We are a vibrant subject area that focus on delivering the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening to support students in their English lessons as well as helping to support them in their learning across the whole school. We strive to deliver a curriculum that reflects the students and the needs of all. We have selected a range of texts to engage and stimulate both male and female learners and work closely with the SEN department to support those who need additional support.
The department want to celebrate the achievements of the students and this can range from commendations to prizes. We believe that education doesn’t happen solely within a classroom and try to create opportunities for our students to get out and experience live theatre as often as possible.
In Year 7 we fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum and the National Literacy Strategy by delivering four lessons each week with the students in tutor groups. In Years 8 and 9 students are setted according to ability. All groups have a regular opportunity to access the Learning Resource Centre where the reading is monitored and they are encouraged to read more challenging books. A suggested list is provided.
Throughout KS3, the English Curriculum is split into three attainment areas, each of which is assessed separately:
- Speaking and Listening
Students are assessed against National Curriculum levels every half term, covering topics such as autobiographical writing; writing to persuade, inform, explain, argue, report, discuss; reading and exploring the dramatic techniques in a contemporary play; reading and writing critical essays on a variety of works by William Shakespeare; reading contemporary novels and poetry and assessing literacy techniques, styles and methods, along with speaking and listening tasks.
Scholastics Book Club is also available for students to access reading material at affordable prices; purchasing through Leytonstone School also issues us with rewards points to purchase materials on behalf of the school.
Subject name: AQA English Language, AQA English Literature
Throughout KS4 students will follow the AQA exam board for their GCSE qualifications. During Years 10 and 11 students will cover a 19th century novel (A Christmas Carol), poetry from the AQA anthology, a modern novel (Animal Farm), Shakespeare (Macbeth) as well as developing reading and writing skills. Students will be assessed through two exams for English Language and two exams for English Literature.
Homework is set on a regular basis as an ideal opportunity for teachers to assess how well students have understood the classwork and provide a personal dialogue between the teacher and the students.
Students are supplied with various study materials including novels, text books and plays, alongside study tools such as dictionaries.
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Why this subject is important?
English is a subject important not only for developing the life skills of reading and writing, but also for helping students form opinions about the world and make well-informed decisions. English is a subject that provides great variety by covering topics that range from contemporary moral debates to the historical context for a range of periods; from understanding of universal human emotion in poetry to specific experiences in non-fiction texts; and from the greatest flights of creativity possible to the forensic detail of long-form magazine features. This means that the knowledge that students develop in their English lessons is also applicable across a wide range of other subjects.
What skills will students use?
Students develop skills in three areas: reading, writing, and speaking and listening. Oracy is a particular focus for our department, and we encourage students to deliver spoken answers in full sentences and in as much detail as possible. This, in turn, affects positively the quality of their written responses and their concentration whist reading. In terms of the technical sides of reading, students will develop skills in reading analytically, picking out quotes and explaining a writer’s point of view and use of language. Likewise, in writing they will develop skills in accurate use of spelling, punctuation and grammar, as well as effectively structuring paragraphs and whole texts.
Any extra-curricular activities?
The department offers a number of trips across the year, particularly to the theatre. At KS4 we offer Flair Club, targeted at students who are aiming for A-A* at GCSE.
How will the final grade be awarded?
The final grades – one each for English Literature and Language – will be awarded following four exams – two in each subject. All exams will take place at the end of Y11. Students will also take formal mock exams at the end of Y10 and at Christmas in Y11.
If you need further advice, who do you speak to?
Head of English