As a department, we are passionate about our subject and lovers of reading and writing.
Fundamentally, our ethos is to inspire that same love for English in our students, promoting high standards of Language and Literacy at all times. As a team, we also take immense pride in the fact that we do more than prepare students for exams; the skills we deliver are vital to success in the wider world, giving English teachers a really important role in the lives of young people.
Students are set by ability in all years from 7 to 11.Our lessons are exciting, challenging and rigorous. All lessons are designed to include students in their own learning; from knowing their current working level to the steps they need to take to make progress. We set students challenging targets to ensure that they achieve to the best of their potential. Across all key stages, our aim is to develop our students so that they can become confident writers and communicators. In the English department, we encourage students to become compassionate, tolerant, and productive members of society, through their study of a range of text types, authors and forms throughout the ages. We aim to nurture a love of literature and reading and students are encouraged to read widely outside of the curriculum.
At Key Stage 3, students study a range of different text types across a number of genres. From the start of year 7, students are given a solid grounding in the myths and legends that underpin great works of literature, while in year 8 students are encouraged to think globally by looking at seminal literature from around the world. Further to this, through the study of novels such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, students are exposed to concepts of freedom, tolerance, equality and personal and social responsibility. These books help students to apply these ideas to familial, communal, national and global contexts. In every year, students also study a Shakespeare play and a selection of both classical and modern poetry to ensure a wide canon is covered. Opportunities to develop writing skills are embedded with the key stage 3 curriculum. Our aim in KS3 is to furnish all students with the key skills required for the study of both English Language and English Literature in KS4 and beyond into KS5.
KS4 English and English Literature
Students follow the Edexcel course for both English Language and English Literature. For English Language, students develop their critical reading skills through the study of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. Writing skills are developed through imaginative and transactional writing tasks. For English Literature, students study a 19th century novel, a post 1914 novel, a Shakespeare play and an anthology of poetry ranging from the 18th to 21st century. Both GCSEs are assessed through exams which count for 100% of their final grade. The GCSE English Literature course is completed at the end of Year 10 and the GCSE English Language course is completed at the end of Year 11. Our aim in KS4 is to ensure success at GCSE level, but also to instill a passion for English and embed skills that are required for further study in KS5 English Language and/or Literature.
KS5 English Literature
Students follow the OCR course in which they study a collection of poems by a pre-1900 poet, one Shakespearean play, one modern play and one modern prose text. Over the course, students develop critical literary skills and an understanding of the ways in which writers shape meanings while also demonstrating appreciation of the significance of cultural and contextual influences on writers and readers. In addition, at A2 students undertake a critical study in a genre such as gothic, dystopian or American literature. They will also write a critical, creative or comparative essay using post 1900 texts.
KS5 English Language
Students follow the OCR course exploring the use of language features in both written and spoken texts and how these features convey meaning. They compare a range of transcripts to develop close reading and analytical skills. Topical language issues are also explored. All skills are applied to both seen and unseen texts. At A2, students focus on the linguistic analysis of real life transcripts from different contexts. They continue to explore topical issues related to language and create an original piece of writing for a real-world purpose on a topical language issue. In addition, students explore how children acquire language by engaging with samples of authentic children's spoken text. Students also examine how the English language has changed over time, and how language is used today in the media. Students will complete a piece of coursework exploring an area of language that is of personal interest to them.
Recommended Reading List for KS3 & KS4