Ethos and aims
In the English faculty, students experience a range of literary genres and non-fiction texts from different periods. We develop students’ ability to analyse and interpret writers’ ideas and stylistic choices. Teachers will select texts from a diverse range to appeal to the interests of their classes.
By exposing student to a wide range of reading material, they are able to develop their skills as writers. Teaching and learning empowers students to be able to write with accuracy, clarity and imagination, making pertinent choices to shape writing to suit a range of purposes.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, we seek to engage our students, getting them interested in and excited by the subject. Within a framework that ensures consistency regarding the coverage of skills, knowledge and assessments across classes, teachers have a level of freedom that allows them to adapt texts and approaches to their students and pass on their love of English. We aim to expose students to a wide variety of literary genres, forms and contexts in order to empower them, giving them frames of reference that will support them at Key Stage 4 and in the wider world.
In Years 7, 8 and 9, all classes will complete units in the following:
Please follow these links for more specific information on the units taught at Key Stage 3.
In each year, we cover texts and contexts which provide plenty of opportunities to explore a range of knowledge and skills including our subject’s interaction with film and media. Units of work enable students to harness their creativity, for example in script-writing or producing their own poetry.
Building on knowledge from Key Stage 2, literacy skills are embedded in teaching across the Key Stage so that students can be as confident as possible with them as they begin their GCSEs.
As well as regular teacher feedback, we encourage students to be self-reflective and to practise editing and improving their work.
Students are given appropriate homework regularly alongside weekly vocabulary and spelling lists. The English Faculty also promotes tracking reading through the Reading Passports. Successful completion of which allows them to enter a termly prize draw.
KS3 Reading List HERE.
Key Stage 4
In preparing for their GCSE examinations, students will be taught the literature and language skills holistically. The long-term plan is designed to ensure students cover the content and skills required for the exams with time incorporated for consolidation and classroom based revision.
Teaching and learning aims to ensure that students grow in confidence with the skills required in English. They are provided with a wide range of activities to practise and develop their expertise; using a variety of texts and multi-modal resources to engage students.
After their two years of study, students will gain two qualifications; English Language and English Literature. The form of assessment is 100% examination, with one level of entry.
Students need to be prepared to discuss a range of texts for the Literature course, including; a modern text or play, a 19th Century novel, poetry and a Shakespeare play. These choices will depend on the teacher and class.
Students will need to thoroughly engage with these texts as exams are “closed text book”. This means students will have to write about the texts from memory, having no book with them in the exam. To help students prepare for this challenging task, we strongly recommend students purchase their own copies of the texts. This will allow them to make personal notes and take full ownership of their exam preparation. Whilst obviously we will provide texts for in class study, these cannot be written in and need to stay in school for other students’ usage.
English is a fundamental subject as the skills involved ensure students are equipped with a proficient ability to communicate their ideas. Most Sixth Forms, Colleges and Apprenticeships will require a grade in one of the two English qualifications.
KS4 Reading list HERE.
The English Faculty seeks to provide students with exciting extra-curricular opportunities, from theatre trips to creative writing workshops. We work with other departments to create cross-curricular events for example the One World Deforestation Awareness Week and cultural celebrations such as World Book Day.
English is a very popular and successful subject at post-16 study; nearly one hundred and fifty students take either English Literature or English Language. Students have six 100 minute lessons per fortnight and are taught by two members of staff who divide the teaching of the course between them.
In addition to advanced levels of study, we offer an enhanced GCSE English Language course for students wishing to re-sit their English qualification in either November or June. English Language follows the new Eduqas exam specifications. From September 2018, English Literature students will be following the OCR specifications.
English Literature is an exciting exploration of a range of genres through time, in which students study in detail the presentation of character and theme in a wide variety of texts, and the ways in which they have been presented. We aim to run as many extra-curricular trips as possible to support students' study; this year we have been to see A Streetcar Named Desire and The Duchess of Malfi performed live.
English Language analyses and explores the fascinating mechanics of the written and spoken word, examining how language is constructed, and how it is adapted and manipulated for audience, context and purpose. We study a variety of spoken and written texts, focusing on the workings of language on a word, sentence and whole text level.
A Level Film Studies
Film Studies is an exciting, creative and academically rigorous post-16 subject. A wide range of topics are covered during the course such as a detailed study of the core elements of film: cinematography, sound, editing and mise-en-scene. These core elements serve as an important foundation to go on to explore auteur theory, aesthetics in film, spectatorship theory, narrative theory (including experimental and non-linear), global and nation cinema identity.
In addition, students will cover a range of practical based tasks to further their knowledge and ability to apply their understanding into practical film making opportunities. This could take the form of screenplay writing and short film making.
The course has been thoroughly resourced with a wide range of films for students to further their knowledge of actors, directors, producers and auteurs. A comprehensive list of essential viewing and enrichment viewing is shared with students to deepen their understanding of cinema. Furthermore, we have provided students with the tools to make their own films: cameras, tripods, laptops and editing software.