The main aim of the English curriculum is to provide all pupils with the means by which they can develop their ability to use and understand English. We aim not only to prepare pupils for examinations, but also encourage them to enjoy reading and to become confident in their use of English in a range of contexts.
Key Stage 3
At KS3, pupils will study a range of different texts in order to inspire a love of English and develop the skills required for GCSE study. Pupils will read modern texts such as Private Peaceful and War Horse, as well as exploring classic literature, such as A Christmas Carol and The Tempest. To develop the skills for English Language study, pupils will also study a range of units intended to focus on the foundation skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Key Stage 4
At KS4, pupils will study both GCSE English Literature and English Language, following the new AQA specification. As part of the English Literature course, pupils will study the plays Macbeth and An Inspector Calls, as well as the Victorian novella Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. They will also explore a number of poems from the ‘Power and Conflict’ anthology. As part of the English Language course, pupils will study a range of short fiction and non-fiction texts. This is intended to develop the skills for the comprehension-style questions that form the basis of Section A of both exams. Pupils will also work on developing their own descriptive and persuasive writing, which accounts for the other 50% of both English Language papers.
Facilities and Resources
The English Department is based in Queens Wing. All classrooms have data projection and the department has a wide range of literary resources and non-fiction resources, including a number of software programmes to aid understanding of reading and writing tasks.
Trips and visits
The English department has been involved in a number of trips and visits. Visits have taken place to watch performances of set texts at GCSE and A-Level, such as Dr Faustus.
The English department offers a number of extra-curricular opportunities. Students in Years 7 – 9 are able to attend the weekly creative writing club, which encourages reading and writing for pleasure. A recent development of this is the department blog, where students from all year groups are able to draft and publish their writing.
Students interested in drama from across the school can become involved in the school productions, which take place twice a year. Recent shows have included The Importance of Being Earnest and Of Mice and Men.