The English Department
The department is made up of 7 English teachers who are committed to assisting pupils in the development of skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening. From the outset, pupils are encouraged to read independently and will encounter a wide range of both fiction and non-fiction texts in lessons. We aim to make pupils active, confident and critical readers. Pupils are taught to be technically accurate writers who can use language in an adaptable and creative way. We also aim to develop pupils’ ability and confidence in speaking in a range of different situations.
Please see below for additional information on each Key Stage:
Students are taught in mixed ability groups in Years 8 and 9. In Year 7, there are two English progress groups, to enable targeted students to improve their skills as quickly as possible. Students entering the school on level 3 are taught in a group with an additional member of staff to ensure rapid progress and when/where necessary follow a new phonics programme designed to close any learning gaps.
All pupils follow a carefully arranged teaching programme in line with the new key stage 3 curriculum. The units include a wide range of challenging activities designed to teach students the necessary skills to prepare them for GCSE. There is a strong emphasis on the importance of continuing to develop students’ knowledge and use of writing skills such as: sentence structure, punctuation, grammar and writing organisation as well as encouraging creativity and enjoyment of language. Students at key stage 3 have a library lesson once a fortnight providing them with the opportunity to read a wide range of texts, developing their knowledge of the literary canon whilst and encouraging them to read for pleasure. Students in years 7, 8 and 9 also have an additional literacy lesson every fortnight where students work on improving aspects of written literacy.
Each year’s programme is arranged into five core units, designed to develop both reading and writing skills, providing regular study of:
• Modern and Classic Fiction
• Pre and Post 1914 Poetry
• Non- fiction texts
• Modern and Classic Drama.
Year 7 begin the year with a transition unit, designed in conjunction with primary school teachers to ensure a smooth transition from primary to secondary school. Year 9 follow a programme designed to prepare them for the rigour of GCSE and examinations.
In Years 10 and 11, students take two GCSEs leading to qualifications in English Language and English Literature. These courses are assessed through exams at the end of year 11. In English Language, students are taught to analyse features of fiction and non-fiction texts and to develop their skills in persuasive and narrative writing. In English Literature, students read and respond to a play by William Shakespeare, a poetry anthology, a novel and a play.
Students have the opportunity to continue studying English at ‘A’ level with a choice of English Language and English Literature. These two exciting courses allow students to draw on their individual skills and interests.