Our department is committed to developing exciting and challenging learning opportunities which are designed to help all students to become skilled in the use of English and ensure continuity and progression across KS3, KS4 and Post 16.
Above all, our department is characterised by a positive and flexible attitude. We work collaboratively to ensure that our teaching and learning strategies provide every student with pathways to success. We believe that every student can be taught the skills to take control of their writing and to also be creative. Furthermore, we believe that these same students can be taught the skills required in order that they become competent readers, and that with sufficient practice, even the most complex texts can become accessible to them.
Becoming expert users of the English language enables students to communicate their knowledge effectively and achieve success in their examinations. However, we also feel that understanding how the system of language is constructed and its function in the wider world allows students to become logical, independent and critical thinkers.
Key Stage 3
Year 7: Students will read a range of engaging fiction and non-fiction texts, developing their ability to infer and deduce using appropriately selected evidence from the text. The skills of analysis are also developed, with students being encouraged to consider the impact of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, imagery and sentence structure. In writing, students will develop their control and accuracy, at sentence, paragraph and whole text level. Students will write in a range of styles, producing original and imaginative descriptive writing and short stories, and formal texts using Standard English.
Year 8: Students will encounter more challenging texts. Texts studied include WW1 poetry, “Mortal Engines’ by Philip Reeve, and Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’. Students are encouraged to discuss the themes and issues which are explored in these texts. Students will appreciate how texts reflect the social, cultural and historical context in which they were written. More emphasis is placed on developing formal writing, which is tailored for its audience and purpose, and on the skills of literary analysis. Students develop the sophistication of their writing, making more judicial choices in vocabulary and sentence structure.
Key Stage 4
Current Year 11
Course: OCR GCSE English Language
Course: OCR GCSE English Literature
Year 9: This year is a GCSE foundation year with the aim of preparing students for the challenge and rigour of GCSE study. Students will study classic literature texts such as Great Expectations, and Romeo and Juliet and explore in depth an anthology of poetry. Students will study the techniques of persuasion by exploring a range of well-known speeches and go on to write their own arguments employing the skills and conventions in their own original and creative way.
Year 10: Students will begin their study preparing for the new OCR GCSE English Language examinations. They will complete a Speaking and Listening assessment which will also be assessed alongside the GCSE qualification. Students will also study War of the Worlds, Macbeth and An Inspector Calls, as well an anthology of poetry in preparation for the OCR GCSE Literature exam.
Year 11: From September, students will focus Conflict poetry in preparation for their OCR GCSE Literature exam and prepare for the OCR GCSE Language exam. The skills of analysis of ‘unseen’ poetry will be developed, building students’ confidence in approaching a range of possible poetry texts in the exam. Opportunities to revisit and improve coursework tasks will also be provided.
In order that we develop the capabilities of as many students as possible, we integrate personalisation and enrichment opportunities into our teaching at Post 16 in order that students are offered a range of opportunities to develop their skills and interests.
Please click here for downloads for the English department and Parents letter for Changes to GCSE English Language