Organisation of classes and lesson structure: 

All students are organised into sets; students are both challenged and supported (as appropriate) in lessons. Our lessons are designed to meet the needs of students of all abilities; lessons are based around and planned according to the agreed lesson structure outlined in the SJH Principles of Teaching. There are four distinct lesson phases which demonstrate, retrieval in the form of a quiz at the start of the lesson to assess prior knowledge and retention, high quality instruction from the teacher followed by deliberate practice (students working independently to practise a skill) and consolidation of learning. This lesson structure allows all students to learn effectively and effectively lends itself to the modelling and development of reading analysis and writing.


• At KS3 (Years 7-8), students are assessed three times per year. The assessment data then follows College Policy and is shared via student reports.

Year 7: 

Students will build on and develop skills taught at upper KS2 by reading a range of fiction and non-fiction texts as well as extracts from fiction and non-fiction texts written before 1900. 

Year 8: 

Students will build on and develop skills taught in Year 7 by reading a broad variety of challenging texts from across different genres, including a variety of poems from different eras with a focus on understanding how writers are influenced by their surroundings, culture and literary heritage, as well as personal experience. Students will also develop and build on their writing focusing on crafting and developing their non-fiction writing forms.


At SJH, students are encouraged to maintain a wide range of reading experiences, both fiction and non-fiction as a matter of routine to develop their understanding of how texts in various forms engage, inform and persuade, and to support the development of vocabulary; this is also supported and modelled in the Tutor Reading Programme.
We cannot over-emphasise the importance of reading widely – both fiction and non-fiction texts – in order to succeed not just in English but across the curriculum as a whole. In both years 7 and 8, we have placed a firm emphasis on reading and expect students to be reading everyday at home for 20-30 minutes to support their own development.

Modelling of reading and writing:

We firmly believe that students should be exposed to high quality models of reading analysis and writing. All staff are expected to live model or pre-prepare model answers for students to have access to so that they can view the thinking process and mechanics of writing as well as the accuracy in the spelling, punctuation and grammar. All staff are expected to model the process of reading and writing as part of the instructional phase of the lesson.


We have seven dedicated English classrooms that are fully equipped to ensure the effective delivery of high quality lessons. We have access to ICT in dedicated rooms that are within close proximity of our curriculum area and our own department-based class set of tablets. All rooms have visualisers so that staff can share high quality modelling and feedback directly with their classes.

Bedrock Vocabulary: 

• Every KS3 student will have a Bedrock Vocabulary log in and they will use this online resource every week to help develop both their reading and vocabulary.


Writers and outside visitors are invited into the college to engage with selected year groups. Years 7 and 8 also have an annual event linked to World Book involving an author visit with a talk and subsequent workshops. Where possible we take students to see live performances of plays at The Theatre Royal in Plymouth – most recently, we took our year 11 cohort to experience 'An Inspector Calls'.  

We have 'Creative Writing Club' and 'PoARTry' club that run weekly. 

We also run Writing competitions at various points throughout the year. This academic year, we will be entering more poetry competitions and encouraging students to develop their confidence in sharing their work beyond the classroom.