English

Aims

  • To create and excite a lasting curiosity, interest and enjoyment in all varieties of English.
  • To create an atmosphere where students want to learn and are active participants in lessons.
  • To enable each student to achieve their potential in a variety of situations and contexts; using all available resources to ensure the highest level of achievement for each student.
  • To develop and challenge students’ speaking and listening skills through the use of language tailored to specific audiences, contexts and purposes
  • To develop and challenge students’ awareness of the media in a variety of contexts; understanding and creating print, film and moving image media.
  • To develop the reading and analysis of a range of literary and non-fiction texts and genres as well as encouraging students to value reading both as a pleasure and as an important skill for life.
  • To develop students’ writing skills for a range of purposes and audiences.
  • To encourage students to challenge themselves with their writing and foster an understanding that effective communication comes through accurate and creative use of language.
  • To develop student’s ability to understand and utilise ICT as both a media to receive and create English.
  • To ensure that students are thoroughly prepared for the challenge of external examinations and that we offer examinations suited to the needs of our students.

Accommodation and Resources

  • The English department is accommodated in a suite of rooms. All rooms have whiteboards and Interactive Whiteboards to support teaching and learning. Each room is also equipped with reference materials, such as dictionaries and thesauri. The department prides itself on the quality of its displays and how the rooms and corridors provide an interactive learning experience.
  • The department is fully resourced with a wide range of stimulating and engaging modern and English heritage texts for use at KS3, GCSE and A Level, enabling us to tailor and target resources at particular groups.

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, lessons in Year 7 and Year 8 are taught in the college’s banded groups. Throughout KS3 students study themes that promote the knowledge and understanding of a range of genres and texts types for reading, writing and media, as well as undertaking a number of speaking and listening tasks.

Year 7

In the first term students explore conventions and traditions of the fairy-tale genre through the unit Heroes vs. Villains. Students have the opportunity to explore how writers manipulate language for effect as well as the opportunity to enhance writing skills in their own creation. Furthermore, they have the opportunity to explore a range of poems across time, analysing language form and structure. We also encourage the study of whole texts and these include a whole Shakespeare study as well as a whole novel.

Year 8

In the first term students study a whole modern play analysing the effects behind language, form and structure. Moving on they are then exposed to a range of 19th Century texts focusing on the gothic genre. Shakespeare is again studied as a whole text with a focus on love and conflict in Romeo and Juliet. Non-fiction is also a feature, giving students the opportunity to explore famous speeches of the past and to create their own.

KS4 and GCSE

At Key Stage 4, year 9 becomes a preparatory year to allow students to experience the forms of assessments and skills required at this level. At this point, students are marked against exam board criteria and assessment objectives.

Year 9

In the autumn term students are exposed to a range of genres with the theme of conflict giving them the opportunity to explore how this theme is presented by different writers in different forms including poetry, prose and drama as well as media texts. Secondly they complete a whole text study of Shakespeare mirroring assessments requirements, exploring how character and theme is presented within an extract and then within the play as a whole. Finally students will be analysing modern texts from other cultures, reading either To Kill A Mockingbird or Of Mice and Men. Students will be expected to complete exam style responses in exam conditions, all of which are closed book.

GCSE English Language

Study of the English Language GCSE takes place over two years in years 10 and 11. Over the course of their study they will be expected to explore writer’s viewpoints and attitudes through non-fiction reading, as well as be able to respond to extracts of 20th century texts exploring language, form and structure. In writing students will need to respond to a stimulus creating a narrative description and respond with a viewpoint either presenting an argument, offering advice or persuading. Study will follow the AQA exam board, culminating in two exams at the end of year 11 as well as a series of speaking and listening tasks.

GCSE English Literature

Study of the English Literature GCSE takes place over two years in years 10 and 11. Over the course of their study students will be expected to have knowledge of a whole Shakespeare text and respond in exam conditions by exploring Shakespeare’s intentions and his use of language form and structure. Students will also study a 20th century prose, again they will need to have knowledge of the whole novel for a closed book exam. Finally students will also need to have knowledge of a modern play, exploring features of character and language for a closed book exam. As well as this, a range of poems from the AQA poetry anthology will be studied and preparation to approach unseen poetry. Study will follow the AQA exam board, culminating in two exams at the end of year 11.

A Level Film

A Level Film Studies follows the WJEC Exam specification and is broken up in to two exams and four different coursework components which focus on both the analysis of film making techniques and their effects, as well as offering opportunities to explore the creative aspects of the industry such as screenwriting.

Students will be expected to respond to a range of films from several genres which will include British, American and World cinema texts. Students are required to explore representations within these films whilst also acknowledging the context within which they are set. This exam will also include questions on the innovative ways in which particular film genres have been have approached by modern directors.

Secondly, students will also be expected to respond to unseen film related sources and data. They therefore learn analytical and interpretative skills. Students will also undertake an independent study in their own chosen area of interest which can focus on specific actors, directors or film genres.

A Level English Literature

A Level English Literature follows the AQA Exam specification and is broken up in to two exams and an independent critical study.

Students will be expected to respond to a collection of poems within the AQA anthology as well as unseen poems in the exam. Students are required to compare the achievements of writers through language, form and structure whilst also acknowledging the context within which they are set. This exam will also include questions on Othello and students will need an in-depth understanding of the whole play.

Secondly, students study a range of texts under the theme Love Through the Ages, this involves studying a collection of Duffy poems, independent wider reading of drama and prose under the same theme and the ability to respond to unseen prose extracts.

In their independent critical study, students will have the opportunity to explore their chosen texts, one being pre-1900, to create their own study and comparison of two texts.