Here in English we aim to inspire our students to be effective communicators and lifelong readers. We have a full and varied curriculum that provides opportunities to explore both fiction and non-fiction, poetry, drama, media and spoken language.
In Year 7 we help our students transition into their secondary school experience by offering a rich, engaging and nurturing curriculum that provides them with opportunities to extend their skills, showcase their talents and become high-flyers in all aspects of literacy.
Throughout Year 8 we encourage students to develop their attainment by tackling literature from around the world in an eclectic range of poetry, prose and full-length novels. Alongside this are opportunities to extend and grow our students’ technical reading, writing and speaking skills – skills for life.
Year 9 provides students an opportunity to consolidate all they have learned as they prepare to take their journey to the next level. We deliver to our Year 9s a curriculum providing each individual with a firm understanding of how their skills are transferable at GCSE level, and are imperative when opening the door to future successes.
GCSE study begins in Year 10 when students commence on the AQA English Language (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700) and English Literature (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702) courses. In Literature, students will study a Shakespeare play, a 19th Century novel, a modern drama text and an anthology of poetry linked by theme. These texts will be complemented by the Language course where students will examine non-fiction texts and develop their writing skills. These two courses are taught in conjunction and are assessed in the summer of Year 11 with two English Language and two English Literature Papers. No coursework or controlled assessments are required for these qualifications.
The majority of our Year 11 students will take their English Language exam in November, following the Cambridge International Examinations board IGCSE (http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-igcse-english-first-language-uk-0522/). Students have worked exceptionally hard to prepare for this exam and have produced three pieces of written coursework worth 40% and prepared and recorded speaking and listening exams worth 20%, leaving the final exam worth 40%. Results will be released in January. Following the language exam, students will prepare for AQA English Literature (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-9715). A controlled assessment worth 25% of the final mark, during which they will study a Shakespeare play and variety of thematically related poetry. The remaining 75% is made up of two exams; the first focuses on the texts ‘Of Mice & Men’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’; the second examines students understanding of a thematic poetry anthology and response to an unseen poem. These syllabi, taught in conjunction, give our students the best opportunity to ensure they receive a meaningful English GCSE qualification.
As part of the whole school commitment to raising standards of literacy, students in Years 7 to 10 are provided with one lesson per week which is dedicated to developing their literacy skills. Using the Accelerated Reader programme, students are given time for independent reading and are able to take quizzes on the books that they have read. This programme allows us to ensure that students have access to engaging books that are well matched to their reading ability, whilst also helping to encourage a lifelong love of reading. During the literacy lesson, students also take part in activities to develop and consolidate spelling, grammar and punctuation skills, which are required across the curriculum, and students' progress in these areas is closely monitored throughout the year.
More will follow as we explore the new curriculum!