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)
Teaching Assistant: Mrs S Clements
When designing the curriculum for all Key Stages, we had our Vision firmly rooted in our mind. The choices we made for all Key Stage 3 texts either have a moral message or focus on situations, where for a variety of reasons, people are unable to flourish and live life to its fullness and the different barriers there are in society and how to overcome them. We made a conscious effort to include a variety texts from different cultures which highlights lives that our students will be wholly unfamiliar with, helping to encourage empathy and a greater tolerance of ideas and views different to their own. When extracts are used, we aim to make them current and relevant about issues and topics that students should be aware of and encourage them to ask questions and consider the impact these have allowing others to live their lives in a safe and free way. Where we have options for A Level and GCSE texts, again we have been mindful of our vision and tried to select texts with a moral message, especially in the case of A Christmas Carol and opted for plays where once again we can explore characters who for a variety of reasons are unable to fulfil their potential. Students in English are challenged to share their options and debate with others respectful and safe way which also allows them to have confidence in themselves and their ability to articulate their views with confidence.
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, a modern play and a Novel. Alongside this, they will also study a cycle of Creative Writing. The novel and play will be determined by which sets students are in which will be differentiated as appropriate to allow all to succeed. In the Shakespeare module, students will be introduced to all 3 genres of play and have the opportunity to explore Shakespearean English in depth.
In Year 8, students will begin with 19th Century Gothic Fiction and be introduced to a range of key reading skills that they will hone during these cycles. Later in the year they will work on Non-fiction Writing, learning how to format different types of transactional writing and the importance of being able to adapt writing for audience. The year finishes with the study of Poetry from Different Cultures and Traditions which gives students an insight into lives that are often very different from their own.
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.
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.
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 Oscar Wilde’s play, An Ideal Husband. 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.
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.
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.