English is quite a complex subject requiring lots of different skill sets. We recognise this and break our English lessons down into smaller components to help develop these different skills. Our aim is to make our English lessons appealing to the students so they become engaged and confident in the subject. Where possible we match activities to students’ interests to generate enthusiasm in lessons.
Our early years programmes are designed to help children be prepared for school. We use practical activities, games and interactive programmes to make English fun for them. We link writing and reading to familiar every-day activities so that the work is purposeful and therefore incentive based.
We have attractive and appealing resources for younger children to make our lessons as enjoyable as possible. Every little achievement is celebrated using our reward system so that children can take pride in the progress they make. Our young students love their rewards, which encourage them to keep trying their best.
We very much tailor our English lessons to suit the individual needs of our students. Generally speaking lessons consist of a combination of SPAG (spelling punctuation and grammar) work and/or reading and writing. However, some students may not need all these elements so we will focus on areas of the greatest need.
Reading can be sub-divided into decoding and comprehension. By “decoding” we mean the ability to actually read individual words. If a child is struggling with this we will use various phonic programmes and other strategies to help develop fluency. Comprehension is quite complex, requiring different levels of response. We help children move through these different levels so that they understand what sort of response is expected from them when they answer questions.
Our writing activities are geared towards the individual interests of the child. We find that if children write about something which engages them, we can encourage a higher quality piece of work. We guide them step-by-step through the writing process so that they know how to improve their standards.
SATs, 11+ and entrance exams can be quite a stressful time for children, as well as parents. We support children with this by practising sample papers and showing them how to successfully answer questions. Even at this age we feel it useful to teach exam techniques and how to remain calm and confident in a test situation.
We find that primary children love our reward system which encourages them to work hard to achieve their targets.
Changes to the National Curriculum mean that there are even higher expectations in English for every age group. Secondary school children have to up-level their skills quite quickly to keep pace with these changes. This can be quite daunting for them and knock their confidence. We are here to reassure them and help them through the process.
Children are being expected to tackle much harder texts in reading, which means they have to deal with far more unfamiliar words. We can teach them how to gain meaning from context so that they don’t get discouraged from having to respond to these more challenging texts. We also teach how to analyse questions and respond to them appropriately.
There is also a greater emphasis on punctuation and grammar in writing. Students often forget about this when writing as they are so focused on what they want to say. We help them with this by developing knowledge and understanding of punctuation and grammar so that its correct use is a more habitual part of writing.
Those studying for their GCSEs are given plenty of practice papers so that they can improve their ability to respond effectively and improve their grades. They are also taught exam techniques and how to prepare thoroughly so they remain calm and confident.
Although we mainly teach school-aged students we occasionally get asked for help with A level English work. If we have a teacher who is able to help we will do our best to arrange lessons for you.
These will usually be different to standard lessons as the work is of a more specialist nature. Should you require such lessons we will discuss how we can accommodate you.
Other English Work
We also sometimes get asked for help by older students or adults. This may be to enable them to get qualifications to progress with their career. If you need such support, simply give us a ring and we will see what we can do to help you.
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