English

English at James Bateman Junior High School

May I extend a warm welcome to you and introduce the English Department here at James Bateman Junior High School.

Knowledge of language and the means by which we can communicate with each other is vital to each of our pupil’s successes. A child’s experience of each of the curriculum areas starts with their ability to communicate effectively. Here at James Bateman Junior High School, our English team strives to ensure each individual achieves competency in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Our brilliant English team relish creating fun, stimulating, creative and innovative literacy lessons to allow our pupils to love words and appreciate their power.

The English team’s passion is to ensure all of our pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, plays and poetry as well as non-fiction and media texts. It is with the knowledge of each of these text types that pupils begin to form their own ideas and opinions and listen to the views of others with respect and consideration.

All of our English teaching rooms have access to an interactive whiteboard linked to the web. Adhering to all our students’ learning styles is of great importance in ensuring a rich and diverse literacy lesson. Competence, creativity, cultural understanding and critical understanding are the four pillars to a successful literacy curriculum. At James Bateman Junior High School, our English Team uses these four main concepts to provide an exciting, stimulating and enriching programme of study.

We will contact you via letter with all of our literacy news and developments throughout the year.

The numerous parents’ events we hold throughout the year are your opportunity to come in and see us with any questions you may have. Failing that, just drop us a call in school any time. Also, feel free to browse through our FAQs at the bottom of this page.

Thank you so much for your continued support; it really is appreciated.

Mrs H. Hawthorne

The Head of English


hand drawn effect type spelling English and various language related concepts

Which books/authors do we study?

The literature studied at James Bateman Junior High School reflects the experiences of people from different countries, cultures and times. During the four years each of our students spends with us, they will have the opportunity to delve into the works of authors such as: David Grant, Edgar Allen Poe, Michael Morpurgo, Benjamin Zephaniah, Katherine Rundell, Laura Williams and William Shakespeare.

Click here for a list of texts we study in the four years. Please try to ensure your child / children avoid/s reading these texts before they’re studied in class.

How will my child be offered support if they have an additional need?

The English department works closely with the Special Needs department and our support team, headed by our SENCO. When appropriate, specific programmes of study are created for those pupils who need assistance with accessing the literacy curriculum. Our wonderful, passionate teaching assistants lead a variety of interventions, including one-to-one support programmes, small group catch ups, guided reading and handwriting intervention, as well as many more. It is the job of each member of staff to continually challenge and support every single one of our students, regardless of their ability. Our focus is to ensure every single student strives to attain more than just their target level and become enthusiastic, determined and inquiring young learners.

How are the children who have a gift for language pushed?

If your child is noted as being particularly gifted in English, then they will be entered into our gifted programme. This offers the students reward and incentive days, such as our latest outing to the New Victoria Theatre to learn about behind the scenes practice and professions within the theatre. We also offer these students the chance to go and work with pupils in the high school. This offers them further challenge and inspiration for year 9 and beyond.

How do we improve literacy across the curriculum in the school?

The Government consistently places greater emphasis on the importance of embedding literacy across the curriculum so we are continually improving and reviewing the opportunities we provide our young people with, to ensure the best possible progression in whole school literacy. Our colourful and interactive displays showcase the capabilities of our students and the effort they place into their literacy lessons.

Last year, the whole school wanted to create a strong, thriving and dynamic reading community. Thanks to the hard work of our pupils, parents and staff, we can now confidently say we are a reading school. We love reading; we enjoy reading. We have access to great facilities to support our reading and our results prove how much of an improvement we’ve made! We are so happy and proud of our community: thank you.

It is our continued aim to see all our students reading both in and out of school for both pleasure and fun. The countless prizes and incentives we offer have and continue to ensure all of our pupils get the reading buzz! Take a look at some of our fun prizes and reading days on the Gallery page. It’s all to play for this year too. Just ask your child about the Word Count War! Apologies for the awful staff pictures; your child will explain.

How will my child be taught in years 5, 6, 7 and 8?

Years 5 and 6 are taught in a primary format, staying in a mixed ability setting with their class teacher. Each term will have a different theme and all the learning that term will be based around these central themes. Fortunately, all KS2 classes are also blessed with a full time TA to ensure support for all students is ever present. Years 7 and 8 are taught in ability groupings by a subject specialist. This is to ensure that they are adequately prepared for the streaming sets in the High School. Although ‘set’, these groups are still differentiated thoroughly to ensure we challenge each and every pupil in the room.

Please feel free to download our brief thematic curriculum overview on the right hand side of this page. This will enable you to see what your child is covering in literacy and when. In order to really challenge your child, use the plan to help you select a text with a similar theme to read at home together. Alternatively, merely talking to them about their next project can be very rewarding for the child, opening their mind up to possible questions that they want to bring to the classroom.

How can I support my child with their reading?

We have plenty of engaging and stimulating books in the library which your child can access at any time and bring home to share with you. The children know to select a book which matches their ZPD: this is a colour. Their colour will enable them to select a book which really matches their ability. Please have a look in your child’s planner to look at their in depth reading targets. Each child’s writing targets are in their English book, which can be taken home at any time if you wish to have a look. Please take a look at our detailed how to help information HERE!