The Ridgeway English Faculty is dedicated to delivering an exciting and engaging curriculum providing innovative opportunities for challenge, risk taking and skills based learning. Our students will embrace and extend an independent, purposeful approach to English and communication. They will be confident, articulate and inspired. English at The Ridgeway School creates students who develop an ownership of their learning and who strive to achieve their full potential.
Mrs Z Smith -Faculty Leader of English – [email protected]
Mrs. H. Siebenaller – Acting Faculty Leader of English – [email protected]
Mr M Webber – Acting Faculty Leader of English – [email protected]
Mrs F Williams – KS5 Lead and Literacy Lead - [email protected]
Mr N Cairns – KS4 Lead – [email protected]
Miss M Humphreys –KS3 Lead and EAL Coordinator - [email protected]
KS3 Curriculum Information
Year 7 – 6 hours per fortnight
Year 8 – 8 hours per fortnight
Year 9 – 9 hours per fortnight
All students are set upon arrival at The Ridgeway School. We use reading ages generated by Star Tests to determine initial class groups. We monitor the progress of all students carefully and will make set changes in order to boost progress and to meet the needs of the students.
Accelerated Reader (AR)
Our Exciting New Reading Scheme for Yr 7 & 8 Students
Students of Years 7 and 8 participate in this exciting and invaluable reading scheme. Students complete Star Tests regularly which informs teachers, students and parents of students reading ages. These tests generate book levels for the students and enables them to choose reading-age appropriate books. Once students have completed a book, they are able to take a quiz and gain points for their efforts.
In addition to Accelerated Reader, we run the Lexia program designed to improve the reading ages of students as part of our Intervention scheme at Key Stage 3.
Working Collaboratively with the Learning Resource Centre
The English department work collaboratively with the Learning Resource Centre to encourage and engage students in reading and Accelerated Reader.
The LRC is more than just a library. As well as offering a large collection of fiction and non-fiction books, we offer magazines and this year launched an audio book service which has proved extremely popular. Computers in the LRC and in an adjacent classroom can be used for homework and research. Students are welcome to print their homework in the LRC free of charge and those enrolled on the Accelerated Reader programme can use Ipads to undertake their reading practice quizzes. A Reading Café operates every lunchtime as well as a Homework Club after school until 4.30pm Monday to Thursday.
Students from all year groups regularly have the opportunity to attend author talks as well as participate in the annual Swindon Youth Festival of Literature and World Book Week activities. An enthusiastic team of student librarians help during break and lunchtime.
Reading for pleasure is strongly linked to educational attainment as well as personal and social development. Positive reading habits are promoted and encouraged through the wide, current and free choice of reading materials available as well as enrolment on the Accelerated Reader programme for year 7 and 8 students.
The LRC is a great place to be, whether it’s for completing homework, reading quietly or just taking a breather from the hustle and bustle of school life. Mrs Day and Mrs Tonkin are on hand every day to help, so come on in and check it out!
Key Information for Accelerated Reader
Students can access the Accelerated Reader page at home to complete book quizzes through the Student Portal.
Students will complete a first ‘STAR Reading Test’ in school which tells us their initial ZPD reading range (please note this is a ZPD score, not a reading age), for example 3.4 – 4.7. This will be logged and written inside their planners.
Students choose their books based on their ZPD range. Each Accelerated Reading book is labelled in the library with a level to help students choose an appropriate book. The levels are displayed on a stick on the front and spine of the book covers. It is recommended that students begin with the lower end of their ZPD range.
Students should complete an online quiz within 48 hours of finishing their book. This can be done before school, at break or lunchtime, after school or in their dedicated AR lessons. Students may also complete their quizzes at home. These quizzes allow us to follow reading progress and comprehension. The more books students read on the AR scheme, the more personalised the book suggestions AR provides are to that individual student. Word counts from the books are also linked to points so the more student reads, the more points they will earn!
The full list of Accelerated Reader books can be accessed at:
Book Finder (This is regularly updated as new books are published)
Students who spend a minimum of 20 minutes reading each day are shown to make far superior progress in their reading. We would be very grateful in your support in encouraging your child to take part fully in this new scheme.
Homework set at Key Stage 3 is designed to initiate creativity and curiosity of students. Each unit of work includes a Creative Homework project that enables students to have flexibility with what they create. Tasks can include: story-writing, film production, prop creations, performances and debates.
It is expected that students are reading 20 minutes every day as part of their homework linked to the Accelerated Reader scheme. This can be monitored by parents, students and staff to ensure that progress is being made.
Useful websites to support students