Engage, Enthuse, Empower
|Head of English||Mrs K Hutton|
|Second in Department, KS4 Lead||Ms M Bochnak-Sales|
|Teacher of English||Miss R Brown|
|Third in Department, KS3 Lead||Mrs L Cumberland|
|Teacher of English||Mrs J Jones-Nugent|
|Teacher of English||Mrs M See|
|Teacher of English/Assistant Headteacher||Miss S Waseem|
|Teacher of English||Mr R Wilcox|
We love English for several reasons:
We have the chance to share fabulous texts with our students and to encourage them to read and enjoy a wide range of texts. This includes authors who are part of the traditional English literary canon as well as a wider and more diverse range of writers and a range of modern texts.
We read and study non-fiction, novels, plays, poems and short stories so there is something for everyone.
We are able to develop a number of transferable skills which ensure that our young people are able to empathise, be resilient, think creatively and write for a variety of different purposes.
We know the importance of reading, writing and speaking and listening skills, in terms of ensuring that our students are ready for life outside the classroom and that they are able to communicate effectively.
We support and enable our students to develop their skills to prepare for two important GCSEs and hope to teach many of them at A Level too.
We feel uniquely placed to help our students develop because our subject enables us to deal with a wide range of issues and ideas through the different contexts, cultures and events that can be covered when teaching English.
Key Stage 3 students have both English and Literacy lessons, which focus on core English grammar skills.
We have a history of innovation and success at Key Stage 3. Year 7 students will be part of our exciting, new progress landscape where levels have been replaced with a flight path which will take them to aspirational targets at GCSE in an all-through system. We have all the skills mapped out for an amazing learning journey which will take them through the challenging step up into their GCSEs.
In Year 7, students work in mixed ability groups. They have 6 hours of English lessons per fortnight and in addition the students are able to have fortnightly library and literacy lessons where they learn library skills, enjoy reading for pleasure and also build on good practice from KS2. They continue their study of grammar skills, including weekly spelling tests which are tailored to suit each student.
Students are also taught in mixed ability classes during Year 8. Throughout the year they are introduced to a wealth of texts, including a wide range of poetry, media texts and Shakespearian plays. Students in Year 8 are expected to continue keeping a record of their reading using the reading records we provide them with at the start of each year and challenge themselves with a broader range of texts.
The end of KS3 lends itself to being a bridge to KS4 as we spend the year preparing for the rigours of GCSE reading and writing skills. The units that we cover focus heavily on embedding and practising the key skills from the previous years in a fun but challenging way. From 19th century literature to a more creative descriptive writing unit - Year 9 is a time where students are given opportunities to make their own decisions and lead on their learning in a truly independent and collaborative way.
All students are expected to bring a reading book of their own choice to these lessons, keeping a log of their reading. In order to continue the good reading habits instilled in students from KS2 and in order to raise the profile of reading, we work with Tutors to foster and encourage a love of reading using a reading record to map their own reading journey throughout KS3.
At Key Stage 4 our students are entered for both GCSE English language and GCSE English Literature. We follow the AQA examination board.
GCSE English Language:
GCSE English Language helps students to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Students will draw upon a range of texts as reading stimulus which are high-quality, challenging texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. These texts will support students in developing their own writing by providing effective models. Students will have opportunities to develop higher-order reading and critical thinking skills that encourage genuine enquiry into different topics and themes. Students will be expected to read fluently and write effectively. Students will be assessed by two final examination papers, both lasting 1 hour and 45 minutes. Speaking and listening will be a separate endorsement.
GCSE English Literature:
GCSE English Literature encourages close study of literary texts, including Shakespeare, a 19th century novel, a modern play and a range of English Heritage and contemporary poetry. Students are assessed by two exams at the end of the course. The first requires them to respond to extracts from, and write about, the Shakespeare play and the 19th century novel. This exam lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes and is worth 40% of the marks. The second exam focuses on the modern play, a selection of poems from an anthology, as well as requiring a response to two unseen poems. This exam lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes and is worth 60% of the qualification.
Students are provided with an exercise book which are kept in the classroom. In addition, throughout the course students will be given plays, novels and poetry anthologies to use in class. We would advise students where possible to purchase their own copies of the text as this allows them to access them at home and annotate as they wish.
English Language and Literature:
This course will encourage students to study language and literature as interconnecting disciplines. They will be taught how to respond to text by the use of appropriate terminology and will examine nonfiction texts and other examples of the spoken and written word. Skills in speaking and writing for different purposes and audiences will develop and students will be encouraged to become confident, reflective readers. Also, skills of manipulating language for effect and attention to detail will be developed whilst reading a variety of texts. As well as this, there will be a focus on the acquisition and use of language and how this affects our perceptions of what we read. This is complemented by studies of anthologies, prose and drama texts.
This course will encourage a study of various forms of literature, from Shakespeare to contemporary poetry. Students will develop skills of argument both in discussion and in writing and gain the ability to stand by a point of view whilst listening to the views of others. English Literature encourages a highly critical mind, interrogation of the status quo and fierce debate over what is right and wrong. Students will study how literature may have changed over time but how the universal human condition has remained the same. English Literature will question boundaries and give windows into the societies of the past. Students will never read a book in the same way again!
USEFUL LINKS AND RESOURCES
What is the homework policy?
KS3 - Homework tasks include regular reading and spelling tests, in order to build and develop the skills and good habits that students bring from primary school. In addition there are opportunities to produce creative work based around the topics that are being studied each term.
KS4 - Homework tasks are set using an approach which interleaves the various texts that are being studied for Literature, whilst also developing the skills required for English Language. We aim to ensure that all of the skills and texts are being consistently and continually reviewed because that is a good model to follow for revision. Students are expected to spend at least one hour a week on homework and we provide revision suggestions separately.
We would continue to encourage all students to spend at least an hour a week on their personal reading and are keen to make suggestions if students are finding it difficult to find engaging material.
Sixth Form - Sixth Formers should understand the need for self-directed study to complement explicit homework set and this is supported by Independent Study Plans that are available in each subject area. Students should expect to receive the equivalent of at least 3 hours homework a week. This may be related to research, planning, drafting or editing essays or assignments. Students should also be reading around the topics and units of work.
Reading lists are available for all students who wish to further their personal reading for pleasure.
What Extra curricular opportunities are there?
We run a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities for students. We run several books clubs and have a creative writing group. There is also a ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ club and lots of opportunities to be involved in national competitions; poetry workshops; theatre visits; visits from authors and theatre companies; readathons and quizzes.
What career paths could studying English lead on to?
Law, Academia, Media, Culture and Arts, Education, Civil Service, Business and Management
What resources and facilities does the English Department have?
The English department occupies 9 classrooms in the Howard Block. We have reference copies of the novels and plays that students use in class for the topics we study each year. We also use a wide range of poetry and non-fiction texts. We encourage KS4 and KS5 students to buy their own copies of the exam texts so that they can annotate them with notes.
We have digital data projectors in each classroom with full audio-visual capabilities as well as mini camera visualisers to help students focus on key documents in lessons. We also have our own digital cameras and camcorders to support media work. Further book and computer software resources are available in the library. The department benefits from the excellent computer resources in the school, including trollies of laptops that can be booked for use in the classrooms.
Reading lists are available for all students who wish to further their personal reading for pleasure.
Ofsted Report May 2017 (PDF) ‘Progress in English is particularly strong. Pupils benefit from consistently good teaching, additional support tailored to their individual needs, and access to a range of other support. Leaders rigorously track the progress that individual pupils make and ensure that there is a swift response to any identified issues. Leaders and governors evaluate the impact of the use of pupil premium funding thoroughly. Gaps in progress between the disadvantaged pupils and other pupils nationally have narrowed significantly as a result.’