Subject Leader English
Lead Practitioner of English
Mr G Hughes
Ms S Ahmed
Miss S Benham
The teachers in the English department are committed to developing critical and creative thinkers who collaborate and communicate effectively. We strive to promote inquiry-based learning by using class discussions, Socratic seminars, and research opportunities, where students gather information, use textual evidence to support their claims, and evaluate sources.
The English teachers help students learn to read critically, evaluate rhetorical strategies, write analytically (including argument and synthesis essays and literary analyses), speak effectively, and to view diverse, complex texts thoughtfully, so they will have the skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex, ever-changing world.
We seek to inspire and motivate our students – to help them become life-long learners and to understand that reading, writing, speaking, and listening are universal skills that will be used throughout their lives. We strongly believe that the study of language and the imaginative world of literature will help our students to gain empathy, demonstrate tolerance, and consider other perspectives so they can better understand themselves and the world in which they live.
Teachers are encouraged to be creative in all lessons in order to ensure that students become independent learners; students should take the lead in the lessons and feel they have ownership of their learning. Schemes of work, provide guidance for teachers and ensure common outcomes are achieved at the end of each half term.
The department is well resourced and has a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts. It is essential that we teach students using both books and new media, therefore every classroom is well equipped. It is through texts that language is explored and analysed. Many moral and ethical issues are raised through reading and students should question opinions and thought, and learn to formulate their own views on society and the world. It is essential they are provided with opportunities to question and debate.
It is our aim to develop students who speak fluently and listen closely thus ensuring they can articulate and deal with the successes and stresses of living in the modern world.
Students are set on ability. There are 4 one hour lessons a week for KS3 and 5 for KS4, with additional literacy support where necessary in KS3.
Homework is set every two weeks in accordance with academy policy.
In English lessons students will concentrate on the three main skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing. They will be given opportunities to speak, formally and informally, and listen to others with understanding in a variety of settings. They will also learn the appropriate forms of spoken English for different situations.
They will read a wide variety of novels, poetry and plays, including Shakespeare, and discuss and write about what they have read. They will also be able to borrow books from the school library and be encouraged to read for their own enjoyment. They will learn how to write in a variety of forms and styles so that they can express themselves confidently and clearly on paper. The skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught as an integral part of this.
For additional reading, pupils should move their reading choices beyond fiction and onto non-fiction. During the GCSE English Language examination, pupils will be expected to read and write pieces of non-fiction. As preparation for this, pupils should read one article from a newspaper / magazine of their choice every week. It is not necessary that pupils read the entire newspaper or magazine. Instead, discretion is advised. They should choose an article that they believe they will enjoy, and read that entirely.
Students are required to provide their own pens, pencils and coloured pencils. It is also advisable for each student to have his/her own pocket-sized dictionary and thesaurus.
How Parents Can Help
Parents can help by regularly asking their child what they learned in English that day. By explaining what they have learned, this will enable students to reflect on their learning and allow parents to be proactive in their child's development in English. Additionally, by providing their child with a quiet place to complete homework; by encouraging them to join a local library; and to read and write for their own enjoyment, encouraging them to read non-fiction such as newspapers.
Key Stage 3
The units of work that pupils will study at Key Stage 3 (years 7-9) are listed below. The units build on skills that pupils have developed at primary school, and lead naturally to the development of skills required at GCSE.
Autumn 1- A Monster Calls- Students explore challenging themes within this novel, paying attention to character development, narrative voice and literary techniques. The assessment consists of a piece of comprehension, followed by a creative diary entry.
Autumn 2- Myths and Legends- Continuing with themes from the novel studied at the start of Year 7, students explore fiction and non-fiction texts surrounding Greek, Norse and many more. They are assessed on their understanding of how myths and legends occur, including a piece of comprehension.
Spring 1- Poetry of Childhood- Students are introduced to some challenging techniques when regarding poetry, exploring a range of styles and poets. Their assessment will consist of writing about a poem previously studied and looking at language analysis.
Spring 2- Introduction to Shakespeare- As well as contextual understanding, students will explore a range of plays, looking at heroes and villains as well as the three genres; tragedies, histories and comedies. Their assessment is based on Speaking and Listening, looking at performance.
Summer 1- Becoming a Writer- Students are able to let their imaginations run wild, learning how to write a short piece of narrative, exploring showing and not telling, genre and how to create atmosphere. The assessment is based on an image or sentence starter, and they are expected to craft a short piece of narrative as opposed to a full story.
Summer 2- The Girl of Ink and Stars- Looking at the genre of fantasy, students learn the art of cartography in this wonderful adventure novel. Assessment is based on the novels fantastical element, students will be encouraged to create their own imaginary world and write a piece of description to accompany it.
Autumn 1- Of Mice and Men- Beginning with context of The Great Depression/The American Dream and transporting our readers to Soledad, students are challenged by the vocabulary and emotive plot. Their assessment is an analytical piece on a character from a given extract. They will need to select appropriate quotations and offer analysis.
Autumn 2- Private Peaceful- Incorporating WWI poetry with this Morpurgo text, students explore the realities of War through emotive literature. Assessment is based on a piece of comprehension from the text studied, alongside their contextual understanding.
Spring 1- Creative Writing- Progressing from Year 7, students are taught to write a Mini Saga, being selective with vocabulary and concise in practise. Their assessment is based on an image or scenario, in which they focus on craft, quality over quantity.
Spring 2- Noughts and Crosses (The Play)- To introduce students to theatre, we explore themes of race, love and injustice in this well-loved story. Students learn about tone, theatre terminology and structure when building tension. Their assessment is based on how tension is created in an extract.
Summer 1- Powerful People- Students explore powerful figures; Maya Angelou, Jeff Bauman, Nujeen and many more. They look at types of non-fiction and transactional writing, paying attention to techniques and eventually writing their own. Assessment consists of choosing their favourite Powerful Person and writing a biography.
Summer 2- Welcome to Nowhere- This novel explores life as a refugee, showing how difficult life can be. Students learn about tension, structure, character development and emotive language. The assessment consists of writing a letter to one of the characters in the perspective of the protagonist about their journey.
Autumn 1 and 2- Shakespeare Play- In preparation for Macbeth in KS4, students will study a Shakespearean play chosen by their teacher. The term consists of preparing them with the language, form and structure as well as commenting on audience response. The assessment consists of writing about how a character speaks and behaves in a provided extract, as well as answering a themed question regarding the whole play.
Spring 1- Short Gothic Texts- A mixture of literature and language, students will read and explore a range of gothic texts, ranging from Frankenstein to Northanger Abbey. They will also have the opportunity to plan and write their own short, gothic narrative. Their assessment will consist of using the techniques learnt to write their own piece of gothic writing.
Spring 2- Becoming an Advanced Writer- Students will learn the art of being a journalist/author. With a mixture of transactional and creative writing, students will further their skills in preparation for GCSE. Assessment- TBC
Summer 1- Poetry of Power- To further their understanding of poetry, students will look at a variety of styles, themes and poets, surrounding power. Their terminology will improve as they spot techniques for language, form and structure. Assessment is an unseen poem, where they will annotate and then write a response about why the poem is considered powerful.
Summer 2- To Kill a Mockingbird- An opportunity to study a challenging novel that will prepare them for the texts studied at GCSE. Assessment will be based around a theme and given extract.
Key Stage 4
Literature Course Outline:
Exam Board WJEC Eduqas
- Component 1 - Shakespeare and Poetry. Students will study: Macbeth and an Anthology of Poetry from 1789 to the present day (exam - 2 hours).
- Component 2 - Post 1914 Prose/Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry. Students will study: An Inspector Calls and A Christmas Carol. There is an unseen poetry question as well (Exam - 2 hours and 30 minutes).
Language Course Outline:
Exam Board WJEC Eduqas
- Component 1 - 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Prose Writing (Exam - 1 hour 45 minutes).
- Component 2 - 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional/Persuasive Writing (Exam - 2 hours).
- Component 3 - Spoken Language (Internally assessed).
Key Stage 5
KS5 IB English Language and Literature
Component 1: Guided Textual Analysis (Examination, 2 hours 15 minutes)
Component 1 contains two previously unseen non-literary passages. Students are instructed to write a separate guided analysis of each. A guided analysis in this context refers to an exploration of the passage supported by a guiding question which asks the students to consider a technical or formal aspect of the passage. The passages will be taken from any text type which are listed in the Course Requirements; each passage will be from a different text type.
Component 2: Comparative Essay (Examination, 1 hour 45 minutes) *not being assessed for Summer 2022
Component 2 contains four questions of a general nature which require students to write a comparative essay referring to two works studied during the course. Students are required to answer one question only. Students do not have access to studied works.
Component 3: The Individual Oral (Internal Assessment, 10 minutes presentation, 5 minutes questioning)
The individual oral assessment addresses the following prompt:
Examine the ways in which a global issue of your choice is presented through the content and form of one of the works and one of the texts you have studied.
During the course of study, students will have investigated a series of non-literary texts and literary works and a variety of global issues. Students must present on how their chosen texts reflect and explore a particular issue of choice.
Component 4: A Higher Level Essay, 1200 – 1500 words
Component 4 requires students to write a formal essay (including references and citations) which develops a line of inquiry in connection to non-literary, a group of non-literary or a literary text of choice.
Throughout the course students are also required to complete a Learner Portfolio in which they maintain a collection of their work, provide evidence of their processes in completing work and preparing for assessed elements and reflect on the concepts and ideas they have explored.