The curriculum delivered from the beginning of Year 7 until the end of Year 11 is varied and exciting, incorporating elements of popular culture alongside a wide range of texts which form part of our literary heritage. Students experience a broad range of both fiction and literary non-fiction text across many different forms. The department is committed to ensuring that all students participate in a range of learning opportunities, including oracy and drama activities in addition to reading and writing in a range of contexts.
Year 7 to Year 9
In the first years at school, students follow a wide-ranging course that embraces drama, poetry and prose from throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st century; they also receive a solid grounding in grammar and learn to become articulate about what they read. Most importantly, they are encouraged to read widely for their own pleasure, most notably through the Accelerated Reading programme. The library provision is excellent, with students finding a huge range of newly released books and friendly advice on what to read.
Year 10 and Year 11
GCSE English Language
The new English Language GCSE will encourage students to read a greater range of high quality, challenging literature and non-fiction texts from a range of genres and types, including texts from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.
New schemes of work have a greater focus on making sure that students are able to write clearly and accurately, in clear Standard English. To ensure that this is achieved there is an increased emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as on the appropriate use of a range of increasingly sophisticated vocabulary.
GCSE English Literature
The new English Literature GCSE will encourage students to read a wide range of classic literature fluently and will include assessment of:
- A 19th century novel – ‘A Christmas Carol’
- A Shakespeare play – ‘Macbeth’
- An anthology of 18th to 21st century poetry – Power and Conflict
- British fiction or drama from 1914 onwards – ‘An Inspector Calls’
Co-curricular and intervention
The English Department is committed to providing opportunities for all students to succeed, ensuring that every child is offered help and guidance. Timely literacy intervention, revision sessions, one to one catch up reading and after school reading support ensure that no child is left behind. There is also an extensive co-curricular programme including creative writing workshops, book club and debate club. In addition, students may have the opportunity to take part in the Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge, BBC School Report Day and a number of creative writing competitions.
All KS3 students are enrolled on the Accelerated Reader programme. The programme is designed to develop students’ literacy skills and depends on student engagement to ensure success. Put simply, the more a student reads, the more successful they will be in all areas of the curriculum.
Support for your learning
All students are encouraged to revise and prepare for exams at home, in addition to their regular and revision classes. It’s also recommended that students read as much as possible. This reading should be a mixture of both contemporary and literary heritage fiction, and literary non-fiction sources, such as broadsheet newspapers.
Mr A. Joseph, Head of English
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