In the English Department, we aim to provide students with an inspirational, rigorous and personalised curriculum which develops their written and spoken literacy whilst also instilling in them a genuine love of literature. We create a safe and stimulating learning environment, encouraging students to be independent in their learning. We teach students transferable skills which are essential in other subjects and in life. We seek to empower all students by encouraging and nurturing creativity, confidence and identity through both the study of English Language and English Literature. Time is taken to secure a broad curriculum reflecting the experiences of people from different countries and times.
The Department secures consistently outstanding results at GCSE; the improvement in attainment over recent years has been dramatic. We seek to maximise all students’ potential exceeding that which is expected of them.
At KS3 students develop a range of skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening, this is achieved through engaging with challenging texts, tasks and ideas. Students are taught in sets to ensure that students’ learning is as challenging and personalised as possible. Students are regularly assessed and monitored so that we can celebrate exceptional achievement and ensure that we support them in their areas of difficulty. Lessons are planned to be engaging and challenging, encouraging students to become increasingly confident and reflective learners. A focus on improving skills across the key stage ensures clear progression between units and prepares pupils for the necessary skills required at GCSE.
All KS3 classes have a reading lesson once a week where pupils have the opportunity to read and discuss a set text with their class. These lessons encourage pupils to develop their voices as active readers, their inference skills and their ability to respond critically to a text. These skills are essential at both KS3 and KS4.
In KS4 all students study two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. These qualifications have been designed to be fully co-teachable and have a strong focus on a skills based approach. Our students’ progress greatly exceeds national expectations from KS2 to GCSE. Students are supported throughout the course by their teachers and are monitored by post-holders in the Department. Revision and intervention classes are run at certain points throughout the year to support students in their learning and their preparation for the examinations in these important qualifications.
Parent Information Sheets:
GCSE: English Language
Students in Year 11 will take the AQA GCSE qualification in English Language. The course is designed to develop the ability to communicate clearly, accurately and effectively in both speech and writing. They learn how to employ a wide-ranging vocabulary, use correct grammar, spelling and punctuation and develop a personal style and an awareness of the audience being addressed.
Learners are also encouraged to read widely, both for their own enjoyment and to further their awareness of the ways in which English can be used. The study of English Language also develops more general analysis and communication skills such as synthesis, inference, and the ability to order facts and present opinions effectively.
This GCSE in English Language enables students to:
- read a wide range of texts, fluently and with good understanding
- read critically, and use knowledge gained from wide reading to inform and
- improve their own writing
- write effectively and coherently using Standard English appropriately
- use grammar correctly, punctuate and spell accurately
- acquire and apply a wide vocabulary, alongside a knowledge and understanding of grammatical terminology and linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
GCSE: English Literature
Students in Year 11 will take the AQA GCSE qualification in English Literature. The course is based on the conviction that the study of Literature should centre on an informed personal response and a critical understanding of a range of texts in the genres of prose, poetry, and drama.
This GCSE in English Literature enables students to:
- read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
- read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
- develop the habit of reading widely and often
- appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
- write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
- acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read
The English department is running a reading group for gifted and talented pupils in year 7. The group allows pupils to read a range of new texts and to challenge themselves in the process, stretching their vocabulary and their ability to articulate their ideas. The texts we are reading are challenging but engaging, with an aim to represent a diverse range of voices and cultures and to encourage lively debate.
Word of the week
The English department has been running an initiative with year 7s and 8s called ‘Word of the Week’ in an effort to boost pupils’ vocabulary and oral literacy. Pupils are given a challenging word each week and they must compete to be the first in their year group to use this correctly in their written or spoken work.
The English department is running a debate club that gives pupils the opportunity to practice and refine their debating skills.
The English department run trips to the theatre both locally and in central London throughout the year for students in all key stages.
KS3 – 45 minutes of homework per week.
KS4 – A minimum of one hour of homework each week.
KS5 – A minimum of 2 hours of homework each week.
Links and how to support your child at home
The following links will assist with supporting your child at home:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education – KS3/4 revision
http://www.grammarlady.com – grammar experts advise on correct usage
http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/gcsebitesize – advice on revision and examination techniques
http://www.studia.co.uk – examination techniques
http://www.englishresources.co.uk – media, biography, poetry