Our overriding aim in English is to challenge pupils to think deeply about the texts they read and the societies out of which these texts were born. We also aim to cultivate excellence in writing skills and to offer a wide range of support in order to help students achieve this within a framework of highly challenging subject matter.
The Department’s schemes of work fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum. All pupils study English and English Literature at Key Stages 3 and 4 which covers poetry, drama, prose fiction, non-fiction and topical issues.
All of our schemes are designed to enable students to effectively retain knowledge and apply it with increasing confidence to different contexts as they progress up the key stages. We do this through the following:
- Regular testing (through quizzes, discussion and questioning) and progress checks to assess key concepts and inform student reflections and targets for moving forward.
- Re-teaching where misconceptions or errors have been identified.
- Study skills embedded in the context of subjects across the curriculum where links can be made.
Developing literacy skills is at the heart of our curriculum in English with a focus on the Literacy Golden Threads and Key Outcomes embedded within our schemes. We intend to enable students to enjoy success across all subject areas and beyond the classroom. The English department strives to create successful young learners who are able to present themselves well and communicate in a range of different contexts to a high level in order to showcase the best they have to offer. We encourage our students to view English as both a pleasurable and practical subject that will develop skills which will allow them to compete within the challenging climate of the 21st century.
At Key Stage 3, key literacy skills and an immersion of cultural capital underpin our reading and writing tasks across the school curriculum. Proof-reading and self-assessment is encouraged in English as we strive to engage pupils with their own writing and take responsibility for their progress within these skills.
We are dedicated to providing the opportunity for our pupils to enjoy both modern and classic literature and to develop the skills needed to analyse other writers’ use of language. The ability to read and analyse both fiction and non-fiction, provides the building blocks for assessed writing at Key Stage 3. Our curriculum provides the opportunity to write in a range of forms from letters to speeches and for a range of purposes from descriptive to persuasive writing.
To support learning outside of the English classroom, we have two homework tasks a week. These tasks aim to build literacy skills and a develop vocabulary through etymological and morphological learning. Each task should take, on average, 45 minutes to complete. The homework tasks are available on DPR for parents and pupils to access.
The KS4 cohorts will be taking the AQA English Language and Edexcel English Literature examinations for GCSE. They will be graded from 9 to 1 under the new GCSE grading system. All examinations will be closed text –meaning pupils will not be able to access the texts they have studied during the exam, therefore putting an emphasis on their ability to revise in preparation for examination.
AQA English Language exams will examine pupils retrieval, summary and analytical reading skills, as well as their creative writing and persuasive writing skills. Pupils will complete two English Language exams in order to attain an English Language grade. In addition to the written exams, pupils will also need to complete a speaking and listening endorsement. Edexcel English Literature exams will examine pupils on their understanding and analysis of a Shakespeare play, a Post-1914 British play, a 19th century novel and a collection of poems. Pupils will need to complete two English Literature exams in order to attain an English Literature grade.
Mrs S. Toman - Head of English
Mrs A. Benedetti – Assistant Vice Principal
Mrs H. Edwards – Teacher of English
Miss L. Cutmore – Teacher of English
Mrs A, Adelanke – Teacher of English
Miss H. Evans – Teacher of English