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North Herts
Education Support Centre


English curriculum that is comparable to that which is experienced by their peers in mainstream schools. They study a variety of texts suited to their interests, engage in lessons that make use of diverse teaching approaches and learn how to express themselves in an appropriate way. Students have the opportunity to sit mock exams and are provided with feedback so that they can make progress and are prepared to sit the formal assessment for their qualifications. The support that we offer has greatly improved the levels of attainment for students in our care.

The development of good communication skills, both verbal and written is essential to students' success in their education and in their future careers. This the main reason that English is a compulsory subject on all programmes at the NHESC. Students are assessed on arrival and placed on the appropriate course, based on their ability and the time that they have remaining before the completion of their secondary education. We offer a variety of different English qualifications at the NHESC in order to ensure that all of our students have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

The OCR Functional Skills qualification at Entry Level 1, 2 and 3 offers students with lower literacy levels, the chance to gain valuable basic skills so that they may improve their reading comprehension and gain confidence in their writing. This prepares students to tackle the OCR Entry Level qualification which consists of two Reading tasks, two Writing components (Imaginative and Informative) as well as a Speaking and Listening task. Students can then progress on to the full GCSE qualification which will assess the skills that they have been building but at a higher level. All qualifications provide points towards college courses as well as apprenticeships.

Students have the opportunity to study for their English Language GCSE on the programmes at both the Briar Patch and Bancroft sites in Year 11. We follow the new OCR specification which consists of two written exams which students sit at the beginning of June. The first exam; Communicating Information and Ideas, asks students to analyse and comment on non-fiction texts as well as writing their own non-fiction piece. The second exam; Exploring Effects and Impact, affords the students the opportunity to explore some literary texts as well as creating their own piece of original fiction. Students must also produce a separately assessed Spoken Language presentation which allows them to develop speaking and listening skills.