English

Staffing

Mrs S C Cooke - Head of English Mr A Lambert
Mrs A Adamson Mr W Purcell
Mrs M J Bagot Miss P Reeves
Mr P Buckland Mrs J Stewart
Mr A Frost  


Department Overview

The current Head of Department has over thirty years’ experience and other members of the department have also occupied senior positions of responsibility in their various careers. We pride ourselves in blending individual and creative approaches with close cooperation and teamwork. We also pride ourselves on our positive relationship with students of all years. Students’ enjoyment of English is readily apparent in lessons; language and literature in all their forms are relished and explored. The department enjoys a spacious staff room and four dedicated classrooms. It is well-stocked with books and equipment including a set of thirty wireless electronic notebooks.

We frequently arrange visits to relevant study events and drama productions. Every year the Head of Department offers a five day residential visit to the battlefields of World War One in order to support the ‘Texts in Context’ paper. So far this year we have visited Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Trust as part of a Year 7 module on autobiography; Years 7, 8 and 9 have all been visited by authors; Year 11 have been to a production of An Inspector Calls; and Year 13 have been to a production of Tis Pity She’s a Whore. We are currently looking forward to a Year 12 visit to a production of Not About Heroes and an A-Level English Language Conference at Newcastle University.

KS3

KS3 Scheme of Work progressing through Years 7, 8 and 9

Students are taught in tutor groups in Years 7 and 8 (four form entry) and thereafter in five broad ability sets. We are aware of the work done by our Primary colleagues and we are keen to build on their teaching of Key Stage Two through a diverse and challenging English curriculum which will widen students’ horizons and inspire them to think and work autonomously. Our main aim is to fulfil the potential of each student as a competent, creative and confident individual. More specifically, we aim to ensure that students can:

  • speak and listen in a range of contexts with consideration for their audience
  • read, analyse, explore different kinds of text so as to develop an informed individual response
  • write appropriately and accurately with reference to task, audience and purpose
  • enjoy engagement with language and literature in their many forms.

In each of the three years of Key Stage Three students study a common curriculum of modules as follows:

Year 7

Autobiography, class novel, advertising, story and recount writing, short story, poetry study, drama text, non-fiction anthology, Shakespeare.

Year 8

Pre-1914 literature, non-fiction writing, media, film review, class novel, creative writing, poetry essay, letter writing, drama text.

Year 9

Class novel, argument and persuasion, Shakespeare SAT text through drama, war poetry, travel writing, pre-GCSE course on poetry and writing styles.

GCSE Language

GCSE English Language

Why study English Language?

English is invaluable for the future no matter what students are aiming for. A good command of the spoken and written word will help students every day and benefit their other GCSEs too. The course challenges the students’ opinions, exercises their creativity and gives them the opportunity to encounter a wide variety of text types.

Features of the course:

English language is a linear course, examined at the end of Year 11, with no coursework element. Each examination tests reading and writing skills. Spelling, punctuation and grammar is worth 20% of the overall mark.

In the first examination students are assessed on their reading in the form of comprehension questions based on an unseen 19th century fiction extract. There is also an imaginative writing task linked by theme to the reading extract.

The second examination tests the ability to understand non-fiction texts. There is a functional writing task in this part of the assessment, again linked by theme to the reading section.

There is a spoken language element where individuals have to give a presentation on a topic of their choosing to a small group of students.

The current Year 9 English course provides a good grounding for this subject.

Enrichment:

The department runs a creative writing class.

What opportunities for progression does it offer?

Success in either English language is often essential for progression onto Sixth Form, college or work.  English is good for any job that involves communication and writing. Careers in the sciences, engineering, technology and maths also often need English.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

Imaginative and transactional writing; nineteenth century fiction; and comparison of twentieth and twenty-first century non-fiction texts.

Assessment summary

1 x 1 hour 45 minutes examination (40%)

1 x  2 hour examination (60%)

Exam Board

Pearson/Edexcel

GCSE Literature

 

GCSE English Literature

Why study English literature?

English literature develops knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of some of the best things that have been thought and written. The course develops students’ analytical skills and their ability to write fluently and structure an essay. Studying GCSE English literature will hopefully encourage students to read widely for pleasure, and is excellent preparation for studying literature at a higher level.

Features of the course:

English literature is a linear course, examined at the end of Year 11, with no coursework element.

In the first examination there is a two-part question on a Shakespeare play and a further question on a post 1914 British play or novel.

In the second examination students are assessed on their knowledge of a 19th century novel and their personal response to a wide range of poetry, both studied and unseen.

No books / texts are allowed into the examinations.

The current Year 9 English course provides a good grounding for this subject.

Enrichment:

Every year the English department run several theatre trips to see our GCSE set texts in performance. We also run frequent cinema trips to see live screenings of performances further afield. We run the annual Poetry by Heart competition, with competitors learning two poems off by heart and reciting them. This helps students to appreciate the rhythm, pace and sounds of poetry, accessing it in a completely different way to writing critically about it. Our creative writing lunchtime workshops help students to read like a writer, as well as helping them to experiment with different styles and forms of writing.

What opportunities for progression does it offer?

English literature is widely recognised as an essential part of an academic and balanced curriculum. Not only will it develop skills that are useful to your other GCSEs but alongside English language it is seen as essential for progression onto A-Levels, college courses and the world of work. At A-Level it is a facilitating subject, allowing access to some of the top universities in the country.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

Shakespeare play; post 1914 British play or novel; 19th century novel; classical and modern poetry

Assessment summary

1 x 1 hour 45 minutes examination (50%)

1 x  2 hour 15 minutes examination (50%)

Exam Board

Pearson/Edexcel

A-Level Language

A-Level English Language

Why study English Language?

The skills required for English language can be applied in a range of contexts and future careers. The ability to analyse English language and construct a written argument is invaluable to communicate effectively and relate to others.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

Students need to have a good understanding of the work covered at GCSE level in English language. They should have an interest in how language is constructed and a desire to learn more. Wider reading is essential for success on this course.

Features of the course:

This course very much focuses on the analysis of language and helps students to develop their linguistic skills and knowledge. There is also a creative writing element, which provides students with the opportunity to produce and develop their own work. The main emphasis, however, is to equip students with the tools to de-construct how language is used in a variety of real life contexts. There are no set texts for the course, but the English department will provide or direct students to many stimulating and challenging resource materials.

The A-Level course divides into studying both spoken and written English in a range of contexts.

In the ‘Spoken English’ course, you will focus on the media and learn how to transcribe and analyse interactions such as news interviews or radio and television adverts.

In the ‘Written English’ course, you will study different genres and try your hand at the demands of writing in different styles.

Underpinning both studies is a core course of language analysis covering aspects of texts such as: purpose, audience, mode, vocabulary, grammar, text structures, phonology and graphology.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

Component 1: Language Concepts and Issues including analysis of spoken language and language issues.

Component 2: Language Change Over Time including English in the twenty-first century.

Component 3: Creative and Critical Use of Language

Component 4: Language and Identity coursework

Assessment summary

1 x 2 hour examination (30%)

1 x 2 hour 15 minutes examination (30%)

1 x 1 hour 45 minutes examination (20%)

1 x 2500-3500 word coursework piece (20%)

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE English Language

Exam Board

WJEC

A-Level Literature

 

A-Level English Literature

Why study English Literature?

English literature is an enjoyable and challenging subject for students who enjoy reading, talking and writing about a variety of texts, ranging from some of the earliest writers in the English canon, to contemporary texts written in the last few years. Teachers choose to teach poems, plays and novels that they are passionate about and there is also the opportunity for students to choose their own texts for independent study. The course will appeal to those who enjoy expressing their own opinions and developing independent ideas.

As well as for students who are already committed to the study of English at university, it is also an ideal choice for pupils who want to keep their options open for further study, being formally listed as a facilitating subject for Russell Group Universities.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

Students need to have a good understanding of the work covered at GCSE level in English literature. They should have an interest in analysing literature from a range of genres. Wider reading is essential for success on this course.

Features of the course:

Lessons tend to be largely discussion based, as this is a subject that thrives on lively debate and a willingness to defend and challenge ideas. Outside of lessons, work tends to focus on independent reading and essay writing. The English department organises frequent theatre trips to complement the works being studied.

The ability to read critically and discerningly, to produce accurate, persuasive writing and to have confidence in one’s own judgements are clearly invaluable skills.

The drama texts will include one Shakespeare text and one other text (contemporary or pre 1900).

The two prose texts will be from a chosen theme such as science and society, the supernatural, crime and detection, childhood or colonisation and its aftermath.

A selection of post-2000 poetry and specified poetry from a literary period will be studied.

Key information:

Topics for Study:

Component 1: Drama (30%)

Component 2: Prose (20%)

Component 3: Poetry (30%)

Component 4: Coursework (20%)

Assessment summary

1 x 2 hour 15 minutes open book examination (30%)

1 x 1 hour open book examination (20%)

1 x 2 hour 15 minutes open book examination (30%)

1 x 2500 - 3500 words coursework (20%)

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE English Literature

Exam Board

Edexcel

 

 

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