The English department at Kings Norton Girls’ School is an energetic, enthusiastic and successful department. Nine subject specialists offer English and English Literature at all key stages. As a high achieving department we are committed to sharing our passion for the subject, providing a stimulating and academically rigorous experience of English for all of our students.
The department has six designated teaching rooms and an English staff room. This enables the students to meet the department as and when required in order to catch up with work and receive extra help and advice. Room 12, the teaching room next to our office is used for extra sessions by all of the key stages. The department has its own set of laptops and interactive white boards and a wide range of ICT resources. Reading stock is wide and varied and provides a variety of literature to promote a love of reading.
Students are encouraged to become fluent, independent and critical readers of all kinds of texts, who question and reflect on what they have read and who enjoy reading for pleasure. They use texts to explore language and meaning, to acquire information, to gain further insight into their own and other cultures, and to extend their personal and social awareness. They have access to a wide variety of texts (poetry, drama, prose, fiction, non-fiction and media) both in the classroom and in the school Learning Hub. Students study a Shakespearean play each year.
Students are encouraged to become confident, articulate writers who understand that writing is a means of learning, shaping experience, exploring ideas and language, and expressing ideas and feelings. They write for a variety of purposes and audiences and learn to appreciate the benefits of drafting, redrafting and proof-reading.
Speaking and Listening
Students are encouraged to recognise the power of talk as a means of exploring language and ideas, persuading, and gaining confidence. They have opportunities in the classroom to talk in small groups, class discussions, role-plays and drama. An important aim of oral work is that students should learn to be good listeners, able to appreciate the views of others as well as articulating their own.
Language and vocabulary
In all that they do, students are encouraged to examine the structures and functions of language. They reflect upon their own and others use of language in different contexts, and they consider how and why language varies across distance and time. They are encouraged to speak and write in Standard English.
All students will study both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature. Both are linear GCSE courses so all exams are to be taken at the end of the course. All assessment will be by examinations sat in the summer of with the exception of a small group of students who will sit the English language exam at the end of Year 10. There are no tiers for the examination so all students will sit the same tier.
As a department, through literature, we encourage the students to engage with diverse areas of study, to explore and question and to expand upon their personal responses. Students are broadly placed into sets in this key stage, but all middle sets are taught in mixed ability groups.
Exam board: AQA
How do the qualifications work?
Exam Board- AQA
1 hr 45 mins- 50% (80 marks)
Reading: analyse a piece of unseen literary fiction.
Writing: descriptive or narrative writing.
1 hr 45 mins- 50% (80 marks)
Reading: one piece of non-fiction and one piece of literary non-fiction.
Writing: writing to present a viewpoint.
1 hr 45 mins – 40% (64 marks)
Shakespeare and 19th Century Novel
Romeo and Juliet and A Christmas Carol or Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
The choice of 19th century novel will depend upon your daughter’s class teacher.
2 hr 15 mins – 60% (96 marks)
Modern texts and Poetry
The department actively encourages the students to develop skills outside of the class room.
One of our central aims is to foster a love of literature and the English department works closely with the school librarian to achieve this, this includes an active role in World Book Day and book clubs which meets regularly. In conjunction with this we also run a creative writing work shop for key stage 3, which runs one lunch time a week.
We are aware that throughout their time with us some students may require some extra staff time and tuition and a variety of activities take place for all key stages both after school and at lunch times.
Every year the department organises theatre trips and these have involved visits to London theatres, including the Globe, trips to Warwick Arts theatre and Birmingham Repertory theatre and the Crescent and in particular our close proximity to Stratford enables us to see performances of Shakespearean plays studied by all key stages and to gives us the opportunity to see an excellent Christmas performance.