English

english-1

English is a skills-based subject, important both in its own right and as the medium through which other subjects are taught. The skills of reading and writing, together with speaking and listening for a variety of purposes and audiences are explored and developed throughout KS3 and KS4. Content includes a wide variety of texts: poetry, drama and fiction (both modern and pre-20th century), as well as media and non-fiction. Students are taught in mixed ability groups at KS3 with setting taking place at the end of Year 9 for GCSE.

In Years 7 and 8 all students participate in the ‘Let’s Think in English’ programme, the aim of which is to systematically develop skills of inference, deduction and analysis, in order to increase students’ confidence, understanding and ability to express ideas.

We encourage active participation in all our classes; lessons include a mix of group and individual work. We enjoy our subject and our main aim is to communicate this enthusiasm to our students in the hope that they will become lifelong lovers of literature and language in all its amazing variety!

Assessment

At KS3 (Years 7-9), students are assessed each half–term in either reading or writing with an exam at the end of each year. Students’ assessed work can be seen in their exercise books. At KS4 (Years 10-11), all students are prepared for GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature. These are now wholly exam-based. At KS5 (Years 12-13) we offer English Literature, English Language and Media Studies A levels, which all contain a coursework element and a final examination.

Facilities

We have seven purpose-built English classrooms in close proximity to the school library, allowing students easy access to this key resource. Teachers use classrooms in a flexible way so that a classroom can become a research library, a theatre, or a newspaper office. We have a set of small netbook computers and access to ICT rooms.

Additional Activities

Writers are invited to talk with selected year groups. Year 8 students experience a creative writing day and Year 9 enjoy a performance of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by a visiting professional theatre company. Recently we have also been able to take advantage of the National Theatre’s free live screenings for schools. Year 8 enjoyed a spectacular performance of ‘The Tempest’ earlier this year and Year 10 will soon have the opportunity to see a screening of ‘Macbeth’. Throughout the school, we encourage involvement in the additional activities we organise from theatre trips to writing competitions and workshops. We also run a popular creative writing club once a week with the help of a local writer.

Reading Rationale

At Woodroffe students are encouraged to maintain a wide range of reading experiences, both fiction and non-fiction as a matter of routine to develop their understanding of how texts in various forms engage, inform and persuade, and to support the development of vocabulary. As well as in English lessons, this encouragement takes place through the Year 7 Reading programme, through Tutor Group reading sessions, writer visits, access to a well-stocked library, displays and any additional resources that are made available to us.

We cannot over-emphasise the importance of reading widely – both fiction and non-fiction texts – in order to succeed not just in English but across the curriculum as a whole. Please see the recommended reading lists for different key stages in the Reading and Literacy section of the website for ideas.

Writing Rationale

Students are encouraged to engage in a range of writing experiences, both inside and outside the classroom, using their reading as models of good practice. The department runs a creative writing club, advertises a number of writing competitions (for both fiction and non-fiction genres) and holds a creative writing day in Year 8.

Year 7

Students will build on and develop skills taught at upper KS2 by reading a range of fiction and non-fiction texts as well as extracts from fiction and non-fiction texts written before 1900. Whole texts studied include ‘A Christmas Carol’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream.’ Students will also study a variety of poems.

Narrative/descriptive and persuasive writing skills are also taught.

In Years 7 and 8 all students also participate in the ‘Let’s Think in English’ programme, the aim of which is to systematically develop skills of inference, deduction and analysis, in order to increase students’ confidence, understanding and ability to express ideas.

Spelling is taught once a fortnight using the lessons on the PDF files linked below. They all have a personalised spelling book with the spelling strategies sheet to help them.

Title
1. Spelling Plurals
 11 downloads
22nd November 2017 Download
2. More Plurals
 5 downloads
22nd November 2017 Download
3. Even More Plurals
 5 downloads
22nd November 2017 Download
4. Commonly Misspelt Words
 6 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
5. Prefixes
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
6. Adding ‘ing’ to Verbs
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
7. Adding the Suffix ‘ful’
 7 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
8. Adding the Suffix ‘ly’
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
9. Verbs and ‘ed’ Endings
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
10. Adding Suffix ‘able’ & ‘ness’ etc
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
11. Changing Adjectives to Adverbs
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
12. Spelling Test – Weeks 23 & 25
 7 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
13. Double Consonant Rule
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
14. I before E Rule and Exceptions
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
15. Commonly Confused Words
 6 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
16. Homophones
 7 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
17. Etymology Starters
 6 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
18. Foreign Words Starter
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
19. Spelling ‘ough’ Words
 5 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
20. Spelling Homework
 6 downloads
29th November 2016 Download
21. Spelling Strategies
 8 downloads
29th November 2016 Download

Year 8

Students will build on and develop skills taught in Year 7 by reading a broad range of challenging texts from across different genres, including a variety of poems from different eras with a focus on understanding how writers are influenced by their surroundings, culture and literary heritage, as well as personal experience. Whole texts studied include ‘The Tempest’, Sherlock Holmes: ‘A Study in Scarlet’ and ‘The Speckled Band’, and ‘Face’, a modern drama.

Dystopian and Gothic writing units are also taught and, in the summer term, we hold the Year 8 Writing Day when a visiting author will help to inspire students to develop their own story ideas.

Year 9

Students will build on and develop skills taught in Year 8 by studying increasingly challenging texts, both fiction and non-fiction (diaries, reports, recounts, opinion articles, speeches). Whole texts studied include ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ ‘Of Mice and Men’ and pre- and post-1900 poetry previously taught at GCSE.

Narrative/descriptive and persuasive writing units also reinforce and develop skills previously taught in Year 7 in preparation for the writing requirements of English Language GCSE.

In the second half of the summer term we begin the GCSE English Literature course by studying of one of the set texts, J B Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls.’

Glossary of terms:

Context – The situation (including time and place) in which a piece of writing is created and read.
Conventions – Different ways writers write for different purposes and audiences.  For instance a story has a narrator (story-teller) and dialogue.   A newspaper has a headline and begins with a “what happened to whom, when and where?” paragraph.
Dystopian – A genre of fiction in which the world is a place where everything is as bad as it can be.
Genre – The type of text produced:  in fiction – romance, historical, crime, dystopian story.  In non-fiction – journal, diary, news report, persuasive speech or advertisement.
Gothic – A genre of fiction which often contains a supernatural element.
Imagery – A group of words that create a picture – similes, metaphors, (both of which compare one thing to another) and personification (comparing something inhuman or inanimate to a human).
Language – Words – and uses of techniques like imagery.  Students are encouraged to explain why a writer has chosen one word or technique, to be able to explain what effect the writer intended to create for the reader.
Narrator – The story-teller.
Noun phrase – A noun is a person, place, thing, thought or feeling.  When it is described in some way it becomes a noun phrase;  eg cottage (noun); the pretty cottage by the sea (noun phrase).
Perspectives – Can be the views/opinions/responses of the reader, the writer or any of the characters within or referred to in a text.
Rhetorical – Anything to do with persuasive or argumentative speech or writing.  There are devices which are used to support persuasion and argument, such as repetition, rhetorical questions.
Rhetorical question – A question which is asked of an audience and is posed in such a way that agreement with the speaker is assumed.  (Just listen to any politician.)
Structure – In English this is the way a text builds from the beginning (title) to the end, whether it’s a poem, novel, play or piece of non-fiction.
Theme – The ideas that arise from a text (not always explicitly discussed) – we often refer to inference skills and ask students to consider what the writer is expressing through a story.

English Language GCSE

Exam Board – AQA. All texts in the English Language exam will be unseen.

Course ContentAssessment

Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

  • Reading – one literature fiction text post 1900
  • Writing – descriptive or narrative writing

Written exam – one hour 45 minutes forming 80 marks and 50% of GCSE.

Paper 2 – Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

  • Reading – one pre 1900 non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text
  • Writing- writing to present a viewpoint

Written exam – one hour 45 minutes forming 80 marks and 50% of GCSE
Non-examination Assessment – Spoken Language

  • Presenting
  • Responding to questions and feedback
  • Use of Standard English
Teacher set throughout the course – Marked by teacher

Separate endorsement (0% weighting of GCSE)

English Literature GCSE

Exam Board – AQA. All exams in English Literature are closed book.

Course ContentAssessment

Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel

  • Shakespeare – Macbeth
  • 19th Century Novel – Jekyll and Hyde

Written exam – one hour 45 minutes forming 64 marks and 40% of GCSE

Paper 2 – Modern texts

  • Drama – An Inspector Calls
  • Poetry – Love and Relationships cluster from the GCSE Past and Present Anthology
    PLUS a question on a previously unseen poem

Written exam – two hours 15 minutes forming 96 marks and 60% of GCSE

Years 12 & 13

Students need to have achieved Grade 6 as a minimum to proceed to A level. The department offers Media Studies, English Language and English Literature at A level.

You can find out more information about courses offered at A Level by visiting the Sixth Form pages here.

Mrs Farrow

Mrs Farrow

Head of English
Miss Langley

Miss Langley

Head of Literacy
Mr Brown

Mr Brown

Head of Sixth Form
Miss Harley

Miss Harley

English
Miss Mercer

Miss Mercer

English
Mr Middleton

Mr Middleton

English
Mrs Millman Jones

Mrs Millman Jones

English
Mrs Petty

Mrs Petty

English
Miss Trunks

Miss Trunks

English
Mrs Walding

Mrs Walding

Senior English TA