Overview of the faculty
Laurence Monaghan – Lead Practitioner/Head of Faculty
Richard Higson – Assistant Head of Faculty
Kat Sibbit – Assistant Head of Faculty with responsibility for whole-school literacy.
Frankie Lord – Deputy Head Teacher
Gemma Jackson – Head of Year 7
Rachel Preston – Teacher of English
Beth Kenny – Teacher of English and Performing Arts
Eve Seder – Teacher of English.
Our key aim in English is to develop our students’ verbal and written communication so that it can be adapted to a range of styles, purposes and audiences, with accuracy, clarity, creativity and confidence. Of equal importance is the role of literature and reading to provide our students with the opportunities to: debate controversial issues in a safe space; develop empathy and social and emotional literacy; explore complex relationships; cultivate their own views of the world around them and underpin them with indispensable knowledge and experiences which will open their eyes to ideas they may never had experienced. Above all, we want to create the next generation of readers, providing them with the skills, knowledge and experiences to thrive in the modern world.
What is covered/Curriculum content:
At Key Stage 3 we study a range of English Literature texts (novels, plays and poetry) that cover a wide variety of themes, eras and issues. Through these texts we teach the students how to develop a range of reading skills, including analytical and evaluative skills. We also use the texts as a springboard to develop our students’ writing skills for a variety of purposes, forms and audiences. At the heart of our study is the intention to create opportunities for students to be challenged and to broaden their knowledge through the content, topics, themes and ideas explored in our chosen texts.
At Key Stage 4 we study the texts and practise the skills that are required to successfully prepare for the GCSE exams. All students sit both English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE – these courses are assessed at the end of Year 11.
English Language GCSE
This course focuses on the students applying both their reading and writing skills. In terms of reading, students have to respond to unseen fiction and non-fiction from the 21st, 20th and 19th Century. The examinations test students’ ability to analyse the writer’s choices regarding: language, structure and intention. There is also a significant part of the GCSE weighted to writing for different fiction and non-fiction purposes. Students are asked to produce original writing for specific audiences and forms. Marks are also awarded for the written accuracy of students’ spelling, punctuation and grammar.
English Literature GCSE
All students taking the English Literature GCSE will be encouraged to read, write and think critically. It involves students studying and responding to a range of intellectually challenging, substantial, whole texts in detail. This will include: a Shakespeare play (Macbeth), a 19th Century novel (e.g. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens), a modern drama text (An Inspector Calls – JB Priestley) and a selection of poetry (Power & Conflict and Unseen). The students are encouraged to read widely to understand the contextual factors that influenced the writers and they will develop their own critical style in exploring the writer’s choices, and their effects, in relation to the use of language, structure and form.