The ability to listen, read, understand and interpret information is at the heart of every subject, thus English is of vital importance. Students are bombarded with information in every area of their life, and the ability to decipher that information and communicate effectively has never been more important.
Reading is pivotal to communication, and this is reflected in our curriculum. Reading is a part of every lesson, and students are expected to read every day, and carry a reading book with them at all times. The benefits of regularly reading - fiction in particular - cannot be overstated. The life chances of students are dramatically increased if they develop a regular reading habit, and we do everything possible to nurture this.
Our staff believe in teaching students to love literature, as well as providing them with the skills and knowledge to talk about texts and the writer’s craft with confidence and accuracy. In English, we explore as many different texts as possible in as many different formats as possible. We encourage students to ask questions and to try to understand the world through language.
At Key Stage 3, we study a mixture of modern texts and those from various periods in history, including Shakespeare. We also look at various pieces of fiction and non-fiction, and those texts that are presented through drama or film. Alongside schemes of work, students study our SPAG programme to support their understanding of the more technical elements of language and develop their confidence in using technical terminology. Students also spend one lesson a fortnight in the library, where we work explicitly on reading skills, and spend time reading, either together or silently.
Though we have only just embarked upon Key Stage 4, as a department we have spent a great deal of time preparing to provide students with an excellent experience at GCSE. Students will study for two GCSEs in English - Language and Literature.
In Literature, they will study a play by Shakespeare, a nineteenth-century novel, one modern text and a collection of poetry. Students will also study the context of each of these texts in order to gain a better understanding of how each text was created.
In Language, students will study a collection of fiction and non-fiction from the nineteenth-century to the modern day. They will learn how and why writers from different time periods have presented various issues, and explore how writers use language to provoke readers to respond in alternative ways.
We work closely with the library to provide students with a range of exciting learning opportunities. Our librarian runs a reading club and students have the chance to enter the annual Kids Lit Quiz. We receive regular and popular visits from a local performance poet, Dreadlock Alien. We also visit the theatre regularly, with recent trips to see A Christmas Carol and Treasure Island. As students embark upon Key Stage 4, there will be visits to Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare’s Globe.
Department Staff List
Ms R Kidman
Ms M Hopkins
Ms H Frampton
Ms J Emeney
Ms T Kerr
Ms H Marsh