At Brayton Academy we aim to develop all our students to be inquisitive and thoughtful readers, skilled and influential writers, confident speakers and creative thinkers. All of our programmes of study are designed collaboratively to be academically challenging and intellectually stimulating. We have high aspirations for all of our students and aim to help them to develop a love of “the best that has been thought and said” during their time with us.
Students in Year 7 learn from a range of activities which enable them to consolidate and develop the skills learnt in Key Stage 2. Our focus in year 7 is for students to develop their inference skills as well as to craft writing with a clear, strong, personal voice. Our units include: Mythology and Stories of Creation; A Christmas Carol; Twelfth Night; Science Fiction and Poetry.
Students in Year 7 also have a weekly lesson in the library where, using the Accelerated Reader programme, they develop their independent reading with the aid of quizzes and tests which check their comprehension and guide their selection of suitable books. Students also have weekly spelling tests and writing challenges.
Those students who join us requiring additional support in literacy may also receive weekly phonics lessons with their English teacher.
We aim for year 8 students to be analytical thinkers and precise writers. Our programmes of study include: a non-fiction scheme covering Race; Of Mice and Men; Victorian Literature; Detective Fiction, Film and Creative Writing and Viewpoint Writing.
We continue with Accelerated Reader, weekly spellings and writing challenges for students in year 8.
With six lessons per week from Year 9 students begin the transition into exploring English Language and Literature as separate disciplines. We explore a range of challenging texts and begin to introduce students to the skills, concepts and ideas they will need for successful GCSE study. Units of study in Year 9 include The Art of Rhetoric, a novel study, Macbeth, Conventions of Drama and Poetry.
In Literature we begin to introduce context and literary theory to our students, and ensure that our study of texts is rooted in understanding of the time it was written and set, as well as exploring the authors’ intentions.
We believe that memory, recall and resilience are important factors in success at GCSE and so all students in Key Stage Three are asked to learn a poem by heart each half term to help develop these skills. We select poems from a range of cultures, traditions and eras.
This year marks the formal start of our GCSE course. We enter all of our students for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. (We follow AQA specifications 8700 and 8702 respectively).
We cover the content of all the Literature texts in year 10; The Sign of Four; Romeo and Juliet; AQA Power and Conflict anthology and An Inspector Calls. We supplement these text studies with units designed to teach the specific English Language skills required in the exams. We give students a range of challenging and interesting fiction and non-fiction extracts over the course of the year, both as a reading challenge as well as to expose them to quality writing they could aim to emulate.
A large part of our focus for year 10 is also developing essay writing skills; we teach students how to develop a thesis statement, how to plan and how to support a thesis with quotations and analysis.
Having completed the bulk of our study in Year 10 we devote Year 11 to consolidation, extension and review. We expect students in Year 11 to be revising independently regardless of whether we have formally given homework.
We take an interleaved approach to our teaching in Year 11, so rather than studying texts in blocks, we revisit all texts and language papers every half term.
Students also complete their Spoken Language Endorsement in Year 11. All students are required to make a persuasive speech on a subject of their choice.
For all students we offer a Library Club, which runs a variety of break times and in sessions before and after school. Students in Key Stage Three are encouraged to use the library to quiz and change books between lessons. Students in Key Stage Four have the opportunity to use the library for research and to read around their studies.
Supporting Your Child’s Learning
We ask all parents to encourage students in Key Stage Three to meet the department’s expectation of reading 50 pages a week. This expectation is in addition to any homework given. We’d love for parents to hear their children reading and to talk to them about the books they have chosen from the library.
Please also support your child by helping them to learn the weekly spellings and the half termly poem challenge.
For students in KS3 revision websites such as BBC Bitesize are useful if you are concerned your child needs to consolidate spelling, punctuation or grammar skills in English.
There are a range of websites and books available to support study of English at Key Stage Four. We would encourage all students to have their own copies of the set texts if they can to support reading and revision at home.
In addition to this we would suggest that your child could benefit from being taken to see a set text in performance, listening to an audiobook of the class text, reading a quality newspaper once a week, and being supported to learn quotations.
In addition we expect that all students, from the beginning of Year 10, begin to revise. You can support this at home by checking that they spend 15 minutes a day reviewing their lesson notes and making flashcards of key points.