At Bellingham Middle School, our inclusive English curriculum has been carefully designed across all year groups, specifically with our pupils in mind. Its intent is to nurture well-read, knowledgeable, inquisitive and resilient readers and writers, who are respectful, kind communicators and attentive listeners. We want our children to read as writers and write as readers, believing that reading widely and deeply informs writing, and, writing frequently informs and enriches the ability to be analytical about texts.
Our pupils are immersed in a language-rich environment throughout their time here. Through diverse high quality, challenging texts, our pupils develop a love and appreciation of literature that we are proud of. This is achieved here at Bellingham Middle School because we place great literature at the heart of every lesson. We select texts which provoke our children to consider times, places, people and ideas that they would not encounter in everyday life, thus reading literature that challenges them to imagine a world beyond the confines of their own. As a department, we recognise the importance of pupils being able to place texts within their historical and cultural context and provide opportunities for pupils to explore their cultural value, challenging their own perceptions of the world around them. Due to careful selection, each new text introduces conventions and concepts that can be taken forward and used to enhance the next text studied, and the next after that, developing ripples of interest, understanding and engagement which over time become waves.
Oral activities and class debates establish a strong command of the spoken word, and a rigorous focus on handwriting, spelling, grammar, punctuation and language skills lead to increased confidence and fluency in pupils’ written work. This rigour is maintained and supported across the curriculum; at Bellingham Middle we believe pupils should be learning and applying high quality literacy skills in every subject, not just the English classroom.
Enrichment is essential in raising achievement and stimulating creativity, as well as helping pupils to develop a greater understanding of diversity. This is high on our priorities here at Bellingham Middle and we offer pupils the opportunity to see plays in performance; take part in a school production; recite poetry and learn by heart; meet authors and poets; join reading groups; visit places that are contextually relevant and important in our studies; enter writing competitions; visit book fairs; use our excellent Learning Resource Centre every day; borrow new and classic texts regularly; learn dramatic techniques and perform in front of their peers; read for pleasure and write for purpose.
Throughout their four years at Bellingham Middle School, the building blocks of learning are laid down meaning our pupils are consistently challenged to know more, remember more and do more. Curriculum content is carefully sequenced to enable a smooth transition to high school so that our pupils are well-equipped for the next stage of their learning when they leave us.