English & Well Read

English is the most commonly spoken language in the world, with one in every five people speaking or at least understanding it. Therefore, its value in helping our students understand and access the world around them cannot be underestimated. The multidisciplinary skills English develops are considerable and it is a key and unique subject in the curriculum for developing a student’s writing skills, ability to obtain and critically investigate information and work independently on tasks, as well as being able to think, learn, analyse and respond collaboratively in everyday life.

The English curriculum at the Henslow School exposes our students to a creative, language-rich environment and develops a shared vocabulary of grammatical terms that are necessary for them to fully function in society and make themselves heard. It also allows our students to hone their technical accuracy, so that they can apply their learning to write grammatically clear covering letters to colleges, sixth forms or employers. Through reading a variety of poems, plays, novels and non-fiction texts, our students are fully supported to challenge and expand their understanding of different cultures and societies, entering into intelligent and reasoned conversations. English also builds the skills for our students to express themselves in meaningful ways through spoken language opportunities in class.

English opens up a whole host of career opportunities for our young people, as well as enhancing their own personal growth by studying texts that ignite their interest; deepens their thoughts and ideas and expands their mental horizons. 

Well - Read Sessions: At The Henslow Secondary School we believe developing reading skills is crucial to a child’s long-term success, allowing them to access the full breadth of the curriculum by improving their language and communication skills. In fact, current research suggests that reading for pleasure is the key determiner in whether a child will do well at school, rather than their social or economic background. It is our belief that reading is the gateway to our students opening new doors and escaping into different worlds, broadening their knowledge and understanding of other cultures.

After lunch, a 15-minute ‘Well-Read’ session is incorporated into the school day as part of a strategic development plan to enrich and extend our pupils’ familiarisation with both fiction and non-fiction alike. In these sessions, a mixture of literacy-based games are used to engage and stimulate reluctant readers, as well as magazines, newspapers, comics being made available to generate discussions. Similarly, the moving image is sometimes utilised to aid understanding of how narratives are constructed to help children understand the meaning of what they are watching and hearing. More confident readers are stretched by exposure to national reading lists for KS3 and KS4 pupils.