The English curriculum is designed to make each student’s experience a diverse, interesting and enjoyable one. English is vital as our tool of communication, making it crucial that each student is able to read, write and speak with fluency and competence. We also believe that students should be given the opportunity to develop a keen critical sense of the world around them and so aim to provide a wide range of topics, texts and tasks to allow them to explore and enjoy the rich diversity of the subject and to develop themselves as thoughtful, creative and culturally aware individuals. We aim to produce students who are self-motivated and able to use the skills which they have learned to further their own personalised learning.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 to 9 students study a range of topics including novels, speeches, debating, original writing, media texts, poetry and a Shakespeare play. They receive regular feedback on their work in the form of teacher discussion, peer assessment and written comments from peers and teachers. Pupils are able to track their own progress by referring to the progress sheet at the front of their English book. They have simple sheets in their folders which explain what they have to do to achieve the next sub-level.
Key Stage 4
In Years 10 and 11 the majority of students will follow a syllabus which leads to a GCSE in English. Coursework has been replaced by two extended assignments known as ‘controlled assessments’ which involve students learning about various topics, preparing to answer a question provided in advance and then using their knowledge to sit a controlled assessment, under examination conditions, which is externally moderated by the examination board. The controlled assessment topics are ‘English Today’ and ‘Creative English’, each lasting a total of four hours. There is also an examination on ‘The Writer’s Craft’, and ‘Speaking & Listening’ assessed activities set by the class teacher.
A variety of different activities may be offered, including trips to the theatre, museum visits, drama workshops by visiting theatre companies, public speaking competitions, university study days and visits by writers.
Pupils are encouraged to stay after school for extra help with English or to complete homework using our dedicated English IT suite.
We operate an ‘open department’ policy and parents are welcome to visit at any time, particularly if they are interested in sitting in on their son’s English lessons, where they would have the opportunity to observe him learning in action.