Staff Team

Francine Magee Teacher - Faculty Lead Literacy
Sara Steele Integration & Engagement Worker
Ashlee Copeland Personal Development Curriculum Lead
Judy Somerville Teacher
Francis Domingo Teacher
Ruth Exley Teacher & SENCO

Our Aims

  • To ensure that our curriculum is based on every student becoming a successful learner, making progress and achieving.
  • To follow a curriculum which will ensure a successful transition to mainstream education; when that is suitable for their needs.
  • To develop confident individuals who can access the media, fiction and non-fiction to lead fulfilling lives.


englishStudents come to us after things have gone wrong: illness, troubles in mainstream, believing things can’t improve but we re-build their confidence, step by step, making them realise that they can and will achieve. Yes it involves hard work (and humour) but we make learning fun and accessible for all. The English Faculty are a part of their voyage through education and most students climb aboard our ship!

Reading & Phonics at the Voyage Learning Campus

At the Voyage Learning Campus, our main aim, due to the needs of many of our students, is to re-engage them with reading and to increase their reading ages so that they can either leave the VLC at 16 with a good reading age or return to mainstream as confident readers.

Every student’s reading age is assessed when they start at the Voyage Learning Campus, regardless of their age, and appropriate interventions put in place.

One of these interventions is the teaching of Phonics to all students (in all Key Stages) who are identified as having gaps in their phonics knowledge. We teach phonics for 20 minutes every day to all students who require it. This is either to individuals or in small groups. We use the ‘Programme for Phonics into Early Spelling’, supported by the Letters and Sounds programme.

Within our Primary setting, every child has a reading book and reads to an adult every day. The main reading scheme we use is a combination of Oxford Reading Tree and Rapid Reading. As their reading skills develop children progress through a series of colour coded book boxes containing a full range of storied, non-fiction and poetry books. They move towards a level of fluency and independence which allows for selection of materials from the ‘free readers book case’.

We also ensure within our Primary setting that every child can confidently read the 300 ‘most frequent words’. We use a range of games and activities to teach these words.

At Key Stage 3 and 4 students who have been assessed as phonically sound are placed in Literacy Groups based on their reading and spelling age. They access varied reading material including newspapers and online articles as well as fiction and non-fiction texts to build their confidence and instil a love of reading. They are also given ability appropriate spellings to learn each week.

The Literacy Faculty hold whole campus competitions as well as a Literacy Week to enable all students and staff to discover the joy and value of reading for pleasure.



The Facilities are traditional classrooms. There is access to IT within classrooms either on laptops or traditional computers. In some Centres there are Smart Boards, tablets and Kindles for the delivery of interactive lessons. There is a library at EVC and Literacy Resource Areas in other Centres. Wherever you are you will be given a warm welcome and all lessons are busy, purposeful and well-organised.


In KS2/3 we try where possible to 'mirror' the mainstream curriculum and students will spend time each year on the following:-

  • Non-fiction texts
  • Media
  • Shakespeare
  • Fiction
  • Plays
  • Poetry

All units cover reading, writing and speaking and listening. Students spend a part of every lesson on spelling, punctuation and grammar. They learn new vocabulary.

At KS4 students study AQA for GCSE English – this again depends upon the site and each one tries to follow courses that students in their area will have already embarked upon. AQA Step Up To English silver and gold award is also offered from Entry Level to Level 1, 2 and 3. Some students will sit a Functional Skills exam in Year 10 before going on to study GCSE in Year 11. We aim to accommodate students and support them in the Exam Board they have studied where possible. The current qualification structure at GCSE is being looked at by Ofqual and we will reconsider Exam Boards as and when appropriate.

Students work is marked regularly and assessed at the end of every unit. Work is displayed and celebrated.

Faculty Developments

We are working on the KS3 scheme of work so that all of our lessons are Outstanding. To do this we need to plan the correct level of challenge to move students more rapidly with new learning. We are developing resources which engage students and are appropriate to their age, ability and individual needs.

In KS4 we are currently preparing and adapting our teaching for the new GCSE and the new Entry Level Step Up award.

  • Rapid Reading an innovative online reading resource which has been proven to treble the normal rate of reading progress by children. This has just been purchased by VLC and will be available to all students in the very near future.
  • TTRS (Touch, Type, Read and Spell) is as it says a touch typing course which reinforces reading and spelling. This is currently being trialled with KS4 and if successful it will be launched with KS3 students as well.
  • We shall be running a Literacy Week to coincide with World Book day on Thursday 3rd March 2016.
  • Greater links with local schools and their English Faculties is also on our agenda as we wish to minimise any disruption during transition for our students.

Quote from Ofsted

In the best lessons teachers use their knowledge of what pupils need to learn to plan work at the correct level of challenge to move them on quickly with new learning. For example, in a Year 11 English lesson for lower achieving pupils the task of writing a letter for a part-time job was relevant and enabled the pupils to gain formal letter writing skills in a context that motivated them to learn.

Ofsted Report, November 2013

Quotes from current students.

I can't believe I'm doing GCSE English, before this school I could never sit in an English lesson.

Current Student

I am so proud of myself that I just sat there for a whole hour and wrote English AND it's been Shakespeare!

Current Student

It's great that you give me time and when I haven't understood it, you explain it in a different way, they never did that in mainstream.

Current Student

I love seeing my work on the Work of the Week Board. It makes me proud and my Mum is really happy when I go home with a certificate.

Current Student

Recommended Reads

There is a whole world of imagination inside your head for which you don’t need the latest gaming consoles!

Plus all our old favourites:-


Download Book Trust's Best Book Guide 2015 which brings together reviews of some of our favourite books for children and young people published within the last year.


Both of these websites have fun games which make learning fun.

For GCSE and Functional Skills the Exam Boards have lots of useful information on their sites like past papers and mark schemes.