The English curriculum has been built with the aim of enabling all students to develop a genuine enjoyment of literature and writing. The dedicated team of specialists is comprised of professionals with a wealth of experience and backgrounds that we try to utilise in our teaching.
Key Stage Three
Some of the skills covered include: reading texts ranging from novels and play scripts to magazine and web based articles; exploring characters and themes; analysing themes in writing through group work, playing literary detective and essay writing. The syllabus also examines the many forms of writing that young people experience in our increasingly technological world and there continues to be a move towards using digital texts.
Year 7 topics: creative writing, novel, nonfiction, poetry, Shakespeare (The Tempest) and modern drama.
Year 8 topics: conflict poetry, Shakespeare (Macbeth), nonfiction, creative writing, novel and pre 1914 texts (Sherlock Holmes)
Key Stage Four
Throughout Key Stage 4 we build on the skills that have been honed at KS3. Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 study a selection of texts and writing enabling them to achieve qualifications in English and English Literature AQA. Texts studied include, ‘An Inspector Calls’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’. Students also cover a wide range of poetry throughout the course from the AQA anthology. Students begin their study toward the literature qualification during Year 9. Students will complete their literature examinations at the end of Year 10 enabling them to focus on English Language in Year 11.
Year 9 topics: creative writing (gothic themed), An Inspector Calls, poetry anthology, Romeo and Juliet and unseen poetry.
Year 10 topics: A Christmas Carol, poetry anthology, unseen poetry and revision (Current Y10 students will also cover An Inspector Calls and Macbeth as their Shakespeare play).
The literature examinations are organised in the following way:
Paper One: ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’
Paper Two: ‘An Inspector Calls’, poetry anthology and unseen poetry
In Year 11 students focus purely on the English Language qualification with exploration of a variety of texts, both fiction and non-fiction, and development of writing for different purposes. There is also a compulsory spoken language component whereby student must give a speech lasting approximately 6-10 minutes plus questions.
The 2018 Year 11 cohort continue to study both Literature and Language GCSEs for examination in the summer of 2018
Year 11: AQA English Language: 100% examination
Paper One: Fiction analysis and creative writing
Paper Two: Non-fiction reading analysis and nonfiction writing
As well as providing quality learning experiences in the classroom, we strive to offer a range of enrichment activities throughout the year with the help of the LRC manager. Activities which have been popular in recent years have included attending the Stan Lee Excelsior Award, taking part in national competitions for World Book Day, playing host to acting groups who perform and run workshops and inviting local guest speakers to run workshops for students. Some students have also been lucky enough to take part in the Premier League Reading Stars challenge which is aimed at encouraging reading and motivating them with football related incentives.
In English reading is the key to success and this is encouraged throughput the year. Pupils have access to a wide variety of texts which they are welcome to borrow from school. Reading at home is also a great way for students committed to gaining 5* ratings to show that they are going above what is expected in curriculum time.
Teachers may also set additional homework as necessary.
In Key Stage 4 homework is set linked to the topic being studied. This will often be in the form of research to support the topics being covered in class. In Year 10 and Year 11 pupils should be revising for a minimum of an hour per week building up as examinations approach. Revision sessions are run after school for Year 11 on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Year 10 revision will operate on Thursday evenings. All sessions run until 4pm.