English Language and Literature

The English Department, a lively and enthusiastic area of the school, prides itself on encouraging a lasting appreciation of English in all students. The subject is hugely varied and students are given access to the full range of forms and texts through stimulating and engaging, yet always academically challenging lessons. Popular areas for study include Shakespeare, modern and classic plays, media, multicultural stories, and a whole range of poetry.

At Key Stage 3, pupils will encounter a wide range of texts, including both fiction and non-fiction. A variety of poetry and drama texts are studied, alongside modern and literary heritage prose. Pupils will also write in a variety of different forms – poetry, stories, letters, instructions, summaries, leaflets, imaginative and analytical writing on literature – for different purposes: to inform, explain, describe, entertain, describe, analyse, review, argue, persuade and advise. Punctuation, spelling and grammar rules are revised, and further good language practice is taught. An independent reading scheme also runs throughout the year, encouraging pupils to read for enjoyment, whilst building on their reading skills.

At Key Stage 4, all pupils will study for both English Language and English Literature GCSE, for which we follow the AQA syllabus. We focus on revising and building on reading, writing and speaking and listening skills in preparation for the various controlled assessments which run throughout the course. We also study a variety of different texts, including modern plays, Shakespeare, media, literary heritage and a range of different poems, designed to engage and challenge pupils.

The English Department has high expectations for achievement, which requires all to be clear about progress in each of the key attainment areas of reading, writing, and speaking and listening. Pupils' progress is regularly assessed and they are encouraged to consider not only where they are, but also where they need to be and what they have to do to reach that target.