The English Department

Key Stage 3

The Department delivers the National Curriculum in Key Stage 3 in Years 7 and 8 and students are assessed against National Curriculum levels of attainment.  The focus is on the three key skill areas of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. Students will learn key skills of language analysis, including arguing and persuading, describing, and writing to entertain.  All students will study poetry and a complete Shakespeare text in Key Stage 3.  Students will also study the language of the media, in terms of an analysis of the presentation of news and advertising.  Literary genres will also be covered, with an extended focus upon nineteenth century detective fiction.  Key punctuation and grammar skills are also covered.  Regular National Curriculum tests occur six times a year as part of a process of summative assessment.

Key Stage 4

The English Department is about to start teaching the new specifications for English Language and English Literature from September 2015.

These are very different to the old specification which will end with our current Year 11’s, when they take their GCSE’s in the Summer of 2016.

The new specification will be first examined in the Summer of 2017.

We will continue to use the AQA examination board.

The changes to the GCSE’s are numerous, but the key impacts are:

  • Students cannot take texts into their examinations
  • Students will have no coursework/controlled assessments
  • Students will take two Language examinations and two Literature examinations
  • Many of the texts taught for many years have been removed from the syllabus, such as “Of Mice and Men”
  • There is a greater focus on Literature from the Victorian era
  • Students will still study a Shakespeare play

 

Key Stage 5 Course

The English Department is about to start teaching the new specifications for English Literature A Level from September 2015.

This syllabus is different to the old specification which will end with our current Year 13’s when they take their A Level’s in the Summer of 2016.

The new specification will be first examined in the Summer of 2017.

The new A Level will be a two year course, with examinations at the end of Year 13, replacing the current AS system where students take 50% of the course at the end of Year 12.

We will be using AQA Specification B, with an emphasis on Crime Literature.

A number of new texts will be taught for the first time such as Graham Greene’s “Brighton Rock”.

Beyond The Curriculum

The department runs two separate film clubs for older and younger students, together with regular booster sessions to support key stages at various times during the year. We try to bring in visiting writers and theatre groups to perform to our students. We also arrange theatre visits as opportunities arise. The department supports various competitions and initiatives during the Year such as the Times Spelling Bee and Mini Epics competition, the latter resulting in many students having their work formally published. The department is also heavily involved in the School debating team and has had considerable success in sixth form debating. The English department also takes a leading role in the publication of the school magazine, “Clarion!” which Mr Hodgkins oversees with the help of sixth form editors.

Staffing

Mrs S Harding     Director of English, and Girted and Talented co-ordinator for the School

Mr N Hodgkins     Teacher of English

Mr T Gout     Teacher of English - Second in Department

Mr C Urquhart     Teacher of English

Mrs D Ward     Teacher of English (job share)

Mrs A Blyth     Teacher of English/SENCO (job share)

Mr C Nelson     Teacher of English & Extended Learning Co-Ordinator

Miss S Brown     Teacher of English and Drama

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