Welcome to the English Department. We are incredibly proud of all the hard work that happens both in lessons as well as in catch up sessions and other extra-curricular ventures. We are a successful department made up of a dedicated team of teachers who are innovative, ambitious and committed to the success of our students. We aim to nurture, promote and develop students’ understanding and enjoyment of English and Literature through our methodology and practice and strive to have effective teaching and learning in all lessons, providing students with engaging, interactive and challenging tasks, which build upon their skills, year on year.
At Key Stage 3, we maximise students’ confidence with grammar and begin every lesson with a grammar starter, exploring word classes, spellings and punctuation for effective sentence construction, which we believe gives our students the necessary foundation for building word and sentence level competencies. The programmes of study at Key Stage 3 provide a real range of engaging and inspiring texts in the three genres of prose, poetry and drama as well as the opportunity to explore a wide range of thought-provoking non-fiction texts. In each of the three years, students will study a Shakespearean play as well as pre-1900 texts and so their literary diet is a rich and challenging one. Students are also encouraged to exercise their creative abilities in a range of written tasks, both fictional and narrative as well as persuasive and transactional writing. All units cover a range of reading and writing skills and are formally assessed at the end of each half term. The Key Stage 3 curriculum builds upon the skills that will become so important at Key Stage 4 for GCSE success and beyond.
At Key Stage 4, we aim to provide a challenging and robust course, which engages students as well as honing and refining their skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening. Students will have the opportunity of studying a wide range of pre-1900 and post-1900 texts, both fiction and non-fiction.
English has been one of the first subjects to be teaching the new Key Stage 4 curriculum and whilst new specifications are always a step into the unknown, we have worked tirelessly with the exam boards to ensure that we are delivering an engaging and inspiring range of texts, with rigorous assessment and regular moderation. We are working with WJEC Eduqas exam board for English Language and AQA for English Literature. The two year course is skills based, with year 10 students working on refining reading and writing skills for the English Language papers, and reading and studying key Literature texts. Currently, Key Stage 4 students will study “The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, “Blood Brothers” by Willy Russell and “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare. They will also study a cluster of themed poems from the AQA Anthology.
Our courses at AS and A Level are popular, with students following the English Literature AQA A Specification with a focus on the theme of “Love through the Ages”. Students will read a range of unseen prose texts as well as “Persuasion” by Jane Austen, “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald and “Othello” By William Shakespeare. They will also study a range of pre-1900 and post-1900 poetry from the AQA Anthology. Students will be engaged in class discussion as well as pushing learning forwards through independent enquiry and wider reading tasks. The second year of the course is focused on modern literature, where students read a variety of modern prose, poetry and drama texts as well as completing their non-exam assessment. The course is both challenging and rewarding, encouraging increased independence and confidence, whilst supporting students to make the transition from GCSE to A Level as successful as possible and provides an excellent foundation to undergraduate Literature.
We have consistently high expectations of all students in every lesson, expecting them to focus all of their energies on successful learning, to take responsibility for their studies and to be an active participant in the good progress that we foster. In the English department, we value the journey as well as the destination, using English as the key to communication, happiness and success.