English is a vibrant and creative department that strives to develop students’ skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening to ensure every student within the academy can achieve their potential not only in English but in all their subjects. The English team work closely with the SEN and EAL departments to ensure that the needs of all learners are met. The curriculum has been designed to not only accelerate the progress of learners but to ensure they have high levels of enjoyment and have access to a wealth of different texts and learning experiences.
In KS3 students study a range of different texts and themes that develop their literacy skills and their creativity. Students study a range of, both literary heritage and contemporary, poetry, prose and drama in conjunction with studying a vast range of other text types and writing styles whilst developing their ability to understand the world beyond the classroom. Students also have the opportunity to advance their understanding of spoken language whilst increasing their own speaking and listening skill set. Furthermore, students have the opportunity to attend a range of extra-curricular provision and have extended home learning tasks to enhance their progress. Students are assessed on a regular basis and students who are having difficulties in achieving their ambitious targets are given support to ensure they make excellent progress. In Year 9 students follow a ‘bridge’ curriculum to prepare them fully for the demands of their GCSE.
At KS4 students currently undertake the WJEC English Language and English Literature courses where a significant proportion of the course is controlled assessments. Tasks range from comparing literary heritage texts with a Shakespearean drama to crafting creative writing. Students also have to complete a range of speaking and listening tasks that cover discussing, presenting and role play to ensure that students are articulate and able to speak purposefully for a range of audiences. During the examination students must analyse and produce non-fiction texts for English Language and for English Literature students must analyse and interpret a range of poetry, prose and drama. Texts include: Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Jekyll & Hyde, An Inspector Calls, The War of the Worlds, A Christmas Carol, Lord of the Flies and a complete range of both pre and post 1914 poetry. As in KS3, the department run an extensive range of extra-curricular provision to help enable students to achieve the highest grades possible.
Students also have the opportunity to shape the curriculum through student voice activities where they are able to contribute to the way the curriculum is planned. All members of the staff in the team have a range of expertise and are always on hand to provide extra support to students.