The English department consistently strives to provide an outstanding education for all students. We use a range of different media, computer programs and even video games to instil and maintain a passion for literature in all its forms.
Students in each year are placed in teaching groups with pupils of similar ability, allowing our exceptional team of dedicated teachers to closely differentiate for individuals. In our most recent Ofsted report it was noted that “pupils make Outstanding progress in English”. Whether it is through our precise and sometimes experimental marking processes, team teaching or trialling of new technologies or teaching techniques, we are consistently pushing boundaries of current pedagogy. We give our time freely to ensure that all pupils in our classes feel challenged and supported to make the very most of their potential.
Working closely with the school Librarian enables our students to meet and access literary workshops with writers, local debating and public speaking competitions and other activities such as shadowing the Carnegie Book Festival and the Norwich FLY festival. There is always the opportunity to share ideas in the Creative Writing Club and across the academic year, countless chances for pupils to develop their powers of creative writing in the form of local and national competitions.
Key Stage 3
Pupils in Years 7 and 8 follow a broad and balanced curriculum which ensures full coverage of works from both the literary canon and modern writers in poetry, prose and drama. Each pupil is assessed in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening each half term to allow us to track and monitor their performance and that of their class. Pupil are set by ability and the English groups are the same for Geography, History and Religious Education. Pupils are able to be moved from set to set on a termly basis, normally by teacher recommendation. At the end of each year, the setting of all pupils is re-examined.
All pupils in Year 7 are enrolled in the Library and it is expected that they will always have access to a reading book in their bag which they may wish to read during form time. We regard reading as the most powerful way in which young people can improve their skills in both fluency and comprehension.
Key Stage 4
Pupils in Years 9 follow a foundation year of GCSE study where they focus on improving their analytical skills by studying a range of literary works across literary ages. They may study, for example, the rise and development of Gothic fiction or the ways in which poets have highlighted the struggle of the individual in society across the ages. Pupils are regularly assessed in both their reading and writing skills whilst they develop their presentational and communication techniques to equip them for a world which values clarity and confidence.
During Years 10 and 11 pupils follow the AQA English Language and Literature course with some students having the opportunity to follow Media Studies instead of Literature to help develop their skills of language and image analysis. The department regularly organises theatre trips and workshops in order for student to experience adaptations beyond the television screen or YouTube channel.
Each weekday afternoon from 3pm – 4pm, the department offers Controlled Assessment Catch – Up sessions where students can complete work which will contribute to their overall GCSE grade. In Year 11 there is a system within the department of revision classes and days in which the timetable is collapsed to provide all pupils with the opportunity to excel in their public examinations.
We have exceptionally high expectations of students in terms of effort and behaviour within the department and we will always support your son / daughter to achieve their potential.
Key Stage 5
Pupils in Years 12 and 13 follow the AQA English Literature ‘A’ specification which is being taught for the last time in 2015. Updates will follow on the new specification with information on course content and ways in which the A Level is becoming detached from the AS.