready to progress to year 9.

Year 9

This year focuses on developing their reading, writing and spoken language skills ready to access Entry Level in year 10. It is very much bespoke to the needs of the cohort. Through a variety of writing units, such as Room 101 and Alone in the Wild, they will develop a solid foundation of vocabulary and sentences structures to be successful at gaining an Entry Level qualification in year 10. They can write more extended texts which demonstrate application of the writer’s craft as learned throughout Key Stage 3 (including complex sentences) and further develop, use and build on a range of vocabulary which they have learned so far. Reading lessons, as well as the study of Romeo and Juliet and a novel will develop their cultural capital and vocabulary as well as developing their understanding of context, the audience’s response, and the analysis of character/theme, as well as provide the opportunity to practice the skills needed in both the literature and language GCSEs if appropriate at KS4. This bespoke curriculum can also incorporate a poetry unit (building on their work from year 7) to develop their ability to identify and use poetic devices. This will also further students’ abilities to decipher explicit and implicit meaning.

Year 10

In year 10, students follow a bespoke programme aimed at ensuring their enjoyment, understanding and progression in English. Students continue to develop their ability as clear and confident communicators, as a core life skill. Students experience a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, learning to identify and interpret information and ideas, both explicit and implicit; to evaluate and support their ideas with relevant textual reference; to summarise information; to develop an appreciation and understanding of how writers use language to craft meaning and to influence readers. We begin to consider the impact of context on texts and our response to them. Students will also develop their own craft as writers, their technical accuracy and understanding of writing for a specific audience and purpose. We seek to develop and embed strong literacy skills, increasing student’s range of vocabulary and sentence structures, alongside accurate spelling and punctuation. We believe that an appreciation of good literature underpins good writing skills and, although there is no formal assessment of English Literature, the syllabus incorporates literature for pleasure, and to add cultural capital.



The skills acquired in Year 10 enable students to attain an Entry Level qualification, whilst building the necessary core skills to work towards English Language GCSE. Year 11 In Year 11, students will review and develop their language skills, learning to approach more sophisticated and complex texts, in preparation for English Language GCSE. The focus is primarily on building upon their skills of analysing unseen fiction and non-fiction texts, with an increasingly developed understanding of the writer’s craft and perspectives; implicit and explicit meaning; form, genre and structure; comparison of texts; and reader response. Students will also practice and refine their exam strategy. Students will become more confident in expressing their personal response to texts and develop their ability to do so using an appropriate voice. Students will continue to mature as writers, and to become assured communicators, both in writing and in oral communication.


Click here to visualised the SPALD English learner journey


What will you see in Spald English Lessons?
  • Low stakes practice of skills in a variety of ways eg computer programmes, group games, matching activities, sorting activities.
  • Practical/kinasthetic activities to enhance understanding.
  • Use of visuals, including film clips.
  • Work sheets.
  • Opportunities to articulate and discuss thinking.
  • Specific practice of vocabulary informed by Elklan strategies eg word maps.
  • Encouragement to use visual aids.


What will you see in books?
  • Learning objectives phrased as questions.
  • Success criteria
  • Deliberate practice of skills and concepts, including red pen improvements.
  • The work in books is often completed after a range of low stakes practice; this takes place before pen and paper meet eg work on MWBs, matching games, sorting activities, computer games.


What formative assessment will you see?
  • Quizzes
  • Questioning (e.g. cold-calling).
  • Written answers.
  • End of topic tests.