I am looking for someone to share in an adventure…
– JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit
English is a critical part of today’s education. We aim to help our learners develop into effective, articulate communicators, who have the skills to succeed in the 21st Century.
Our innovative approaches, including the use of ICT in the classrooms, means that we are able to prepare students for the challenges and opportunities they may face in their future.
English can be divided into three key aspects of reading, writing and speaking and listening. We want to make sure that our students develop high levels of literacy and communication skills in each of these areas, for everyday life. A key part of doing this is to harness their imagination and creativity. This helps to develop a culture of explorative curiosity and open-mindedness that inspires students with a passion for words and an appreciation of their own and other cultures.
At KS3, students study a variety of units covering the new English curriculum.
In Year 7, students study a novel on the theme of Journeys and explore the exciting world of literary villains. They learn to write a persuasive speech before taking part in an inter-class debating tournament. They study 19th Century short fiction and study Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’ in the summer term. Throughout the year, they follow a structured programme of spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as library-based reading lessons to help them to build upon their key skills from KS2.
These skills are consolidated in Year 8, where students study a novel that explores the theme of relationships as well as a selection of poetry in the ballad form. They study a Shakespeare play (‘The Tempest’ or ‘A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’) whilst gaining an understanding of the context he was writing in. They examine great speeches of the past in order to create one of their own, which they perform in class. They also study a variety of short 19th and 20th Century fiction to continue their exposure to more challenging texts before GCSE.
In Year 9, students consolidate the skills learned in Year 7 and 8 by exploring writing from other cultures (including poetry, short stories and a novel). They also study the Gothic genre, looking at its development over time, and a complete work by William Shakespeare. Non-fiction writing and debating complete the programme.
At KS4, all students follow the AQA GCSE English and GCSE English Literature course (2015 onwards). The course is assessed through 100% examinations: two for English Language and two for English Literature.
In Year 10, students begin the course with English Literature by studying the modern play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J.B Priestley. Students are then introduced to English Language Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives. In the spring term, students will then study English Language Paper 1: Explorations in Reading and Creative Writing. They will also study some of the ‘Power and Conflict’ poems from the AQA Poetry Anthology. Near the end of Year 10, the students will sit the GCSE English exam, which they will then re-sit in Year 11. In the summer term, students begin to study, explore and discuss the 19th Century novel for English Literature ( ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens) as well as the remaining Power and Conflict poems. They will then sit an assessment for their Literature texts.
In Year 11, students start the autumn term with a play by William Shakespeare, typically ‘Romeo and Juliet’ or ‘Macbeth’. Once this is finished, students will focus on approaching the Unseen poetry and revise all of the texts they have studied in Year 10 and Year 11, in readiness for the GCSE English Literature papers. They will also revise Language Paper 1 and Language Paper 2, to prepare them for the GCSE English re-sit.
During the two-year course, students will prepare and give a speech on a topic of their choice, which forms the basis of their Spoken Language Accreditation. This is internally assessed, with students being awarded a pass, merit or distinction.
Throughout both GCSE courses, students sit mini-mock assessments and Pre-Public Examinations (PPEs), which reflect the type of questions they would expect to be given in the final examinations. These also allow students to experience formal exam conditions, so that they are able to build, develop and reflect on their exam knowledge, skills and techniques.