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English Overview

English at Pencalenick is structured to support and prepare our students for their future lives. We recognise that English enables students to access the whole curriculum and is essential for their independence through life. Through the acquisition of reading, writing, speaking and listening we aim to maximise our pupils’ progress in literacy.

Our curriculum has been developed to cater for the learning styles of our students and aims to offer a practical and functional focus alongside a breath of study that is engaging.

Students at Pencalenick make excellent progress from their starting points; progress is monitored using an assessment system called PCAS (Pencalenick Cognitive Assessment Steps) that captures their skills from pre-requisite to learning,  through to AQA Entry Level Silver and Gold awards to Level 1 and 2 Functional skills and GCSE.

Curriculum Coverage

Our curriculum offers a breath of study, covering fiction and non-fiction. Areas studied incorporate an engaging curriculum that enables pupils to develop knowledge of our shared literary heritage. Simultaneously, our curriculum supports them in gaining a level of functional literacy that allows them to access other subjects and to support them moving forwards.

KS3 follow a curriculum map with schemes of work covering fiction and non-fiction. Pupils gain an understanding of heritage works such as Shakespeare and Dickens whilst studying current stories in the media and developing their ability to read and respond to material studied. Students whose learning functions from L2L to Entry Level Silver will engage with many of the topics in the KS3 curriculum and will also benefit from enhanced resources based on topics that they will be able to engage with.

At KS4 pupils will be set on an accreditation pathway appropriate to their learning needs. This will link to Asdan unit awards, Entry Level, Functional Skills or GCSE. For these classes, a plan of coverage will be agreed with the teacher leading the learning and units mapped into the class provision over a two year period.

Please see curriculum maps for coverage


In addition to English lessons, students are encouraged to read in their tutor groups at a minimum of once a week. Our reading offer at Pencalenick is supported by the Twinkl Reader Programme which enables children to take quizzes to test their comprehension after reading. Twinkl offers a reading assessment test that students take termly to assess their reading age.

Books in our library are graded to fit with the Twinkl Reader Programme so that children are independently able to select books in their colour band.


At Pencalenick we have an integrated approach to phonics teaching. Some students need to re-visit their phonics learning from primary school through discrete lessons that support students to fill gaps in their knowledge and develop decoding skills. Twinkl offers students a progressive online set of activities that can revisit early phonics knowledge building from the students' starting point or filling in gaps in reading and spelling. Twinkl offers the class teacher the ability to structure an individualised programme of phonics learning that our students find engaging.


Students are assessed against objectives in reading, writing and speaking and listening using our bespoke assessment system,  as students’ progress towards accreditation pathways they will also be assessed against the assessment objectives set by the relevant exam boards.

In addition, students with a reading and comprehension age under 13 years take a yearly reading test that informs staff and informs their EHCP progress.  Alongside this the Twinkl Reader Programme tests students’ reading age.


For more information, please contact Subject Lead, Ian Hurley.  Email: and click on the link below for detailed information on our English provision and assessment.