English - Little Ilford School - Commended for the BMC Award

The English department at Little Ilford School discovered insufficient attention was being paid to the academic needs of KS2 pupils, resulting in teachers’ expectations of what pupils can achieve being too low. Therefore, the department vision was to develop schemes of learning that ensured layers of depth and challenge were embedded throughout.

This was achieved through placing importance on the transition from KS2 to KS3. Amandip Kandola, Lead Practitioner, developed transition schemes of learning for primary school teachers in the Manor Park Schools Community Partnership. The scheme of learning had a clear focus on spoken language and verbal interaction, and oral language skills. Amandip worked with a group of primary and secondary teachers from Newham to develop transition schemes of learning for colleagues to deliver in the Summer and Autumn term. The planning stage was then opened up to schools, where they could volunteer in creating lessons, or a scheme of learning.

In primary schools where the SOL was implemented, students were given the opportunity to develop pieces of writing, which highlighted what they were capable of achieving and where their abilities lie. This work was then shown to local KS3 teachers. This, coupled with reciprocal visits to observe best practice, shared with the KS3 teachers at the feeder school. This enabled the secondary teachers to see the high expectations that the students are held to, and how they can therefore pitch their teaching and learning at the required level at the start of Year 7.

After the transition process, the department continued to work with the Year 6 teachers to share how the transition books were used at Little Ilford. The continuation of work displayed the depth of challenge in secondary school and the success of the KS2 transition unit delivery by primary teachers. The impact has been that more work, of a higher standard, has been produced; the students have been able to develop their skills, bridging some of the gaps identified as part of the project; there is a higher rate of confidence moving into KS3 amongst the students and they have been able to showcase their abilities even more than previously. It is evident that primary and secondary leaders working collaboratively can ensure prior learning is built upon and that students’ have the best possible start to secondary education.