The study of English broadens horizons and improves life chances. The department is dedicated to teaching lessons that engage, challenge and inspire our pupils. We aim to prepare them fully for exam success, whilst instilling a lifelong appreciation of the social and cultural value of language and literature study.
Key Stage 3
In year 7, students are exposed to a range of challenging writing styles included in units of work such as: Crime and Spy fiction, Autobiography and Poetry. They encounter challenging moral and ethical issues when studying extracts from the past and present and have the opportunity to read the novel ‘Private Peaceful’ and study a Shakespeare play: ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Year 8 students build on their knowledge and are introduced to the dystopian fiction genre through the novel ‘Animal Farm’ and other key texts. They gain an appreciation of drama by studying ‘The Crucible’ and also explore a range of rhetorical and persuasive non-fiction texts.
Throughout year 9, students read a variety of challenging texts beginning with Miller’s play, ‘A View from the Bridge’. Pupils learn about the importance of socio-historical context and its impact on writers’ choices through ‘Of Mice and Men’. In preparation for the GCSE syllabus, a whole Shakespeare play, ‘Othello’, is studied along with a variety of pre-nineteenth century texts. Students also have the opportunity to experience a range of war and conflict poetry.
Key Stage 4
By the end of Y11, students will have completed two GCSEs in English: AQA English Language and AQA English Literature.
In year 9, outlined in KS3 overview, students complete units of study which prepare them for the requirements of these qualifications.
Year 10 students will study a range of set texts for GCSE Literature, including a 19th century novel, a modern play, and an anthology of 15 poems. They will also revisit the Shakespeare play introduced in year 9.
In preparation for GCSE Language, pupils will explore a range of shorter texts from different eras, including non-fiction, short stories and extracts from novels.
The emphasis throughout will be on close reading of texts in order to analyse, evaluate and compare writers’ methods and points of view. They will often need to consider the contexts in which texts were written to inform their responses.
Pupils will also develop their written work. They will practise creative writing, including narrative and description, as well as writing to express a point of view or argument, using a range of language and structural devices to produce more convincing texts.
In Year 11, pupils will have an opportunity to consolidate the learning outlined above. Set texts will be studied in increasing depth to ensure that pupils are able to explore them fully in a closed-book literature exam. More emphasis will be put on exam skills, in order to ensure that pupils are able to effectively demonstrate their knowledge and secure grades for both GCSEs that are a true reflection of their potential.
Mrs E Holingdrake
Second in department
Ms C Davenport-Jones