English is vital for communicating with others in school and in the wider world, and is fundamental to learning in all curriculum subjects. In studying English, pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will need to participate in society and employment. Pupils learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.
Literature in English is rich and influential. It reflects the experiences of people from many countries and times and contributes to our sense of cultural identity. Pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts, gaining access to the pleasure and world of knowledge that reading offers. Looking at the patterns, structures, origins and conventions of English helps pupils understand how language works. Using this understanding, pupils can choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations, as well as appreciate and interpret the choices made by other writers and speakers.
GCSE English Language & GCSE English Literature
All students study for a GCSE in English Language and a GCSE in English Literature following the AQA specifications. The texts students study in English Literature are: Inspector Calls, A Christmas Carol and Romeo & Juliet. They also study the Power & Conflict poetry anthology.
Years 7 and 8
The importance of Years 7 & 8 is to build on the work of Key Stage 2 and give students the confidence to progress towards GCSEs with a solid foundation in the skills of reading, writing and speaking & listening. We aim to cover as many genres of texts from as wide a time line as possible; this of course includes Shakespeare which we aim to make as inter-active as possible – quite often Year 7 students can be seen outside performing parts of a Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other favourites include looking at detective novels ranging from Sherlock Holmes to Alex Ryder and the Crime & Punishment project.
Students always love writing their own stories and they have plenty of opportunity at KS3 to develop their creative and imaginative skills – underpinning this is a series of explicit grammar lessons to support their understanding of how our language works and is constructed.
We feel it is essential for every student in Years 7 & 8 to develop the confidence of speaking in public as this is a vital skill in today’s employment environment. To this end we have created an inter-class competition where students work in a group of three to talk on a topic of their choice about which they feel passionate; this of course tests both their research and presentation skills.
Extra – Curricular
- Spelling club
- Handwriting club
- Debating club
- Literacy Leaders
- Creative writing club (planned)
We run several theatre trips throughout the year both locally and into London’s theatre land. We enter teams form all Key Stages for a number of public speaking competitions including the Rotary Club, English Speaking Union and the Jack Petchey Speak Out. We also enter students for creative writing and poetry competitions.