We aim to develop enthusiastic readers, writers and communicators. Our teaching aims to promote creativity, confidence and a love for our language.
The English curriculum is designed to empower each student with the knowledge of how to use their voice with confidence. Students will understand that words are powerful: they influence people and can instigate change. Our students learn how to use words well and with an authority that enables them to hold their own in a competitive world and express conviction in their own beliefs.
The Key Stage 3 curriculum has a firm foundation in the reading and study of Literature texts, with students across the three years becoming increasingly aware of how humanity has expressed ideas over time and how these have shaped the present. Students will study two complete novels, three plays (20th century and Shakespeare), classical Greek and Anglo-Saxon epic narratives, 19th century short stories and a selection of poetry. Through this reading students will develop a knowledge of the way language works, being exposed to a wide range of vocabulary and rich depth of expression that will provide a secure grounding for their own writing skills. Fiction and non-fiction writing is linked closely to each Literature text and, progressively, students will develop their use of grammatical structures and rhetoric.
Students will be assessed formally each term on skills covered in their text study, and also formatively mid-way through the unit. Skills are all focused on GCSE assessment objectives and each of these, for reading and writing, is revisited within each year to monitor students’ progression. In addition, students have regular vocabulary tests, homework booklets and creative writing tasks that are marked in class.
Aspects of narrative, drama and poetry are the focus of termly topics in each Year group, introducing students to genres or styles of writing that they will study at GCSE and therefore, as well as providing a broad knowledge foundation, gives them confidence in approaching further study, progressively developing familiarity and analytical skills with a range of literary forms. For example, students in Year 7 study a novel that although written in 21st century is set in 19th. This establishes understanding of the relevant context without contending with the more difficult language faced in Year 8’s 19th century short story unit in which a focus on narrative structure underpins a Year 9 unit on 20th century narrative. Throughout Key Stage 3 students study non-fiction texts that are thematically linked to each Literature topic, deepening their wider, cultural knowledge as well as their analytical vocabulary.
English Language and Literature study for GCSE is firmly rooted in exam board assessment objectives that require students to interpret, analyse, compare and evaluate texts and then use these skills to communicate clearly with purpose and accuracy in their own writing. Each one of these assessment objectives underpins our Key Stage 3 curriculum with each being taught and assessed at an appropriate level both formatively and summatively in years 7, 8 and 9.
There is much cross over of skills, and those embedded, but not taught discreetly as Language or Literature, in Years 7 -9 become key to success in both GCSEs:
|English language & literature||Media Studies|
|School Curriculum||School Curriculum|
|Exam Board (English Language) Documentation||Exam Board Documentation|
|Exam Board (English Literature) Documentation|
Independent learning is essential to success within English. Students are expected to read widely and often and reading lists are available to provide extra ideas and challenge.
Year 8 have an Independent Learning booklet to work from – they are expected to choose tasks linked to their own learning preferences. Peers and family provide an essential role in giving feedback to our Year 8 students.
In addition, English staff set homework on a regular basis. A variety of homework tasks will be set ranging from research tasks through to extended pieces of writing.