The English department consists of 11 fully qualified English teachers with many years teaching experience across KS3, KS4 and KS5 (including an examiner for GCSE). There are also a number of staff who provide support within the classroom as part of intervention or who teach stand-alone reading and literacy lessons.

The department structure consists of:

Director of Subject; Assistant Director of Subject, with responsibility for KS4, and a KS3 Coordinator; although all department members play an important role in the development of the department.

 
To foster an enjoyment of Literature, encouraging pupils to read widely and independently.

To develop discerning critical readers whose analytical skills will allow them to interpret the world around them.

To inspire pupils to express themselves imaginatively, appropriately and effectively by using our rich and diverse English language.

To set challenging targets with high expectations for all pupils.

To develop communication skills through both the written and spoken word.
 
The English Department is accommodated in 8 teaching spaces on the E Hub on the middle floor of the Main school building, with additional accommodation in the sixth form centre. All rooms have Promethean boards and a computer. There is also a laptop caddy available for the students. Staff are proficient in using the technology to provide multimedia experiences to bring texts alive. The students also enjoy using the technology to present their own work. There are display boards in classrooms and along the walls of the communal area. The walls are moveable in order to facilitate larger group activities or provide performance spaces.
 

English at Key Stage 3 is designed to foreground the skills needed at GCSE. Girls will develop their reading, writing and Spoken English skills. They will read a wide range of different texts and genres, including a 19th century novel, poetry, media and non-fiction texts, seminal world literature and modern drama. Each student will be assessed in either reading or writing every half-term so that the class teacher can build up a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of each pupil over the year. An end of year summative test will assess the progress each girl has made and whether a set change for the following year would be beneficial.

Pupils are taught in groups set by ability and have three lessons per week. There are extra literacy lessons for pupils with additional needs.

All year 7 pupils have an extra English lesson each week, used for the development of independent reading skills and spelling, punctuation and grammar.

 

Students follow AQA English Language and English Literature GCSEs. Students are taught in ability groups. We have a 100% entry policy. GCSE examination results for English Language and English Literature are good to outstanding.

Students will study for two GCSEs in English: English Language and English Literature. At the end of the two year course, students will sit four examinations:

English Language – Paper One: Explorations in creative reading and writing – 1hr 45mins
English Language – Paper Two: Writers' viewpoints and perspectives – 1hr 45mins

English Literature – Paper One: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel – 1hr 45mins
English Literature – Paper Two: Modern texts and poetry – 2hrs 15mins

Each English Language examination makes up 50% of the overall mark and students will also undertake a variety of speaking and listening tasks, with filmed evidence and written reports submitted to the exam board. For English Literature, Paper One makes up 40% of the overall mark and Paper Two counts for 60%. Students will spend Y10 and 11 preparing for these examinations.

Students have four lessons in year 10 and three lessons in year 11. They are set according to ability and progress is monitored regularly. Intervention is used to ensure all students have the opportunity to achieve their potential.

 

The department offers two A level courses: English Literature specification A and English Language with the AQA examination board. On the Literature course students are encouraged to develop their interest in and enjoyment of literature and literary studies by reading widely and independently set texts and wider reading in poetry, drama and prose on the theme of “Love Through the Ages”. They learn how to explore the contexts and others’ interpretation of the texts and deepen their understanding of the changing traditions of literature in English.

On the English Language A Level course students investigate how meaning is created in spoken, written and media texts from different time periods and how these texts come to represent our society and its attitudes. Students also explore the social varieties of the English language and how language has changed overtime. Moving into year 13, students investigate how children’s language is acquired and also develop written skills in a variety of genres.

Students have five lessons per week and are taught by two teachers. To support examination, work pupils take part in workshops run by a senior examiner. Many of our students go on to study English at University.

 
Theatre trips both locally and nationally.
Reading is encouraged through ‘Read and Register’ initiative.
Public Speaking Competition.
 
As the National Curriculum is changing we are working hard to ensure that, whilst following the statutory guidelines, we endeavour to continue to foster an enjoyment for English. We work closely with the Local Authority to ensure that we keep up to date with the changes and benefit from the sharing of good practice across the city.