• Tucasi

English

Our English faculty is based in the modern, purpose built English and Drama centre, which, alongside the Drama Studio and rehearsal room, houses 6 classrooms, a study centre and an ICT suite. We aim to enable all our students to:

 

  • communicate appropriately and accurately in written and spoken English
  • read, understand, appreciate and enjoy literature, non-fiction and media texts
  • produce high standards of preparation and presentation of work
  • creatively use the English language to express themselves
  • correctly structure a variety of different media using appropriate language
  • be prepared for life beyond school

Key Stage 3

In year 7 and 8 students are taught in their form groups; lessons are differentiated to meet the needs of all students. Students study a new topic each half term and are formally assessed either on their skills of analytical or creative writing within this topic. Assessments are designed to help students build the skills they will need for GCSE.

The most important skills that students need to develop are the ability to:

  • read and understand what a text is about
  • use references and quotations to support their points
  • discuss why a writer uses the words they do
  • discuss why a writer begins, develops and ends the text in the way they do
  • write creatively, with precision and variety.

In year 7, students have eight lessons a fortnight. Lessons are built around a love of reading. Each lesson begins with up to twenty minutes personal reading time. At least one lesson a fortnight takes place in the school library where students are guided to choose a suitably engaging and challenging book. Students’ progress is assessed using the Accelerated Reader programme. This enables us to track, evaluate and support the reading progress of all students.

Students receive extra support based on their needs. This can be in the form of interventions from their class teacher, a teaching assistant or a sixth-form helper. Students can receive this support in their English lessons or in their tutor time.

In year 7, the topics that we study are:

  • School Daze - We begin by looking at how school is presented in fiction and non-fiction, from Roald Dahl’s school days to the school run by its students to discussing the value of exams to describing the schools of the future.
  • A Novel - We have a selection of novels. Each class will study either Private Peaceful, Millions, Boy, War Horse or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
  • Poetry - We study a range of poetic forms and features, analysing these and creating our own poems.
  • Shakespeare - We study Shakespeare’s world, exploring the roles and expectations of men and women, then look at a few of his sonnets and scenes from a number of his plays.
  • CSI Moulton - We study a Sherlock Holmes short story and investigate what makes a great detective story.
  • A Play - We finish the year studying, and performing, a play, either The Granny Project, Our Day Out, Frankenstein, Dracula or The Ratz.

Year 8 builds on year 7 and continues to build up the skills students require for their GCSEs. We study:

  • A Novel - Either Holes, Animal Farm or Of Mice and Men.
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Teen Work - Studying non-fiction texts that look at the lives of teenagers from different times and places.
  • World War I Poetry - Looking at how writers used language to persuade men to fight and then to capture the horror of war.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - Looking at extracts from a number of nineteenth century texts that present a range of Victorian superheroes (and villains).
  • Future Imperfect - Finally, we look at how the future is presented in fiction, non-fiction and the media, and consider whether we are heading towards a world that is more utopian or dystopian.

Parents can support their children by reading to and with them as regularly as possible. Studies show that if children read for about thirty minutes each day this will have a significant impact on their progress. Keep encouraging their reading and ask them about the book they are reading and get them to make predictions about what could happen next. As Dr Seuss said: “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”

GCSE

In years 9, 10 and 11 students are set according to ability; but lessons are still differentiated to meet the needs of all students. Students follow a programme of study which prepares them for the GCSE English language and English literature exams. Students are assessed regularly and the data is analysed so that staff can understand the progress made and implement intervention strategies where needed. The most important skills that students need to develop are the ability to:

  • Analyse and evaluate a writer’s use of language
  • Analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of a writer’s use of structural techniques
  • Recognise and analyse a variety of written forms e.g. poem, novel, play
  • Reinforce points through direct referencing from texts and embedding quotes within responses
  • Consider the contextual significance of literature and explore how this effects writing
  • Write creatively, imaginatively, fluently and with technical accuracy to engage and entertain, persuade or advise

GCSE English language exams -

  • Paper 1 – Explorations in creative reading and writing
  • Paper 2 – Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives

GCSE English literature exams –

  • Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th century novel
  • Paper 2 – Modern texts and Poetry

Year 9 – We introduce students to a range of texts and help prepare them for assessments in which they will analyse what they have read. Students will also be given opportunities to write for different purposes and in a variety of styles. Homework is set according to the topic currently being covered.  The core literary texts we cover are:

‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’

‘An Inspector Calls’

 

Year 10 – Shakespeare is introduced in this year and students will follow a programme of study that encompasses a range of skills and requirements for both the English language and the English literature GCSE exams. We revisit texts from Year 9 and students have mock English exams at the end of this academic year. Homework is relevant to the topic areas being covered. In year 10 students explore the following core texts:

Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde

Macbeth

An Inspector Calls

The Poetry of Power and Conflict – AQA Poetry anthology

 

Year 11 – We follow a systematic programme of refining skills and further developing core knowledge in this final academic year. There is a key weekly focus which is aimed at preparing students for English GCSE exams. Homework usually encompasses revision for the exams. Students will have mock exams for all four papers across the year and plenty of opportunity to retake and revise areas that they found tricky.

 

Parental advice:

The advice outlined for key stage 3 students is still just as vital for students working through the GCSE course; reading at home is a key part of a student’s development on this course. Students should read good fiction texts, as well as a range of non-fiction texts to support the development of their knowledge of the wider world as well as, of course, their development as independent readers and writers. We also recommend the CGP range of study and support guides, which the school can provide for discounted prices through the English office. There are also some high quality support and revision materials on the following websites that we actively encourage students to use as a systematic revision tool: GCSE Bitesize; GCSE Pod; Andrew Moore’s website (Universal Teacher).

Accelerated Reader

This year, Year 7 children will be participating in the Accelerated Reader (AR) program.

 

AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book from our library at his/her own level and reads it at their own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer. (Passing the quiz is an indication that your child understood what was read.) AR gives both students and teachers feedback based on the quiz results, which the teacher then uses to help set targets and direct ongoing reading practice.

 

Our teachers and librarians help your child choose books at an appropriate reading level that are challenging without being frustrating, ensuring that your child can pass the quiz and experience success.

 

We recommend that all Year 7 students read at home, for a minimum of two 20 minute sessions each week.

 

Click here to see full information on Accelerated Reader.

Extra Curricular

The English Faculty runs a variety of activities both in and out of school. Teachers regularly have lunchtime sessions to help students with their work.