Literacy at Belvue


What do we study?

English is divided into seven key areas in line with the new National Curriculum:

  • -          Spoken language

  • -          Word reading (phonics)

  • -          Reading comprehension

  • -          Writing – transcription (spelling)

  • -          Handwriting

  • -          Writing – composition

  • -          Writing – vocabulary

Weekly English lessons are structured to embed these seven key areas, recorded on a curriculum map to ensure effective coverage. Throughout their time at Belvue, students are exposed to a range of rich texts, specifically chosen to broaden their knowledge of the world they live in when they leave as young adults. These texts come from a range of genres including narrative, poetry, film, advertising, media etc. The qualification structure focuses more on enrichment English and a new topic is studied once a term.


3 year plan 2014-2017.doc


In line with the new National Curriculum, there are many opportunities for Belvue students to write for a range of real purposes and audiences as part of their work across the curriculum. This includes taking part in the BBC School Report, our annual film festival, and also the Readathon.

Trips and performance artists are also greatly welcomed. Previous visitors have included the famous Akala from The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company in June 2014, and performance poet Jared Louche in April 2014.

This year has seen the rise of Educational Technology to support learning in English, including the use of VueBook to assist with blogging, quizzes and forums. Interactive resources have also been categorised on students’ LearnPads to fit in with the new National Curriculum requirements.

Free writing is also greatly encouraged at Belvue, with all students owning a creative writing book to develop their own unique imaginations.

English homework follows the School Homework Policy.


A typical week of English for a Belvue student:

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

Monday - Phonics

Tuesday - Shared/guided reading

Wednesday - Curriculum topic

Thursday - Curriculum topic

Friday - Grammar in context, Feedback


Students at Key Stage 3 follow a phonics intervention programme to develop their word reading and transcription skills, creating effective decoders and enhancing their reading ability. Phonics is taught every Monday, with an additional 10 minutes of learning in the following two English lessons and commences in a weekly phonic test. A summative phonics test occurs at the end of each term.

Students practice their word reading through the use of specialised Dockside Phonics books, suitable to their reading ability yet age appropriate for teens. Reading comprehension is practiced in the Autumn term with the narrative scheme of work, through a range of classic and contemporary fiction texts by authors such as Michael Morpurgo, Louis Sachar, and C.S. Lewis.


Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)

Monday - Shared functional skills

Tuesday - Shared/guided reading

Wednesday - Curriculum topic

Thursday - Curriculum topic

Friday - Grammar in context, Feedback


Students at Key Stage 4 complete two qualifications; Additional English and Functional Skills. Functional Skills assesses students’ reading and writing skills, essential for when they leave Belvue and begin college. This is taught every Monday when the Key Stage 3 learners are practising phonics.

Additional English focuses on the enrichment element of English, through the learning of rich texts. Termly topics are seen in the yearly plan attachment above.

We also have one GCSE English class where a small number of students have the opportunity to access this qualification.


This year we were delighted that at the end of key stage 4 35% of students achieved Entry level 1 in English,42% in Entry level 2, 12% at Entry level 3 and12% achieved GCSE's with fantastic grades. Well done to all


Post 16 (Year 12)

Post 16 students follow the Additional English qualification in the hope of gaining some additional credits to gain a Certificate instead of an Award. Functional Skills should be completed by the end of Year 11 as Post 16 students must be able to balance Belvue English lessons with college commitments. 


You can find a brief overview of the three year curriculum cycle here


Many parents ask for suggestions of books that their child can read at home.  You can find some suggestions in this PowerPoint document.  The books have been placed in order of difficulty from simple at the start and more complex towards the end.


Library Visits 

At Belvue we encourage students to visit the library as frequently as possible. It is compulsory for students to visit Northolt Library with their class groups at least once a term. Students develop library skills such as borrowing books, searching for items on the library catalogue, exploring the library’s resources and what they have to offer. Many classes attend Northolt Library on a regular basis. Parents/carers are encouraged to take their children to the library also.


The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company

The famous rapper, entrepreneur and poet Akala and his company visited Belvue School to deliver some fantastic workshops that provided a contemporary twist to Shakespeare learning, fusing lyrics of The Bard with hip hop.



Belvue School has taken part in the Readathon. This national initiative is designed to promote reading for pleasure; the young people are sponsored by their close friends and family to help raise money for seriously ill children.

Readathon was a massive success at Belvue School. We created a Readathon Tree, where students were able to complete book recommendations and stick them on one of the leaves. Students felt very proud to see their recommendations on display. A different theme each week helped to keep the momentum up; themes included non fiction week, World Book Day week, biography week etc.   

Thanks to the students at Belvue we were able to raise £272.


World Book Day

Is a yearly celebration of reading in the UK.  Every year, at Belvue, we celebrate by dressing up as our favourite character from any book we have read. In addition, we also receive book tokens from the World Book Day charity which allow students to either choose one of six free books or to get £1 off a book more then £2.99.  You can find more details at



We regularly take the students out of the classroom to learn about the use of Literacy through other mediums.  The theatre is a firm favourite of our students. To celebrate the completion of their GCSE English course, students attended the Sadler’s Wells performance ‘Some Like it Hip Hop’ produced by ZooNation at the Peacock Theatre. The students were able to write detailed recounts of their experiences. Here is a section from Saeed’s recount. Saeed Warsame:

The show was very entertaining, exciting, and good. The show was about love, dance, good and evil, in a musical, all in one show! The show started with the Governor as a happy person who changed to a bad person with a dark side. In the middle point of the amazing show the evil Governor’s bodyguards put the good people in jail. Finally Simeon saved the day and then teamed up for a dance battle! It was a brilliant story in my view the whole show was amazing and the trip was great. We also got to celebrate Priyanka’s birthday. I had a great time.