Head of English: Mrs Powell
The English department aims to ensure that all students, regardless of their background and prior attainment, make excellent progress through enjoyable and memorable learning experiences. We aim to empower students to be an independent, resilient and creative learner who can articulate complex thinking and emotional responses.
In Years 7 and 8, students are introduced to a range of fiction, drama, non-fiction and media texts which they explore in ways which are both engaging and challenging. The curriculum has been designed to build students' skills in areas which will be of great value to them in the future.
Students are taught reading, writing and spoken language skills throughout Key Stage 3. These skills link closely with the skills required for GCSE and the curriculum is designed to prepare students effectively for this next level. In reading assessments, students are assessed on skills of comprehension, inference, interpretation, analysis and evaluation. They will also learn to write effectively for a range of purposes, including description, narration, review, persuasion and constructing an argument.
Reading is at the heart of our rich Key Stage 3 curriculum. Every student is involved in our Whole School Reading Project in which they follow an independent course of study on their chosen book. Students are encouraged to read widely and supported by their teachers to choose books which they will not only love but will help them to progress in their reading ability. Each Year 7 student is gifted a book of their choice by the English department as part our annual Book Buzz scheme (an inspiring Book Trust initiative - KS3 students regularly support Readathon through sponsored reading challenges Reading Buddies is a successful and fun, well-established scheme to support Year 7 students./ Each week, students meet with their Y9 Reading Buddy, who will read with them and help them to improve their reading skills through sharing and discussing books. The Y9 students are all committed to this scheme and have training to help them be effective mentors to our younger students.
Throughout Years,9,10,11 students are taught both English Language and English Literature in preparation for two qualifications of equal status.
English Language (Edexcel)
Students in Year 9 and Year 10 prepare for their English Language GCSE. The English Language curriculum involves preparation for two papers: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, and Writer's Viewpoints and Perspectives. In preparation for the exams at the end of Year 11, our students study and practise a range of reading and writing skills, including analysis, synthesis of information, inference and comparison for the reading section, and creative writing and presenting an argument for the writing section. Students also complete a separate compulsory unit: Spoken Language Endorsement. While this spoken presentation does not contribute towards a student's overall grade, the mark (Pass/Merit/Distinction) will be recorded on their exam certificate.
English Literature (Edexcel)
Students in Years 9, Year 10 and Year 11 are also taught a range of texts, including Shakespeare, a 19th-century novel, a modern text and a range of poetry, all in preparation for two exams at the end of Year 11. They will learn how to closely analyse passages of text and make links with the whole text. They will also develop skills of comparison when studying poetry, including how to compare unseen texts. Students will study the set texts within their social and historical context and learn how this context affects audience interpretations.