The English department aims to inspire creative and enquiring minds through exposure to a wealth of high-quality literary texts from a variety of cultures. Our vision is to encourage an appreciation of the world through an understanding of how language works, so that all pupils can engage with and realise the diversity of language they are surrounded by in daily life. We aim to cultivate a learning environment where all pupils become confident in their own ability and creativity, appreciating the values of others, whilst feeling motivated to achieve above and beyond expectations.
Our English teachers have a real passion for literature. Great writers help us to make sense of the world around us. Our overall aims are to develop the knowledge and skills required to ensure that pupils can confidently write in a range of different styles, developing passionate speakers, readers and writers who can go on to make valuable contributions to society. There is a strong emphasis on planning as well as recalling prior learning, ensuring that essential knowledge and ideas are retained across both key stages. The department is committed to equal opportunities and believes in the right of every student to succeed, regardless of ethnic background, gender, or ability. We strive to provide cultural, social, moral and spiritual guidance through discussions arising from texts studied.
Our three-year KS3 programme offers an engaging learning journey, focusing on building upon and consolidating knowledge and skills introduced at KS2. Our schema is designed to support our pupils to clearly articulate their thoughts and ideas to their peers as well as in their writing. The curriculum covers a variety of genres, popular literary canon texts, the classics, as well as a vast range of poetry, both contemporary and historic fiction and non-fiction texts.
Common threads run through each unit, providing pupils with opportunities to build on existing knowledge. They will explore challenging concepts throughout each unit such as how and why stories develop and change over time, how different writers are inspired by each other, as well as social issues explored through their writing. They will also be encouraged to evaluate why the world needed to change to support their cultural, social, moral and spiritual development.
As pupils transition into KS4 they will have a solid foundation of knowledge from KS3 which will be expanded upon as they continue on their journey of self-discovery. We believe that KS4 should not focus entirely on skills and knowledge required solely for examinations. It is vital that we continue to enrich their understanding of the world by exploring how writers convey their perspectives to make changes to the world around them, challenging them to do the same as we broaden their ambitions.
Pupils will study thematic units which combine Literature and Language content and skills whilst following the AQA English Language (8700) and English Literature (8702) specifications. Wider reading texts accompany each unit to present increased challenge whilst exploring the relevance of the literature texts they are studying. By the end of their educational journey pupils will have a comprehensive understanding of the power of language, which is a lifelong skill.
In addition to the curriculum, we facilitate a culture of reading for pleasure as all pupils have access to a Library to encourage independent reading, as well as timetabled reading lessons each week for all KS3 pupils.
Our celebrations of National Poetry Day and World Book Day provide pupils with a variety of activities including poetry recitals, sharing of favourite texts, quizzes, competitions and other creative activities. We continue to celebrate the fact that many of our pupils are published authors in their own right.