Throughout both key stages we offer students experiences that will enhance their abilities in reading, writing, speaking and listening. In a stimulating classroom environment, students are encouraged to express themselves through a wide range of enjoyable and challenging activities.
We aim to improve students’ abilities to understand and communicate with the wider world, whilst also encouraging a love for literature that will stay with them for life.
All our rooms are on the top floor, where we have the benefit of two break-out computer areas. Each room is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and a friendly, hardworking teacher.
Years 7 and 8
In Years 7 and 8, our curricula focus on building cultural capital by teaching students knowledge that will enrich their study of English Language and Literature skills. Knowledge Organisers are provided at the beginning of each unit containing all the key information covered and knowledge acquisition is tested through weekly homework tests.
In Year 7, we begin with a study of Greek Mythology which includes the myths: Prometheus and Pandora; Perseus and Medusa; Theseus and the Minotaur; Daedalus and Icarus; Hercules and the Twelve Labours; and Achilles and Hector.
This is followed by the study of a modern novel A Monster Calls, which is taught simultaneously with the genre of Fables.
We then begin a study of The Renaissance, including the poetry of Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson and Sir Walter Raleigh, as well as William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
This is followed by a travel writing unit titled A Sense of Place, where students study a range of non-fiction texts including extracts from Roald Dahl’s Boy; Dickens’ Pictures from Italy and American Notes; Mary H Kingsley’s Travels in West Africa; and Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad.
The final unit is a study of Other Cultures Poetry including works by John Agard, Grace Nichols, Imtiaz Dharker, Nissim Ezekiel and Tatamkhulu Afrika.
Alongside three content lessons per week, the Year 7 curriculum also includes one hour of independent reading, tracked through the Accelerated Reading programme and one hour of whole class reading and etymology study, beginning with the novel My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece.
In Year 8, we begin with a unit titled Conflict which includes the study of a range of fiction and non-fiction, prose, drama and poetry texts centred on this theme. The unit comprises Victorian Conflict of the Boer Wars, including the study of texts by Henry Newbolt, Rudyard Kipling, and Thomas Hardy; The Great War, including the study of texts by Wilfred Owen, Jessie Pope, Sebastian Faulks, and R. C. Sherriff; and the Irish Troubles, including the study of texts by Bobby Sands, Siobhan Dowd and Margaret Thatcher.
This is followed by the study of Romantic Poetry, including poetry by Wordsworth, Keats, Seward, Robinson and Blake.
We then begin a study of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, including a study of the social, cultural and historical aspect of Victorian Britain and the genre of Bildungsroman.
This is followed by a unit titled The Art of Rhetoric, where students study a range of non-fiction texts across history, including extracts from Aristotle’s Rhetoric; The Grimke Sisters’ Abolition and Women’s Rights; Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women’s Rights; Martin Luther King Jr’s I Have a Dream speech; Emma Watson’s He for She speech; Malala Yousafzai’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech; and Ruth Hunt’s Stonewall: An All Embracing Faith speech.
The final unit is a study of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible as a modern drama.
Alongside three content lessons per week, the Year 8 curriculum also includes one hour of independent reading, tracked through the Accelerated Reading programme.
Key Stage Four Years 10 and 11
In year 10 and 11 students follow the AQA syllabus for English Language and English Literature gaining two GCSEs. For the AQA Literature course the pupils study Macbeth, a drama text, a novel by Dickens and an anthology of poems. They also develop skills in analysing unseen poetry.
For the AQA Language GCSE, the pupils study a range of contemporary unseen fiction and non-fiction texts focusing on how writers engage the readers and the literary techniques they use. The pupils also have to develop their creative and discursive writing skills in preparation for the GCSE exam at the end of year 11.
Pupils will also have to prepare a Spoken Language presentation where they will be expected to give a speech on a particular topic, in a formal context, and then be able respond to questions and feedback from an audience.
English Language and English Literature are 100 per cent exam based courses assessed at the end of year 11.
The syllabus enables learners to read, interpret and evaluate texts through the study of literature in English. Learners develop an understanding of literal meaning, relevant contexts and of the deeper themes or attitudes that may be expressed. Through their studies, they learn to recognise and appreciate the ways in which writers use English to achieve a range of effects, and will be able to present an informed, personal response to the material they have studied.
The syllabus also encourages the exploration of wider and universal issues, promoting learners' better understanding of themselves and of the world around them.
This specification in English Language encourages candidates to be inspired, moved and changed by following a broad, coherent, satisfying and worthwhile course of study. It should prepare candidates to make informed decisions about further learning opportunities and career choices, and to use language to participate effectively in society and employment.
This specification in English Language enables candidates to:
• demonstrate skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing necessary to communicate with others confidently, effectively, precisely and appropriately
• express themselves creatively and imaginatively
• use reading to develop their own skills as writers
• understand the patterns, structures and conventions of written and spoken English
• select and adapt speech and writing to different situations and audiences.