Course Overview: English

Our aim is to develop students who are life-long readers, who read for pleasure and enjoyment, and are able access a range of texts; different genres, non-fiction and fiction and various different forms. We also aim to develop students’ reading habits to ensure they are adaptable readers for the twenty-first century, whilst reading for meaning and developing the reading strategies needed to optimise text understanding and analysis. We also endeavour to aid students to creatively use language to express their thoughts and feelings through a range of written forms - both non-fiction and fiction and to understand the importance of written language and how it can be manipulated and adapted to convey different meanings.

At the heart of our curriculum is a focus on developing vital literacy skills; ensuring students understand how to use punctuation correctly and know how to spell commonplace words. At the start of each academic year, students will complete a baseline literacy assessment. This assesses students’ key skills and enables staff to personalise their teaching to suit the needs of the students. These skills are reviewed at different points in the academic year, with prompt interventions taking place where necessary.

Students are given a range of feedback and have time to act upon this feedback and respond to the targets given. This will allow students to develop their reading responses further and to "close the gap" in their achievements and learning. There is also a focus on planning written responses, the development of writing and the importance of re-drafting.

Whilst having a clear focus on being engaging and exciting for students, the KS3 English curriculum also has a strong focus on developing the foundations for GCSE study.

Year 7

Students will enjoy an induction period developing and consolidating reading and writing skills attained at primary school. They will write formally and read pre-19th Century texts ("A Christmas Carol") with comprehension activities that are the pathway to skills covered at GCSE level. They will also study a modern text with a focus on development of mood and atmosphere.

Students will have ample opportunity to develop their creative writing skills, writing on a range of topics from Monsters and Dragons to creating promotional materials for Blackpool Zoo. The latter includes working in groups to develop their speaking and listening skills.

An introduction to poetry helps develop students’ analysis of language and writers%APOSTROPHE% perspectives. students are provided opportunity to write their own poems and narratives throughout the year.

Year 8

Students will study a range of literary heritage texts.

Again, students will have ample opportunity to work in groups to develop their ideas, writing articles, advertisements and deciding on the layout of the newspaper.

Poetry is, again, covered with the focus on pre-1900 poems and a more advanced approach to essay writing.

Students are actively encouraged to enter competitions such as the Lyric Writing competition.

Year 9

Students will consolidate their skills in preparation for studying Language and Literature at Key Stage 4. They will be expected to write formal essays on a modern text, war poetry and "Macbeth" by William Shakespeare.

They will be immersed in learning about media texts and will be expected to develop debating skills throughout the year. They have opportunity to enter the Rotary Youth Speaks competition.

Students are actively encouraged to enter competitions such as the Rotary Young Writer and Lyric Writing. Some classes keep writing journals that are updated at the beginning of every lesson.

Course Overview: English

For GCSE, we all study English Language and English Literature. These specifications offer a stimulating and engaging learning experience, with assessments designed to suit a range of students and allowing students of all abilities to succeed. The English Literature and English Language specifications are designed to work together, giving students the opportunity to develop a wider range of knowledge and skills. Students will explore a variety of text types and writing forms and study and enjoy a class novel, a play and a range of poetry and non-fiction texts. Our GCSE students benefit from the department’s experience and expertise and some of our staff are trained GCSE examiners.

Course Components

English Language

Paper 1 is worth 50% of the GCSE. The focus is on explorations in creative reading and writing. Paper 2 is also worth 50% of the GCSE with a focus on writers viewpoints and perspectives. In each examination, students will complete all the questions in section A which tests their reading skills then the question in section B on writing skills.

The Spoken Language element is not worth anything towards the English GCSE but must be completed and the focus in on presenting, responding to questions and feedback and use of Standard English.

English Literature

Paper 1 is worth 40% of the GCSE and the focus is Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel. Students will study "A Christmas Carol" and either %APOSTROPHE%Macbeth%APOSTROPHE% or %APOSTROPHE%Romeo and Juliet%APOSTROPHE%. Paper 2 is worth 60% of the GCSE and the focus is Modern texts and Poetry. Students will usually study either %APOSTROPHE%Blood Brothers%APOSTROPHE% or %APOSTROPHE%An Inspector Calls%APOSTROPHE% and then the Power and Conflict cluster of the anthology.

Course Information

Course Name: English Language
Qualification Type: GCSE
Awarding Body: AQA
Specification code: 8700

Course Name: English Literature
Qualification Type: GCSE
Awarding Body: AQA
Specification code: 8702

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After school clubs are provided for keen students who wish to stretch their abilities. Catch up and support are also offered on a one to one basis where necessary. Some of the support sessions, clubs and activities offered are:

Theatre visits
Author visits
Annual World Book Day celebrations
Book club
Public speaking