English should make students as confident and competent as possible in the four modes of language being assessed. Students will be taught speaking, listening, reading and writing, which will enable them to function to their best ability both in school and out.
English should enrich the lives of students, helping them to mature as individuals within the society around them. The acquisition of language skills, as well as appreciation of literature will enable them to do this.
Students must be taught the ability to develop their own skills through their awareness and appreciation of language. This is made possible through the syllabus which aims to inspire and stimulate students.
Key Stage 3
Our Scheme of Learning is designed to:
- Be exciting, with great literature at its heart
- Engage our learners through interesting and relevant topics
- Foster enjoyment in reading and an appreciation of great literature
- Focus on sustained progress
- Extend what students already know, building on prior learning and enabling revisiting of concepts
- Deliver grammar explicitly ensuring learners reach at least a basic level of competency
- Be centred around a ‘grammar for writing’ approach
- Fulfil the requirements of the new National Curriculum
- Prepare learners for progression to KS4
In the English department, we aim to integrate just the correct amount of fun and engaging tasks with a taster of the high standards and expectations that the new curriculum poses to our students.
Throughout Key Stage 3 all learners study a variety of modules that expose them to a wealth of texts types, whilst developing and honing their vital literary skills. Students are introduced to a range of texts, in a variety of forms, including poetry, prose, novels, plays and non-fiction texts from across the literary ages.
The curriculum is varied but can be divided into 4 sections:
Reading: Students encounter a range of reading material and learn how to analyse the writer’s choice of word and technique. Students are also taught to infer meaning rather than rely on a superficial understanding.
Writing: Students experiment with different writing styles and are taught to write with an audience and purpose in mind. They will extend and apply their grammatical knowledge.
Speaking and Listening: Students regularly complete speaking and listening tasks such as individual presentations, working in groups and using speech to solve problems.
Literacy: All Key Stage 3 students have some lesson time scheduled in the library each week. During this time, they are encouraged to expand the breadth and challenge of their reading material.
Students will access a rich variety of texts in their Key Stage 3 lessons, including both contemporary and pre-1914 texts. They will also study 2 Shakespeare plays and seminal world literature.
Language work is focused on sentence construction, vocabulary, paragraphing, standard English and spelling
Key Stage 4
The majority of students study for two English GCSEs: English Language and English Literature. The courses are designed to improve writing and reading skills and develop ability to analyse great literature. Students will be asked to express themselves through creative writing, using a variety of styles for a range of audiences, and to give opinions on issues raised within their reading; all skills important to them in adult, working life.
Students will read a number of texts including modern and 19th Century prose, poetry, drama and non- fiction. They will explore the issues and characters through discussion and writing as well as learning to analyse non-fiction texts and consider the way in which language is used for effect. Students will also compare different poems and will have the opportunity to write for different purposes, including to persuade, to describe and to narrate. Students will practise writing for different audiences by preparing speeches, letters, articles and reviews. The expectation is to prepare at least two assessed speaking and listening presentations.
Students will develop their communication skills, both oral and written, so that they are able to communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, using a range of vocabulary. In addition, they will experience and learn how to write about our great literary heritage. Students will develop the ability to express views clearly in both speaking and writing, with accurate spelling and punctuation in writing.
A small number of students will take the ‘Step up to English’ course, as an alternative to GCSE. This course leads to a certificate in basic and functional literacy skills.