Key Stage 3
The department uses the National Curriculum as a basis for planning varied, yet focused, schemes of work for the first three years. There is the flexibility available for individual teachers to create and develop schemes of work which reflect their particular interests.
The focus in all three years of Key Stage 3 is on reading, writing, spelling and grammar, enabling all pupils to become confident and competent in these areas before taking GCSEs. Students begin studying texts for their GCSE Literature course in the summer term of year 9. Expectations are high and all pupils will find themselves challenged and extended in English classes. Target setting is an integral part of KS3: targets are negotiated with individual pupils which are then monitored and reviewed during the course of the school year. Pupil progress is closely tracked and used as a guide in setting targets, determining sets and later, entry levels for public examinations.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 and 11 pupils follow the Edexcel Specification for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. Results in both subjects are excellent with a 100% pass rate. Texts currently being studied for the Language and Literature examinations include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, Journey’s End, Jekyll and Hyde, as well as a wide range of poems from the 20th century and earlier.
Since coursework has been removed from the syllabus, students are given time to prepare for assessments, with essays written in supervised, timed conditions.
The department organises a wide range of lunchtime and extra-curricular activities. Weekly clubs include a lower school Debating Club. The department organises regular theatre visits during the course of the academic year. These have included visiting Stratford-upon- Avon to see the RSC’s Arabian Nights and The Heart of Robin Hood (Year 7), Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Year 7), The Lord of the Flies (Year 9), Journey’s End (Year 11), West Side Story (Year 10), Othello, Sam Mendes’ The Tempest and Dr Faustus for years 12 and 13, and lecture days on examination texts for the Sixth Form.
Additionally, we have entered a year 7 team in The Times’ national Spelling Bee competition, and the Year 8 debating team in the English Speaking Union’s ‘Great Climate Change Debate’.
Our Intermediate public speaking team compete successfully at local and regional level in Rotary public speaking competitions.
We were also very proud that several of our students achieved success in creative writing competitions: one student won a national competition to see her work printed in The Times newspaper, and another won the ‘Write Now’ Parliamentary Press Competition, winning an award for her political blog. Recently Year 7 and 8 students have won national writing competitions organised by ‘Headlight’ and the National Federation of Builders (NFB).
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