Communication is at the heart of what it is to be human. In a rapidly changing world, pupils’ ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, understand and respond to what they read, hear, and experience is more important than ever.
The English department is committed to developing these skills. Our aim is to develop pupils’ creativity and give them the skills to communicate with accuracy, passion and an inquisitive mind.
We aim to promote a love of reading and ensure all pupils are exposed to a wide range of literature. Studying English gives pupils the opportunity to escape from the real world and become captivated in spellbinding stories, which in turn allows them to better understand the world they live in.
Key Stage 3
Pupils in KS3 study English for five lessons a week. The curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum and develop pupils’ language and literature skills.
Pupils study a wide range of texts from different time periods, cultures and traditions. These include two Shakespeare plays, modern novels and plays, poetry from different centuries and countries, and a range of non-fiction texts. Pupils develop the ability to analyse language and explore unseen texts. There is a strong focus on developing accurate and expressive writing skills in a number of forms. Opportunities for discussion and debate are also embedded within the lessons.
All KS3 pupils have a fortnightly library session using the Accelerated Reader programme which encourages pupils to read widely, both inside and outside school, and helps foster a love of reading.
Key Stage 4
In year 10 and 11 pupils will be studying for two GCSE qualifications following the AQA specification: English Language and English Literature.
The qualification will enable pupils of all abilities to develop the skills to understand and analyse a range of different texts spanning from the 19th century to the modern day. Pupils will also improve their ability to write clearly, accurately, and coherently using a wide range of vocabulary and sentence structures to match different forms. Pupils are given opportunities to improve their oral communication, discuss their ideas, and give effective presentations.
Pupils will study Macbeth, An Inspector Calls, A Christmas Carol, and a poetry anthology which includes poems from a range of different time periods. Pupils will also develop their ability to respond to unseen poetry.
The faculty aims to encourage creative, enthusiastic pupils through sparking their imagination and love of language. Every year pupils take part in the Swindon Literature festival. Pupils enjoy events such as the fastest story, poetry slams, author workshops, and inter-school quizzes.
Pupils also enter the Literature Festival writing competitions and have had great success in recent years. We hold events on World Book Day, have a creative writing club, hold Poetry By Heart competitions, and support our pupils to enter a range of writing competitions.