- To create and excite a lasting curiosity, interest and enjoyment in all varieties of English.
- To create an atmosphere where students want to learn and are active participants in lessons.
- To enable each student to achieve their potential in a variety of situations and contexts; using all available resources to ensure the highest level of achievement for each student.
- To develop and challenge students’ speaking and listening skills through the use of language tailored to specific audiences, contexts and purposes
- To develop and challenge students’ awareness of the media in a variety of contexts; understanding and creating print, film and moving image media.
- To develop the reading and analysis of a range of literary and non-fiction texts and genres as well as encouraging students to value reading both as a pleasure and as an important skill for life.
- To develop students’ writing skills for a range of purposes and audiences.
- To encourage students to challenge themselves with their writing and foster an understanding that effective communication comes through accurate and creative use of language.
- To develop student’s ability to understand and utilise ICT as both a media to receive and create English.
- To ensure that students are thoroughly prepared for the challenge of external examinations and that we offer examinations suited to the needs of our students.
Accommodation and Resources
- The English department is accommodated in a suite of rooms. All rooms have whiteboards and Interactive Whiteboards to support teaching and learning. Each room is also equipped with reference materials, such as dictionaries and thesauri. The department prides itself on the quality of its displays and how the rooms and corridors provide an interactive learning experience.
- The department is fully resourced with a wide range of stimulating and engaging modern and English heritage texts for use at KS3, GCSE and A Level, enabling us to tailor and target resources at particular groups.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, lessons in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 are taught in the college’s banded groups. Throughout the Key Stage students study themes that promote the knowledge and understanding of a range of genres and texts types for reading and writing. The themes and issues students explore are underpinned by the school’s Catholic values.
In the first term students study a range of iconic writers and texts from the English literary canon. Students have the opportunity to explore how writers manipulate language for effect as well as the opportunity to enhance writing skills through their own creations. Furthermore, they have the opportunity to study a range of poems and non-fiction, comparing and analysing language, form and structure. We also encourage the study of whole texts and these include two challenging modern novels and a nineteenth century play.
In the first term students study a modern play as well as a range of conflict poems. Moving on, they are then exposed to a range of 19th Century texts focusing on the gothic genre. Following on from their introduction to iconic writers in Year 7, students will study a Shakespeare play in its entirety. They also have the opportunity to explore how language has changed over time. The unit will expand on students’ prior knowledge and understanding of contemporary linguistic construction, and will explore how not only English has changed over time, but how it is a language that simply doesn’t stand still.
Year 9 becomes a preparatory year to allow students to experience the forms of assessments and skills required at GCSE. In the autumn term, students study a modern American novel. Students will be expected to complete exam style responses in exam conditions, all of which are closed book. In addition, to this, they study and compare a range of non-fiction texts linked by the theme of charity and morality, as well as studying a modern play and a collection of poetry. The Key Stage ends with students undertaking a spoken language assessment on a topic they have researched.
KS4 and GCSE
GCSE English Literature
Study of the English Literature GCSE takes place over two years in Years 10 and 11. Over the course of their study students will be expected to have knowledge of a whole Shakespeare text and respond in exam conditions by exploring Shakespeare’s intentions and his use of language form and structure. Students will also study a 20th century prose, again they will need to have knowledge of the whole novel for a closed book exam. Finally, students will also need to have knowledge of a modern play, exploring features of character and language for a closed book exam. As well as this, a range of poems from the AQA poetry anthology will be studied and preparation to approach unseen poetry. Study will follow the AQA exam board, culminating in two exams at the end of year 11.
GCSE English Language
Study of the English Language GCSE takes place over two years in Years 10 and 11. Over the course of their study they will be expected to explore writer’s viewpoints and attitudes through non-fiction reading, as well as be able to respond to extracts of 20th century texts exploring language, form and structure. In writing students will need to respond to a stimulus creating a narrative description and respond with a viewpoint either presenting an argument, offering advice or persuading. Study will follow the AQA exam board, culminating in two exams at the end of year 11 as well as a series of speaking and listening tasks.
A Level Film
A Level Film Studies follows the WJEC Exam specification and is broken up in to two exams and four different coursework components which focus on both the analysis of film making techniques and their effects, as well as offering opportunities to explore the creative aspects of the industry such as screenwriting.
Students will be expected to respond to a range of films from several genres which will include British, American and World cinema texts. Students are required to explore representations within these films whilst also acknowledging the context within which they are set. This exam will also include questions on the innovative ways in which particular film genres have been have approached by modern directors.
Secondly, students will also be expected to respond to unseen film related sources and data. They therefore learn analytical and interpretative skills. Students will also undertake an independent study in their own chosen area of interest which can focus on specific actors, directors or film genres.
A Level English Literature
A Level English Literature follows the AQA Exam specification and is broken up in to two exams and an independent critical study. Students will be expected to respond to a collection of poems within the AQA anthology as well as unseen poems in the exam. Students are required to compare the achievements of writers through language, form and structure whilst also acknowledging the context within which they are set. This exam will also include questions on Othello and students will need an in-depth understanding of the whole play.
Secondly, students study a range of texts under the theme Love Through the Ages, this involves studying a collection of Duffy poems, independent wider reading of drama and prose under the same theme and the ability to respond to unseen prose extracts.
In their independent critical study, students will have the opportunity to explore their chosen texts, one being pre-1900, to create their own study and comparison of two texts.