In the English Department we aim to foster a deep and long-lasting love of English.
In Year 7, 8 and 9 students study a broad range of texts that encourage them to question the world around them as well as develop a deeper appreciation of it. The texts in Year 7, 8 and 9 are ambitious and consist of a range of prose, plays and poems; students are given ample opportunity to discuss these verbally. At GCSE we embed prior learning through challenging and stimulating texts with students developing their verbal skills through the spoken language component. English has such a vital place in education and society and we hope students enjoy all that it has to offer.
The subject enables students to develop their skills in reading and writing, as well as giving them the opportunity to appreciate a wide range of texts and genres. Through the course students develop the skills to become analytical as well as independent thinkers who can question and see the world from different perspectives.
Students receive three lessons of English every week in which they study both English language with Literature incorporated. Students are encouraged to read a text of their choice for five minutes at the beginning of every lesson. This has become embedded in the whole school ethos; as a school community we recognise the importance of literacy.
Programme of Study
To develop enjoyment of reading, one lesson a fortnight is held in the Library. Here students will have the opportunity to read independently, to each other and to their teacher. Students will also have the opportunity to complete activities about the book they are reading and achieve house points and prizes.
Students also study a range of short texts such as: fiction, non-fiction, contemporary and classic texts. Using these mediums students are introduced to challenging vocabulary, textual, contextual issues and new ideologies found in both pre-1900 and pre-20th century texts.
- Creative Writing based on the texts studied
- Writing to argue and persuade – based on SeaWorld
- Writing to analyse
- Book reviews
Core texts (plus linked extracts from a wide range of literature)
- ‘Refugee Boy’ by Benjamin Zephaniah
- ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ by William Shakespeare
- ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck
- ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare
- Poetry across time
- ‘Blood Brothers’ by Willy Russell
Students are given an assessment at the end of every term or at the end of a scheme of work, as well as regular retrieval quizzes that test knowledge, literacy and vocabulary acquisition.
- Exploring/analysing how writers use language to create characters, setting or atmosphere
- Creative Writing based on a stimulus.
- Diary entry exploring a characters’ feelings, thoughts and ideas
- Exploring various ways that a poet conveys or presents a theme/atmosphere.
- Persuasive speech
- Newspaper article
Homework is given once a week. The tasks set is uploaded to Google Classroom for all students and those who are unable to access it are given a paper copy of the task. Tasks set include:
- Learning and practising spelling of keywords/challenging words
- Researching contextual issues and background of a text or event
- Letter writing
- Practising of Speaking and Listening
- Writing newspaper articles
- Diary entries
- Practising close language analysis from a short extract
- Book reviews
- Creative writing based on an image
Where can English take you
- GCSE English Literature
- GCSE English Language
- University Lecturer
- Public Relations Officer
- Web content Manager
- Newspaper/Magazine Editor
How can parents support their child’s learning
- Demonstrate a positive attitude to education and success – discuss with your child what they have done in school, praise them for their success and find ways to help through speaking to your child’s teacher or consulting relevant websites.
- Encourage your child to read – read yourself or with your child. Read fiction and non-fiction texts. Reading and discussing newspaper headlines, articles and even events reported on T.V can be an excellent way for children to become engaged with education and learning
- Develop a partnership with your child’s teachers and school – become an advocate for your child
- Know when assessments are about to occur and help your child revise through creating quizzes, flashcards, mind maps and revision questions. Help your child to test themselves on what they have learned by teaching you
- Monitor your child’s television, video game and internet use
- Encourage your child to participate in school extracurricular activities to help develop their confidence.