As English teachers we are initially involved with a learning process that aims to value, and give status to, the language and culture that the individual child brings to the classroom. In addition to drawing on this rich diversity of experience we wish also to create purposeful contexts in which independent and collaborative learning can occur – including the way we are seen to work alongside students.
We remain alert to the fact that children learn more effectively in situations where they are given regular opportunities to express themselves openly, and where enjoyment is the underlying principle. Equally important is the way we seek to build up levels of linguistic competency and critical literacy that will enable them to gain success in their school careers, in accordance with their abilities, and be fully prepared for life beyond, including Further /Higher Education and employment.
The statements that follow represent the guiding principles behind our work in English, in keeping with the respective whole school policies as well as reflecting the perceived direction of the subject, both locally and nationally.
- The English classroom offers opportunities for active learning; to this end, a wide range of strategies and resources are incorporated
- Friendship groupings are not the only way of working – each individual should be prepared to work with anyone else within the class
- The importance of Standard English is emphasised as a key requirement within the linguistic repertoire and development of each student
- Language and Literature is integral and open to all students, with dual certification available at KS4
- The Programme of Study for KS3 and KS4 underpins all lessons, including learning related to word, sentence and whole text
- Assessment for learning is used in every lesson, including group work, questioning, and peer- and self-assessment
- English lessons provide opportunities for students to cover the range of personal learning targets: independent enquirers, creative thinkers, reflective learners, team workers, self-managers and effective participants.
- Students are offered a wide range of opportunities to develop their oracy in a number of different contexts, including dramatic and those relating to the world beyond school
- A variety of reading activities promote independent, group and whole class reading, in addition to the promotion of reading at home
- ICT is used where appropriate to support and develop the students’ learning, with opportunities given to classes to use the ICT suite
Key Stage 3
Students will read and analyse a range of extracts from a variety of different literary texts in preparation for AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1.
Students will read an abridged version of Oliver Twist, with some use of the original text. Students will explore the novel’s characters, themes and settings. We will also use this text to look at how our cultures and backgrounds make us who we are.
Students will read a play version of Homer’s classic, epic tale, The Odyssey, by Kenneth Cavander. Students will gain an understanding of how a play text works and get the exciting chance to play different parts in the adventure Odysseus goes on to get home to Ithaca.
Students will explore a range of poetry, learning about key poetic techniques. Students use the poetry skills they have acquired to showcase their creativity and write poems of their own.
Romeo and Juliet
Students will read the original text of Shakespeare’s famous play, Romeo and Juliet. We will analyse at the key scenes, characters and themes, as well as Shakespeare’s use of language. There are lots of opportunities for drama work and students will recreate sections of the play.
Reading and writing texts
Students will read a range of extracts from a variety of different non-fiction texts, in preparation for AQA GCSE English Language Paper 2. They will have opportunities to develop their own skills in writing for different audiences and purposes.
Students will read and analyse a range of extracts from a variety of literary texts in preparation for AQA GCSE English Language Paper 1.
Lord of the Flies or The Hunger Games
Students will read either the classic novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding or the more modern novel The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins’. Students will examine characters, plot and themes in the novel. They will begin to develop the reading skills needed for their GCSE English Language and GCSE Literature exams.
Writing to argue and persuade
Students will study the skills needed for successful persuasive writing and writing to argue, which is tested on Paper 2 of the GCSE English Language examination. Students will analyse the use of persuasion and its impact in a variety of texts. They will produce engaging texts of their own that are appropriate to audience and purpose.
Creativity is at the heart of the English curriculum and students will be immersed into a different world and storyline, fostering a love of reading. Students will hone their own writing skills as they produce gripping short stories of their own.
In The Tempest, William Shakespeare creates a magical land, where it may seem like anything is possible. Whirling through this whimsical world are also themes of prejudice, isolation and family struggles. While studying this play, students will reflect on how these themes are still important to 21st century audiences.
Poetry and art
Many famous works of art have been inspired by writing or have been the inspiration for writers. Students will study the relationship between art and poetry and consider how art can inspire their writing, as well as developing their skills in analysing unseen poems.
Reading and writing texts
Students will study extracts from a diverse range of texts, commenting on how writers use language for effect, using relevant subject terminology to support their views. They will consider how writers use structure to engage readers and shape their work.
A Christmas Carol
George Orwell said the best test of literary merit is survival and, by that standard, A Christmas Carol must rank as one of the greatest works of literature ever produced. Students will study this seasonal staple, analysing aspects of language, characterisation and structure.
At one level, this book is certainly a children's story but at another level it is a book with a serious political message, meant for advanced readers. Animal Farm, a set text for GCSE English Literature, is an allegory in which the various kinds of animals symbolise various classes of human society, in which certain particular animals represent certain historical personalities and in which certain happenings symbolise certain historical events. As they are introduced to the corrupt world of Animal Farm and its inhabitants, students will be encouraged to respond to the text critically and imaginatively, select and evaluate relevant textual detail to illustrate and support their own views on Orwell’s most important work.
Another set text for GCSE English Literature, Macbeth is one of Shakespeare's best known plays. His bloodthirsty tale of ambition still strikes a chord with modern audiences. Students will follow the central character, Macbeth, as he plots and kills in order to become king. As soon as he is crowned, audiences watch as his world falls apart around him. Students will be encouraged to read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas.
Key Stage 4
All students prepare for AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature. Students will be sitting these examinations for the first time in June 2017.
English Language Paper 1
Section A: reading fiction texts
Section B: Writing to describe/ narrate
English Language Paper 2
Section A: reading non-fiction texts
Section B: writing non-fiction
English Literature Paper 1
Section A: Response to Shakespeare (Macbeth)
Section B: 19th Century novel (The Sign of Four)
English Literature Paper 2
Section A: modern prose or drama (Animal Farm)
Section B: response to poetry (Power and Conflict)
Section C: unseen poetry
Key Stage 5
AS Level and A Level English Literature
These courses allow students to build on the skills and knowledge already gained from GCSE study and prepare them for their next steps. They will develop your individual progress as a reflective, analytical and articulate individual. The skills and knowledge you gain on this course offer an excellent foundation for degree-level study and are also useful for those intending to follow career paths such as law, advertising, marketing, media and education.
Both AS and A-level courses provide strong stand-alone qualifications that are fully co-teachable so that each students’ needs are fully met.
AQA English Literature AS Level – Subject Content
The texts studied are connected through Aspects of tragedy. Texts have been selected and grouped together because they share some of the common features of traditional tragic drama while also offering some interesting variations. At the core of all the set texts is a tragic hero or heroine who is flawed in some way, who suffers and causes suffering to others and in all texts there is an interplay between what might be seen as villains and victims.
Students study four texts: one Shakespeare play, one further drama text, one poetry text and oneprose text.
AQA English Literature A Level – Subject Content
Study of texts within the chosen literary genre of tragedy, is enhanced by the study of critical theory in the non-exam assessment. In this way, students can gain a solid understanding of how texts can be connected and how they can be interpreted in multiple ways so that students can arrive at their own interpretations and become confident autonomous readers.
The specification encourages the exploration of texts in different ways: the study of texts within specific genres. The study of texts through engagement with a range of theoretical ideas. Writing about texts in a number of different ways.
Other recommended links:
Year 7 – recommended reading
CORDER, Zizou. Lionboy Series
CRAIG, Joe. Jimmy Coates Series
CROSS, Gillian. Lost Trilogy: The Dark Ground, The Nightmare Game; After Tomorrow
CROSSAN, Sarah. The Weight of Water
DELANEY, Joseph. Spooks Stories
DOHERTY, Berlie. Treason; The Company of Ghosts
DONNELLY, Jennifer. Deep Blue
DOWSWELL, Paul. The Cabinet of Curiosities; Sektion 20
DOYLE, Roddy, A Greyhound of a Girl
DUNMORE, Helen. Ingo Series
EARLE, Phil. Heroic
EVANS, Lissa. Small Change for Stuart
FISHER, Catherine. The Obsidian Mirror; The Box of Red Brocade
FUNKE, Cornelia. Inkheart Trilogy: Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath
GAIMAN, Neil. Coraline; The Graveyard Book
GARDNER, Sally. The Red Necklace; The Silver Blade; Maggot Moon
GLEITZMAN, Morris. Once; Then; Now; After
GRANT, Helen. The Vanishing of Katharina Linden; The Demons of Ghent
GREEN, John. Let It Snow; The Fault in our Stars
GREGORY, Philippa. Fool’s Gold
HARTNETT, Sonya. The Silver Donkey; The Midnight Zoo; The Children of the King
HIGSON, Charlie. The Enemy Series; The Enemy, The Dead, The Fear, The Sacrifice, The Fallen
HOFFMAN, Mary. The Falconer’s Knot; Stravaganza: City of Masks, City of Stars, City of Flowers
HOROWITZ, Anthony. Alex Rider Series; Diamond Brothers Series; Power of Five Series
JONES, Diana Wynne. The Game; Enchanted Glass
LAKE, Nick. In Darkness
NESS, Patrick. A Monster Calls
NEWBERY, Linda. Nevermore; The Treasure House
NICHOLLS, Sally. Ways to Live Forever; Season of Secrets; All Fall Down
NIX, Garth. Keys to the Kingdom Series; A Confusion of Princes; Across the Wall
PALACIO, R. J. Wonder
POWELL, Laura. Burn Mark; Witch Fire
PRATCHETT, Terry. Nation; I Shall Wear Midnight; Snuff; Dodger
PRUE, Sally. Wheels of War; Ice Maiden; Song Hunter
REES, Celia. The Fool’s Girl; This is Not Forgiveness
ROSOFF, Meg. Picture Me Gone
ROTH, Veronica. Divergent Trilogy
ROWLING, J. K. Harry Potter Series
RUNDELL, Katherine. Rooftoppers
RYAN, Chris. War Dog
SACHAR, Louis. Holes; Small Steps; Pig City; The Cardturner
SCARROW, Alex. TimeRiders
SNICKET, Lemony. A Series of Unfortunate Events Series
ST JOHN, Lauren. Dead Man’s Cove; Race the Wind
STEAD, Rebecca. Liar & Spy
SUTCLIFFE, William. The Wall
TOLKIEN, J. R. R. The Hobbit
TORDAY, Piers. The Last Wild
WEIN, Elizabeth. Code Name Verity
WESTERFELD, Scott. Behemoth; Uglies; Pretties; Specials
WHYMAN, Matt. The Savages
YOUNG, Moira. Dustlands Trilogy: Blood Red Road, Rebel Heart, Raging Stars
Years 8 and 9 – recommended reading
• Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
• The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
• Kim - Rudyard Kipling
• I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
• The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
• The Outsider - Albert Camus
• The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
• On the Road - Jack Kerouac
• Saturday - Ian McEwan
• Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë
• To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
• Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
• Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
• Treasure Island - R.L. Stevenson
• The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
• Awful Auntie - David Walliams
• Born to Run - Michael Morpurgo
• Shadow - Michael Morpurgo
• The Tales of Beedle the Bard - J.K. Rowling
• Cherub series - Robert Muchamore
• Theodore Boone - John Grisham
• The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night time - Mark Haddon
• Stay where you are then leave - John Boyne
• Noughts and Crosses - Malorie Blackman
• The Truth about Leo - David Yelland
• Wonder - R. J. Palacio
• After the death of Alice Bennett - Rowland Molony
• Ketchup Clouds - Annabel Pitcher
• Geek Girl - Holly Smale
• Jamie Johnson series - Dan Freedman
Tales from other countries:
• Monster - W.D. Myers
• Broken Glass - Sally Grindley
• If I Ever Get Out of Here - Eric Gansworth
• Taylor 5 - Ann Halam
• Oranges in No-man’s Land - Elizabeth Laird
• Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
• Ring Master - Julia Golding
• Red Scarf Girl - Ji-Li Jiang
• The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
• The Divide - Elizabeth Kay
• The Enemy - Charlie Higson
• The London Eye Mystery - Siobhan Dowd
• People Might Hear You - Robin Klein
• Mistress Masham's Repose – T.H. White
• Crocodile Tears - Anthony Horowitz
• Hostage - Chris Ryan
• Moving Pictures - Terry Pratchett
• Haven - Tom Easton
• Uncommon Criminals - Ally Carter
• Young Bond - Charlie Higson
• The Power of Five - Anthony Horowitz
• Divergent - Veronica Roth