The excellent English Department at St Paul’s Academy is committed to the belief that all students should make progress in the subject, regardless of their ability. With the flexibility to create different pathways for learning, both in KS3 and KS4, teaching and learning is tailored to ensure that all our students experience the right level of challenge in this subject.
We believe that Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening are skills that should be equally valued in English. We fully appreciate the power of talk as a tool for building literacy, and we view the frequently more challenging skill of focused listening as being as important as Reading and Writing; it is often speaking and listening skills which inform excellent quality writing and expert reading for meaning. Learning ‘Beyond the Classroom’ has been a huge development in our department over the last few years. Whether students are taking part in inter-class mini debates or busking poetry performances for charity, purposeful learning in real-life situations is a huge strength of the English department at St Paul’s. Students do well in this subject because we value the different purposes of writing as well as writing for real audiences. Many of our students become avid readers and we are fortunate to have a well-stocked library and a well-informed librarian at the heart of our school building.
Students at St Paul’s make significant progress in English from KS2 to KS4 with many going on to study the subject in Year 12 and at University. They experience a wide range of texts from many different eras and from many different cultures. It is our belief that when students enjoy their learning, they make the most progress; this is a factor we aim to build into all our curriculum plans. This, together with the drive for independent learning we aim to foster, engages our students, making them achieve their full potential in the subject.
MODERN FOREIGN LANGUAGES (MFL)
The MFL Department at St Paul’s is committed to helping students learn a new language. Students study Spanish and French, following an exciting, innovative curriculum at both key stages. The curriculum is tailored to suit the needs of all learners so that they achieve their full potential and make excellent progress.
Across both key stages in Spanish and French, students have the opportunity to improve their linguistic competence and develop their skills in four areas: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. They also develop their understanding of key language structures so that they can adapt and manipulate them for their own use in everyday situations. It is our aim as a department to help students grow in confidence, becoming independent and creative language learners. At KS3 we have a project based scheme of work so that learning is meaningful. Some examples of Year 7 project work include: story books for primary school children, secret agent character profiles and adverts for their own school in paradise! At KS4 students prepare for their GCSE by studying current themes of interest, such as Identity and Culture, Local area, Holidays and Travel, International and Global issues and School, Work and Future aspirations. They prepare for various assessments throughout this key stage.
Developing students’ cultural understanding and awareness is extremely important to us. At KS3, students have the opportunity to go on trips abroad, for example, to Christmas Markets in Northern France. At KS4 we have organised successful trips to Paris, Normandy, Barcelona and Valencia to enrich students’ learning experience. In addition to this, each year we have Languages Days. This gives students a taste of other languages such as Catalan, Chinese, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Polish and Ukrainian. Students participate in workshops with a cross-curricular link to sport, technology, art and cooking!