English concentrates on four key skills that your child needs to get the most out of all their learning at school – reading carefully, writing fluently and accurately, speaking clearly and listening closely. English helps students to express themselves clearly and creatively and boosts their confidence about speaking in public and writing for others. Students read classic and contemporary prose, drama and poetry from Britain and around the world. They look closely at the way writers use language and explore the social and moral issues they raise. Students focus on developing their ability to learn independently, as well as the skills needed to approach examinations with confidence.
Key Stage 3: Throughout Key Stage 3, but especially in Year 7, English lessons focus on writing skills. Students draw on their experience of good fiction and non-fiction to compose their own stories, poems, scripts, articles, brochures and reviews. They learn how to use different styles of writing to suit their purposes and to meet the needs of different readers. Students build on their learning from primary school, and develop their knowledge of grammar, spelling and punctuation. They learn how to proof read their work, judge how successful it is and redraft it accordingly. They write quickly and fluently, presenting their work neatly and clearly. In addition, we begin to build the skills students will need to be successful in written examinations.
A key focus in English and across the college is reading for personal enjoyment. Students are introduced to a wide range of genres and types of literature and they are encouraged to form their own opinions about texts. Students learn how to get more out of their reading at this age, uncovering different layers of meaning and understanding how writing can be open to different interpretations. They appreciate the full scope and richness of complete novels, plays and poems as well as high quality non-fiction texts. They compare different styles and themes in writing from the English literary heritage and from different cultures. Students are taught how to identify evidence from a text to support their ideas, as well as how to structure analytical commentaries.
At Key Stage 3 students read a wide range of plays, poems and books, both fiction and non-fiction, including:
- at least two different plays by Shakespeare
- plays by other important playwrights
- works of fiction and poetry from different times, including both writers from pre-1914 and contemporary British writers
- drama, fiction and poetry by writers from different cultures
- non-fiction writing (for example, diaries, travel writing and comment articles).
Being able to verbally communicate with confidence is a vital skill. As soon as students begin in Year 7, we encourage them to discuss their ideas with others; present
them ideas a variety of contexts, both formal and informal; and explore ideas through the use of drama. We teach our students to use Standard English confidently and in a range of contexts. They participate in formal debates as well as giving short speeches and presentations. They also participate in a range of activities allowing them to improvise, rehearse and perform play scripts and poetry.
The English Teaching Team: We are a highly skilled and experienced teaching team. We are passionate about our subject and aim to pass our enthusiasm on to our students. We constantly look forward and endeavour to embrace change and to use it to help our students continue to achieve great success. Assessment for Learning epitomises the team’s belief that every student should be aware of their strengths and should strive to develop their own, individual skills.
Miss Beth Mason – Teacher of English, Teaching Team Leader
Miss Sophie Worledge – Teacher of English
Miss Nichola Knight – Teacher of English
Miss Angie Lavender – Teaching Practitioner for English
Ms Mel Freckleton, Teaching Practitioner for English
Miss Elly Burnard, Teacher of English
Mrs Holly Lockett, Teacher of English