English is at the heart of the curriculum and the department endeavours to equip students with the written and spoken communication skills required for success in the modern world.
Students will read a wide variety of literature, including Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays, poetry from the Romantic poets, fiction from the 19th Century and a variety of non-fiction texts. They will learn to write in a number of different styles. They will be encouraged to voice and share their opinions and work in small groups to help develop their social and communication skills. All of these skills will be valuable throughout KS3 and at GCSE level.
Throughout the Key Stage students will be encouraged to think more critically about their own writing style and technical accuracy. They will also be encouraged to explore and analyse difficult literary and non-fiction texts in readiness for GCSE. The resources for all years are focused on skills they will need to explore at GCSE level and in Year 9 we incorporate GCSE Schemes of Work, such as War Poetry and Non-Fiction reading and writing.
In Year 7 and 8 students are in mixed ability classes; students are then set according to ability in Year 9. This allows for the staff to fully understand the students before they are ability grouped. This is a flexible system and students are re-assessed each term, to ensure that they are still in the correct group. English books are marked regularly and students are asked to complete a variety of Reading and Writing tasks. Speaking and listening skills are assessed regularly throughout the year in a variety of contexts. The assessments are Teacher Assessed, Peer Assessed and Self Assessed using the performance indicators from the pathways for Key Stage 3. Each assessment that students complete will be recorded in their books in order to demonstrate progress and achievement.
The English Department also provides focused intervention and support for students who struggle with their English lessons through the Ruth Miskin Fresh Start Literacy programme and small group work. The department also provide spelling and reading intervention.
The Department uses a ‘Traffic Light’ assessment scheme aimed at improving individual progress, which students themselves can monitor. Small intervention groups are provided for the students who need extra support in order to gain confidence and skills in order to progress through Key Stage 3 and at GCSE.
Homework is regularly set to provide opportunities for students to practice and further develop their English skills. Homework tasks and projects for each year group and for each topic are accessible through the website.
Each year, the English department take part in a variety of competitions. We have had recent success with our Youth Speaks team and the ‘Thank you Letter’ awards. Students from Year 9 also take part in the BBC School Report Day every year, when they get the opportunity to become journalists for the day.
Schemes of Learning: