At Wakefield City Academy, we are committed to raising attainment through the teaching and embedding of essential skills. We also see it as our responsibility to enrich young people’s lives through the exploration and analysis of high quality literature that is contemporary, from different cultures or from the literary heritage. The English department aims to ensure that all students, regardless of ability, are able to learn to communicate effectively in speech and writing, to understand and respond imaginatively and critically to what they read, hear and discuss. A variety of differing media are utilised within the department, allowing students to enjoy both modern and classical literature in its many varied forms. Students are also taught how to adapt their writing for differing audiences and purposes in a variety of formats. Our Year 7 students are also taught a supplementary lesson of literacy every week, fast tracking their functional literacy skills and allowing for the smooth transition from KS2 to KS3 English skills. We also issue weekly differentiated homework (in all years) that improves spelling and expands our children’s vocabulary.
Through our programme of study, pupils leave our academy equipped with the necessary tools to broaden their horizons in the increasingly competitive sectors of education, training and employment. The acquiring of sound communication skills, both verbal and written, is essential to success in later life, and the English department strive to make their lessons reflect this real need for life long literacy skills.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
The English Department strives to offer opportunities, outside of normal curricular time, where students are able to experience other aspects of the subject, while maintaining the focus on improving literacy and communication skills.
One such event that we regularly take part in is ‘World Book Day’. World Book Day celebrates the joy and value of books and reading - and, for March 2016, we’ve put together an exciting portfolio of school workshops that do just that! Here are a few photos of staff and students that show character appreciation in previous years.
Similarly, the Department has a Twitter account which is regularly updated and allows us to share news with our students and post pictures of events and excursions. We found it particularly effective around exam time when we were able to pass on practical as well as revision information to our Y11 students. Please follow us!
We are also keen to take the students to experience live theatre and drama as often as possible. Last Christmas we took over fifty Year 7 and 8 students to Wakefield Theatre Royal to see ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Mrs Bessa also took a group of twenty students to see an amazing touring production of Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds.
The Department offers a range of events throughout the year to inspire and engage budding writers and keen readers. In March, we invited students to take part in the BBC Radio 2 competition 500 Words and enjoyed reading their stories even if we had no winner this year!
There is also a monthly Library session run in close association with Wakefield City Library run by Mrs Wilkinson, Mrs Griffiths and Terry Radcliffe from the Library Development Team. Students have read a range of books ranging from teen romance to crime novels, some chosen by the students and some that have been chosen based on their interests.
We also ran our own WCA Spelling Bee using key words from each department of the school. Students learned, discussed and practised the vocabulary in Form Time and then the strongest spellers were then put through to the finals. Here are some of our winners from Year 8 and 9. Well done to everyone who participated.
This year we intend to run Readathon with KS3 students, a charity that supports The Roald Dahl Marvellous Children's Charity, CLIC Sargent and Together for Short Lives, which are all charities that support the treatment of childhood cancers. Students are invited to participate in a sponsored read which will happen over the course of a week in school across a range of subjects. This is an incredible charity and we are sure lots of our WCA students will participate.
We are also planning to take Y10 to see the new dramatisation of Shakespeare’s epic Macbeth. More to follow! See our Twitter feed for more details and regular updates.