English Department


Achieving and enjoying success according to individual ability is at the centre of all we do at Coln House School, and it is a philosophy we fully embrace in the English Department.

Being able to communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking and listening are essential and so our aim is that every pupil leaves Coln House School with an English qualification of some description and the confidence to apply those skills in every day life.

All pupils are taught in small groups at both Key Stages by English specialists and often on an individual basis, to build the trust and understanding that is crucial to progress. The use of dedicated and additional Teaching Assistants in all lessons ensures that pupils receive all the support they need to achieve success. 

Although we are mindful of the National Curriculum, the syllabus a pupil follows is individualised according to his or her needs, the three main strands of English being given equal weighting so that pupils become confident readers, writers and oral communicators. 

The progress of each pupil is assessed termly, monitored continually and individualised schemes of work adapted accordingly.  External SATS are taken at the end of KS2 and all pupils’ Reading Ages are tested at the end of terms 1, 3 and 5. 

 Where appropriate, we make full use of teaching opportunities in the extensive gardens and local community.

In addition to its own library, CHS belongs to the local library which pupils have access to during the day and evenings.

  • English1
  • English2
  • English3

Key Stage 2 and 3

In Years 6 – 9 the emphasis is on ensuring that all pupils can read, write and spell to help them succeed in all subjects.  To this end we assess all pupils on entry and follow the ‘Read, Write, Inc’ programme to ensure that phonic knowledge is secure and reading and writing skills progress quickly. This programme is designed as intervention for those pupils who have missed out on building phonic knowledge at KS1 and 2 and is a fun and effective way of raising achievement in Literacy. All teachers and Teaching Assistants are highly trained to deliver this programme which is taught on a daily basis, in small ability groups.

Literacy work undertaken during the day is reinforced on the House areas in the evenings, where pupils are encouraged to participate in a wide range of activities designed to improve all Literacy skills.

In addition, all pupils study novels, plays and poetry and different forms of writting genre. Individual presentations, group discussions and role play help to build effective speaking and listening skills.

At the end of year 9, all pupils begin their KS4 courses.

Key Stage 4

In Years 10 and 11 pupils follow one of three learning pathways according to their strengths and abilities. 

At the end of  Year 10 all pupils in Year 10 take WJEC Functional Skills English Certificate and Additional English at an appropriate level. Some Pupils will embark upon a two year GCSE English course.

In Year 11 all pupils will progress to the next level in Functional Skills and some will complete their GCSE course.

At both Key Stages we aim to provide pupils with the English skills they need to succeed in their chosen future.

Functional Skills

Functional skills English is a qualification which developes practical skills in English,ready for the workplace. Pupils are assessed in SPeaking and Listening and undertake two written examinations in May each year, Pupils may be entered at entry Level or Level 1 or 2, according to their ability.

Additional English

This replaces the former Entry level GCSE and is assessed by the teacher and then externally moderated.  There is a choice of units that may be studied and ‘credits’ earned.  The number of credits earned over two years will determine which award a pupils is given, either ‘Award’ (8  or more credits), ‘Certificate’ (13 or more credits) or ‘Diploma’ (37 or more credits).

This course offers greater flexibility for those pupils who have learning difficulties; evidence of learning may be submitted in oral, diagramatic or video form, as well as the more traditional written work.

GCSE English

Pupils study language and literature, undertaking four pieces of written Controlled Assessment and three Speaking Listening tasks.  Two written examinations are taken in June.

Controlled Assessments are timed essays, completed in school.