Developing a broader understanding of key ideas, issues and themes
Our English team is housed in 6 adjacent classrooms, all with interactive whiteboards. There are six full and part-time teachers supported by dedicated Additional Needs specialists. Students will be challenged to think independently and supported in developing and communicating their responses in reading, creative writing, non-fiction writing, spoken language and drama-based activities.
Key Stage 3
Our Key Stage Three curriculum encourages students to read widely, to write in a range of different styles and to develop speaking and listening skills in different contexts while exploring a diverse range of topics and issues. We pride ourselves on our flexible grouping arrangements and will make decisions to teach either a mixed ability or ability groups depending on the profile and needs of each year group of students.
Key Stage 4
Since September 2015, all students must study English Language and English Literature. This will lead to two separate GCSE qualifications.
We chose AQA’s specification because we agree it is “designed to inspire and motivate students, providing appropriate stretch and challenge whilst ensuring that, as far as possible, the assessment and texts are accessible to the full range of students”.
Both English Language and English Literature will be assessed through examinations at the end of the two-year course.
Currently, we have one ‘accelerated’ class in Years 10 and 11 with the remaining students taught in mixed ability classes. Based on recent results this arrangement has been highly successful, but, as with Key Stage Three, we will remain flexible and respond to the needs of different year groups.
Students will study a range of poetry, prose and drama from the 19th, 20th and 21st Century including non-fiction and media texts. They will continue to develop the skills needed to show understanding, analyse and respond personally to texts.
They will also develop their creative and narrative writing skills, as well as express viewpoints and perspectives in transactional writing in the form of letters, newspaper articles, speeches and leaflets.
Thankfully Speaking and listening is still included, but as a ‘non-examination Assessment’: the course is designed to emphasise the importance of the wider benefits that speaking and listening skills have for students. They will need to present a talk on a topic using Standard English and then respond to questions. This is a separate award and does not count towards their English Language GCSE grade.
Key Stage 5
A Level English Literature (AQA specification A)
This three-unit specification encourages students to develop their interest in English Literature through reading widely, critically and independently. Texts range across centuries, genre and gender.
Students are encouraged to become informed, independent readers of literary texts and gain an understanding of a variety of views about texts and how to read them.