The English faculty is a dynamic team committed to providing pupils with a profound appreciation of the spoken and written word. We believe that the study of literature, where we come to know others through the stories they tell, empowers and educates our students with the knowledge of what it means to be human in 2023. Through poetry, prose and transactional texts our students explore ethical and moral issues. Reading is at the centre of our curriculum experience. We choose texts that will challenge, develop and nurture their natural curiosity about the world.
The skills acquired through English lessons have a positive influence on all other curriculum subjects. Our students thrive as they are taught how to construct arguments; develop their critical thinking and articulate their opinions. We use the English curriculum to prepare students to read easily, fluently and with good understanding and to develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. We also strive to make sure that our students are given the tools with which to decode the meanings of the written world by identifying and analysing elements of language that on face value can be difficult to interpret.
Students enjoy English but they also understand the subject’s importance and power. This subject is inclusive and we endeavour to support every child regardless of their level of need. Teaching is adaptive in order to support all students so that they achieve good progress. For further details of SEND support at KNGS, see our website at https://www.kngs.co.uk/about-us/special-educational-needs
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. 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 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. 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
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 many inter-house literacy competitions throughout the year including the Spelling Bee, Poetry Slam and Public Speaking Competition.
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.