We believe the exploration of English to be central to navigating our human experience. The study of English at every key stage prompts students to think, to question, to open their eyes to the world. This spirit of enquiry is achieved through thought-provoking texts, which offer a broad experience of forms and genres, while allowing students to pursue the golden thread of how writers create meaning.
- KS3: In Yr 7 and 8 students have 6 lessons of English a fortnight while in Yr9 students have 7 lessons to help them to prepare for the GCSE in Yr10. At Key Stage 3, diverse texts challenge our students, and allow them to explore other worlds and others’ experiences. Across KS3, we link our study of literary texts to the real world, focusing on topical issues and writing for real purposes and audiences. Students’ writing is augmented by explicit teaching of how to craft brilliant sentences. And we aim to engender a love of reading by providing a library lesson for Yr 7 once a fortnight, and by using extracts to widen students’ experience of texts. The golden thread of writer’s craft at KS3 takes the form of exploring authorial intent and analysing characterisation, setting, dialogue and structure.
- KS4 At Key Stage 4, with 8 hours of English a fortnight, students develop a more sophisticated grasp of how writers exploit the conventions of their chosen literary and non-fiction forms, and grow their understanding of the importance of context. The canonical texts that comprise the GCSE programme of study are kept relevant by considering the universal nature of their themes, and exploring links between the writers’ contexts and our own. The fictional and real-world texts of the Language exams are an opportunity to consider more conceptual ideas about writer’s craft like structure and tone. Students always enjoy the opportunities afforded by the GCSE Language specification to write both creatively and to express a point of view.
GCSE English Language https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700
GCSE English Literature
· KS5 At Key Stage 5, the study of texts in both the Literature and combined Language & Literature A-levels moves to critical evaluation, where seminar-style lessons model the highest order thinking. The golden thread of writer’s craft is now inspected through the contexts of both production and reception, and critical literary and linguistic theory. Virtual “reading rooms” full of critical analysis of the texts help our students to first understand but then challenge and critique authorial intentions and methods.
A-level Edexcel English Literature
A-level Edexcel English Language & Literature
Monitoring and assessing curriculum impact:
· KS3 Students’ skills in both reading and writing are assessed half-termly
· KS4 Students undertake a Language and a Literature assessment each half-term
· KS5 There is generally a “flipped learning” approach whereby students prepare parts of texts, to then engage in high-level discussion in their seminar-style lessons. They will typically attempt at least two exam questions per half-term for each teacher and receive detailed feedback about next steps.