English Teaching Staff
- Miss L Brunt: Curriculum Leader
- Ms L Weir: KS3 co-ordinator
- Miss M Bower
- Mrs S Britland
- Mrs C Stamp
- Mrs J Boyd Gault
- Miss T Harris
Why English is Important
English is a key subject in the curriculum for all students. It helps them read, write and speak and listen fluently, all of which are necessary skills for school subjects and adult life. Good standards of English are needed in all careers and, along with maths, it is one of the basic qualifications employers look for when recruiting. Without a good grade in English, students will need to resit it when they have left school.
At Oak, students’ English journey begins in Year 7 when they join us and ends with AQA GCSE Language and Literature. The curriculum is designed to build their skills, knowledge and understanding during each of their 5 years at the Academy. In each year, students will read a range of plays, prose and poetry, as well as enjoying a wide range of non-fiction texts.
Students will learn how to decode and understanding explicit and implicit meanings, draw together textual evidence and comment on a writer’s use of form, structure and language. They will learn how to write analytically, think creatively and express their ideas fluently. Making links between texts and ideas is an important skill in this subject and one that is developed throughout the curriculum.
Teaching and Learning in English
English teachers use a wide range of teaching and learning approaches to engage students and stimulate their interest. Students will work individually, in pairs or in groups to share ideas and respond to texts. Communication skills are continually built up as we look to help students understand their place in the world and how they can express this articulately.
Significant amounts of reading are undertaken in and out of class and extended writing pieces are completed under increasing time limits to develop the pace and accuracy students need to successfully navigate the demands of their final GCSEs.
Homework gives students the opportunity to demonstrate what they have applied in lessons or to research new ideas for upcoming topics.
Key Stage 3
In Years 7 and 8, students cover a wide range of genres and styles. For example, Year 7 have a taste of the horror genre to develop their creative writing skills, whilst Year 8 will explore the literature of war by studying the novel Private Peaceful. Both years analyse a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts including Shakespeare and poetry as means of introduction to the skills needed for GCSE.
Key Stage 4
Students study two GCSEs: one in English Language and one in English Literature.
They will be complete four exam papers at the end of Year 11, two for each subject.
These exams are now graded 1-9 and are assessed by examination only. However, students will also complete a Spoken Language Assessment for their English Language GCSE. This is separately endorsed by the exam board and is graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction/Distinction*.
Students continue to develop the skills they have been introduced to at KS3 and focus on extending their reading and writing skills. In English Language paper 1 students will need to be able to identify implicit and explicit information, analyse language and structure and evaluate writers’ methods. They must also be able to write creatively, writing to either describe or narrate.
Students also need to be able to read a wide range of texts from different time periods. In English Language Paper 2, students need to identify implicit and explicit information, be able to summarise and synthesis information, analyse language and compare writers’ perspectives and viewpoints. They must also be able to write to express a viewpoint in a non-fiction written task.
During Key Stage 4, students will study their GCSE literature texts for GCSE and will continue to revisit them during the course.
The following texts are studied for GCSE English Literature:
- Shakespeare: Romeo and Juliet
- 19th Novel: A Christmas Carol
- Modern Text: An Inspector Calls
In addition, students study the “Power and Conflict” AQA Poetry Anthology.
For each of these texts, students must read the whole text and understand the plot, characters, themes and the historical context in which the text was originally written.
Links to the GCSE specifications for English can be found below: