At the Darley Centre we believe that English is a tool for everyday life. The acquirement of Literacy and Literary skills and concepts facilitate students with the ability to think widely, consider the opinions and experiences of others and reflect upon their own. A range of life skills will be forged through developing an appreciation of the written word giving students access to anything they wish to explore.


Our KS3 curriculum aims to close the gap between students at the Darley Centre and their mainstream peers through a combination of targeted intervention work, particularly in Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar and topic based lessons. Students will explore a range of prose, poetry and dramatic works developing an appreciation of how writers are influenced by the world around them. 


To this end our aim is to provide students with the skills necessary to become literate, confident readers, writers and orators by developing their knowledge and understanding of English.


We achieve this by:-

  • Helping students develop a positive attitude towards speaking, listening, reading and writing.
  • Writing accurately for a range of audiences and purposes.
  • Developing students’ confidence and competence in Literacy knowledge, concepts and skills, using a variety of language techniques.
  • Creating a sufficiently safe environment to encourage risk taking, acknowledging that we can learn from making errors.
  • Encouraging talk and discussion to explore ideas and enabling students to learn from each other.
  • Developing students’ wider vocabulary and cultural awareness.
  • Developing interpretive skills and critical thinking, including drafting, editing and reviewing
  • Using games to present Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPaG) in a fun and engaging way.
  • Setting challenging targets with high expectations for all students.
  • Offering a variety of approaches to teaching and learning to engage and motivate students and demand their active participation.
  • Enabling students to apply their literacy knowledge and skills to other areas of the curriculum and real life.



Upon the commencement of their placement all students undertake a baseline assessment in English, the GL Assessment. This is further informed by students receiving a termly assessment based on the AQA Key Stage 3 Assessment packs, specific to the year group.


All students will also undertake assessment in reading and spelling on entry, and further assessment and support put into place as necessary. The Single Word Reading Test (SWRT) and Helen Arkell Spelling Test 2 (HAST 2) can be used again to monitor progress and inform further interventions as required.


Teaching and learning is consolidated further by a rigorous system of AFL being encompassed in all lessons. This facilitates a greater pupil involvement in the learning process allowing them to gain confidence, take risks and achieve a higher standard of learning.

Cross curricular links: –

The English curriculum is designed to link to other subjects in a variety of ways:

Science – writing reports of experiments, collating information from a range of sources

Maths – interpreting a written problem.

 This pedagogical approach provides students with the opportunity to link concepts and skills that they have studied in other subjects to English and vice versa.  In turn this allows students to gain a greater appreciation of English by ensuring that English is relevant within all subject areas.


English lessons are daily 45 minute sessions and delivered as a group lesson with work differentiated as required. Topics are designed for half term coverage and a balanced 3 year cycle adheres to the National Curriculum for KS3 requirements.

  • Learning objectives are displayed, explained and referred to throughout the lesson
  • A variety of teaching and learning styles are used
  • Lessons are differentiated to meet individuals’ needs
  • A rigorous system of AFL is used to inform teacher planning and pupil learning (See marking policy).

The Role of the subject leader


  • To take the lead in policy development.
  • To support colleagues.
  • To monitor progress in English e.g. leading staff CPD, scrutiny of work, analysis of formal assessment data.
  • To take responsibility for the choice, purchase and organisation of resources.
  • To be familiar with current thinking concerning the teaching of English, and to disseminate to colleagues.
  • The subject leader will be responsible to the Head teacher.

The Darley Centre
School Road
DN16 2TD

01724 705023

© 2020 The Darley Centre