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English

The English department is a dynamic, forward thinking and ambitious department whose mission it is to get the best out of every single student by inspiring them to read widely and ask questions about the world around them.

Head of Department: Mrs Battershill

English Teachers: Mr K Wright (Head of Film)

                               Mrs R King (2nd in Department)

                               Mr R Nicklin (Assistant Vice Principal)

                               Mrs Cummings (Vice Principal)

                               Mr Mortimer

                               Mr Price

                               Mrs Lynch

                               Miss Rhodes

                               Miss Barrow

 

Teaching Assistant: Mrs S Clements

 

The department consists of seven specialist classrooms, and is well resourced with a huge range of texts from across the world and across the ages. The department displays examples of outstanding work both to inspire and to celebrate the fullness of our curriculum.

Anyone’s native language is fundamental to their personal, social and cultural identity. As the primary lingua-franca of the world, English is one of the most important means of communication humanity has evolved. The skills developed through learning in English are also vital in supporting children and young people to recognise and value the ways in which they can succeed in different contexts throughout their lives.

Learning in, through and about English enables children and young people to:

  • Be creative and express themselves in different ways;
  • Experience enjoyment and contribute to other people’s enjoyment through creative and expressive work;
  • Articulate critical and analytical opinions;
  • Develop important skills that are not only specific to the subject but also cross-curricular and extra-curricular;
  • Develop an appreciation of aesthetic and cultural values, identities and ideas which will serve as pathways to successful adulthood and future careers.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, students progress through varied and challenging topics that enable them to experience a wide range of materials and techniques.

In Year 7 students have a literature rich curriculum and currently learn about Shakespeare, Poetry from Other Cultures and a Novel. Alongside this, they will also study a cycle of Creative Writing.

In Years 8, students will begin with 19th Century Gothic Fiction and then move on to reading skills more generally and later in the year work on Non-fiction Writing. The year finishes with the study of Poetry from Different Cultures and Traditions.

The curriculum is differentiated, which allows all students access to the same themes and skills but allows individual classes to operate at different paces to ensure a more personalised approach which allows all students to achieve their potential.

In Years 7 and 8, the Accelerated Reader programme that is run by All Saints’ Academy allows students to track their reading in a personalised and progressive way.


GCSE

In Key Stage 4, students are completing EDUQAS GCSE ENGLISH LANGUAGE and ENGLISH LITERATURE courses. These exciting courses offer students the opportunity to explore a range of extremely challenging material and to demonstrate high levels of competency in writing for a variety of purposes. The new GCSE courses are assessed exclusively through examinations.  

GCSE begins in Year 9 where students will begin their work on the English Literature content and start to look at the specific skills required for success in the English Language GCSE. In terms of texts, students will be studying a 20th Century Play and Unseen Poetry. For English Language, students will be guided through a range of different reading skills including comparison and evaluation through a range of short stories. Additionally, students will begin to look at the Transactional and Creative Writing elements of the exams.

Year 10 sees students picking up the literature content starting with a Shakespeare play then later in the year the whole poetry anthology and a 19th Century novel- A Christmas Carol. Throughout, students will spend time revising the reading and writing skills for English Language. Additionally, students will be explicitly taught about exam literacy and technique and a range of revision strategies.

In Year 11, students review and revise the literature texts and simultaneously work on analysing non-fiction texts. They also refine and secure their skills of Creative and Transactional Writing.


A Level

At A Level, students study for an OCR A-Level in ENGLISH LITERATURE. This is a two year course which is awarded a final grade in year 13 based on coursework and examination performance.

Year 12 begins with students working simultaneously on both components of the course. For the Shakespeare section students will study Hamlet and for the genre study they will be working through two Dystopian novels- The Handmaid’s Tale and Orwell’s 1984. Students will then study as selection of Christina Rossetti’s poetry and a play. Students will analyse the importance of context in the reading of texts and explore how different interpretations and critical views can affect reader response.

Year 13 begins with  the coursework element in which students are free to select their texts and can have some autonomy over their questions. They have to work on three texts from different genres and produce two tasks. For the remainder of the year, students will be revising texts from year 12 and improving their understanding of critical and theoretical approaches to their texts.


Extra-Curricular Opportunities 

The department offers a wide range of extra-curricular to help inspire and engage students in the subject. The first being theatre trips for GCSE and A-level students to see their texts in action. As a team, we try to ensure that all students see at least one of their plays in the theatre over the course of their study.

Through our links with Cheltenham College, our A-level students also have access to prominent lectures annually on Shakespeare and Rossetti and we have links to the RSC which gives students the opportunity to see a range of Shakespeare productions live.

For the younger years there is the Shakespeare School’s programme and we take part in Poetry Slam with year 7.

The department runs a book club in house which is open to all and is a member of the Carnegie Award Shadowing programme. Here students and teachers have the opportunity to read and discuss up and coming authors and texts.

 


Future Possibilities

After A-Levels, students can move into higher education to study a wide range of English degrees as well as degrees in many other subjects.  

An English Degree makes the world your oyster. Common careers following a degree in English include: journalism, publishing, advertising and education, although really the possibilities are endless.