- David McGregor - Subject Leader - English
• Anna Ayrton - Teacher - English
• Gemma Brown - Teacher - English/Humanities
Aim of the English Department
The department aims to strive for all students to achieve their potential in English and find enjoyment in the subject, helping them to develop a skill for life, which will enable to function effectively in society and enrich their creativity, imagination and cultural awareness.
- All years are set by ability.
- For key stage 3 is 3.5 hours per week
- For key stage 4 is 4 hours per week
About the Course
Key Stage 3
Students are sometimes taught English in groups set according to their ability and sometimes in mixed groups depending on the best arrangements for a particular year group. If students are in sets there is always the opportunity for students to change sets should their progress merit it. The school runs a two week timetable based on 1 hour lessons. Students study 7 periods of English per fortnight in KS3
We place a particular importance on developing our pupils’ reading, writing and critical thinking skills and are embedding the Skills for Writing and Let’s Think in English pedagogies into lessons.
Key Stage 4 - GCSE
Students follow the EDEXCEL specification for both English Language and English Literature. Copies of these syllabi are available at www.edexcel.org.uk.
There are useful web-sites to help with revision at BBC Bitesize and learn.co.uk, www.poetryarchive.org amongst others.
EDEXCEL GCSE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Reading and Comprehension
- Read and respond to extracts from 19th Century literature and from 20th and 21st Century non-fiction texts.
- Read critically and ensure texts are understood in detail.
- Evaluate of a writer’s choice of vocabulary, form, grammatical and structural features.
- Compare texts.
- Produce clear and coherent texts for different audiences and purposes.
- Write for impact.
- Present information and ideas
- Use Standard English.
Assessment of the course is by two written exam papers, lasting a total of 3¾ hours. Each exam paper will assess both reading and writing skills. Spoken language will be assessed separately by the teacher, spoken language will be reported on, but will not count towards candidates’ exam grade.
EDEXCEL GCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE
Reading Comprehension and Reading Critically
- Study A Christmas Carol, Blood Brothers, Macbeth and a range of poetry linked to the theme of ‘Relationships’.
- Ensure understanding of meaning, plot, structure and language of those texts.
- Read critically and make inferences and deductions based on the texts.
- Evaluate a writers’ choices of vocabulary, grammatical and structural features.
- Compare texts.
- Produce clear and coherent texts.
- Use accurate Standard English.
Assessment of the course will be by two written exam papers, lasting a total of 4 hours.
Marking and Assessment
At KS3 all students will complete three KAPs (Key Assessed Pieces) each term; speaking and listening, reading and writing. These will be given a National Curriculum level, as well as a positive comment and a target for improvement. We also often ask the students to peer-assess each other's work, as well as self-assess their own work; this is to help students learn to be self critical and to be able to identify what is positive in the work and what is needed to improve it. Students will be given a set of criteria for all formally assessed pieces and it is against these criteria that the work is marked.
Two homeworks will be set weekly, covering a range of tasks, eg reading, research, planning redrafting amongst others. In key stage 3 it should take from twenty minutes to half and hour and in key stage 4 coursework is usually set over a number of weeks, but it is expected that it would average out at an hour per week. Should your child be regularly experiencing problems with homework please contact the department, so that the matter can be investigated.
Trips & Outings
The department organises regular theatre visits, both inviting theatre groups into school and travelling to performances. The school has a close link with the Wordsworth Trust and visits from local authors and poets take place each year; all of which allows students a wider cultural perspective.
What Parents can do to Help
As a department we believe that encouraging your son/daughter to read is paramount to success. Our recent student survey suggests many students do little or no reading at home. Practising this skill is essential to enable a child to access the wider curriculum. A useful plan would be to read regularly with your child. Mrs Lloyd, the librarian, has a wealth of knowledge and could advise your child, or see the recommended reading lists below.
Talking to your child about their work is another motivator for them and checking their homework would also be beneficial.
Reading groups are run in school at lunch times: please see the library web site for further details.
Scholastic Book Club - students have the opportunity to purchase books, targeted at different ages and abilities, so there is usually something to appeal to all readers. Not only do students benefit from a range of exciting and up-to-date titles at bargain prices but we are also able to supplement the school library.
At KS3, all students devote half an hour of one English lesson a week to silent reading or the completion of a range of reading journal tasks. Students also complete a reading log each week to record what and when they read.
You can download the suggested reading list as a PDF file. You will need the latest version of Adobe Reader to view it.
Download the reading list (This link is waiting to be updated)