Across both key stages the department aims to immerse students in a range of literature and foster enthusiasm for reading and writing. This continues outside of the classroom with a creative writing group which meets at lunchtime, young journalists who produce the school newsletter and running competitions open to students of all abilities and interests.
Our KS3 curriculum builds on the knowledge and skills acquired at KS2, providing students with opportunities to further develop as confident, empathetic and critical readers and writers. Across KS3, students can explore a wide range of varied and challenging texts - both fiction and non-fiction - in the pursuit of developing a lifelong appreciation of reading. Through the written word, students will critically evaluate the key messages, morals and behaviours presented to them by a number of renowned writers, allowing them to develop a wider appreciation of their own identity and their sense of place in the world. Building in writing for a variety of purposes and audiences, students can practice refining their drafting skills, developing their resilience in writing at length, ultimately crafting writing which is sophisticated and engaging. Being exposed to an increasingly wide breadth of vocabulary and grammar, their understanding of grammatical terms in use will enable them to confidently critique other writers’ work, as well as applying the skills to their own writing. Classroom discussion and debate will enable students to develop speaking and listening skills, thereby promoting confidence and allowing students to communicate their ideas and emotions to others. By the end of KS3, students will have built a solid foundation on which to continue their learning journey with confidence on the way to becoming active members of the school community and beyond.
Key Stage 3 runs for three years and students are taught in mixed ability groups.
Assessment: there are two formal assessments each term (one each of reading and writing) but all skills are given full consideration in order to ensure students are confident, competent and well-prepared for KS4.
Time allocation: 3 hours per week.
Key Stage 4 runs for two years and students are taught in mixed ability groups.
Assessment: Key Stage 4, students continue to be taught in mixed ability groups. Students study two distinct GCSEs in English Language and English Literature, following the AQA specifications. In English Literature, students are exposed to a range of texts from the 19th-21st century, continuing to study the genres and writers introduced in Key Stage 3. English Language involves the analysis of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, from the 19th-21st centuries. Honing their writing skills with a focus on descriptive and narrative styles required for paper one and personal writing (argue/persuade) assessed on paper 2. Over the duration of the course, students sit numerous assessments and mock exams in both subjects.
Time allocation: Year 10 – 5 hours 20 minutes
Year 11 – 5 hours 40 minutes.
More details of the English curriculum are posted on the provision maps below.
Key Stage 3
GCSE English Language
GCSE English Literature
Outside of the Classroom
Students have many opportunities to involve themselves in activities outside of the classroom with the book club meeting weekly, the English Ambassador programme, regular competitions, library prefects, theatre trips, theatre group visits, author visits, the SPXtra podcast and more!
In addition to the traditional World Book Day dress-up and activities that we involve ourselves in, we run World Book Week that includes book drops, a whole-school literature quiz, extra reading time and quotation trails. Reading is so important to us and we love everyone to get involved!