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Subject Leader: Ms C Bishop
Staff: Ms R Ellis – 2nd in Department and i/c Key Stage 4
Ms J Colley – i/c Key Stage 3
Ms N Oldroyd – jointly i/c Key Stage 5
Ms E Clark – jointly i/c Key Stage 5
Mrs N Creedy – Teacher of English
Mrs S Ingham – Teacher of English
Ms K White – Teacher of English and Humanities
Ms J Thomas – Teacher of English
Ms K Aggio – Assistant Principal
The Waingels English department is passionate about literature, communication and creativity. We aim to foster this passion in our students, while also equipping them with the skills they need to be successful in any future career they choose to pursue. These skills include the need to analyse and infer; how to accurately and effectively communicate in different situations; skills of empathy and understanding, and the ability to recognise and comprehend the experiences of people from other backgrounds, cultures and time periods.
Our curriculum is designed to develop these skills, and to prepare students as best we can for their GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. While the skills the students are building remain constant, we cover a range of topics, texts and themes to give variety and promote engagement.
Years 7 & 8
At the beginning of year 7, we introduce students to the skills needed for English at secondary school through the study of a novel. From this, they will then be introduced to poetry, creative writing, heroes in non-fiction texts and Shakespeare. In year 8 there is a similar breadth to the topics studied, including another Shakespeare play, War Poetry and the currently very popular genre of dystopian writing.
Across year 7 and 8, students are assessed at the end of each unit. The assessments take a variety of forms but are all linked to the future assessment they will face in the GCSEs. Student progress will be measured and tracked, with opportunities for them to work on any skills identified as needing improvement before that skill is assessed again.
Students will receive a weekly reading homework, as well as a vocabulary homework designed to stretch and improve the language they use. Information about this will be shared with parents regularly.
Year 9 – Transition Year
In Year 9, the texts that students study are challenging and powerful, designed to be a stepping stone between the beginning of Key Stage 3 and the higher level of GCSE. Students study ‘Of Mice and Men’, as well as a GCSE level play. They are also introduced to the specific question styles of their GCSE English Language exam.
In the final term of Year 9, we begin the GCSE Literature course by studying Romeo and Juliet, which will then be returned to at the start of Year 10.
Years 10 & 11
English Language and English Literature are compulsory for all students. Both are assessed completely by examination, which take place at the end of Year 11. There is an additional qualification in Spoken Language, which requires students to present and answer questions on a topic of their choice. The GCSE Language course is entirely skills based; students have to apply reading and writing skills to unseen tasks in their exams. In GCSE Literature, students will study three texts and a collection of poetry and need to know these in detail before their exams. They will also be asked to approach unseen poems and write about their own personal responses to these. The course is varied, we study texts from a wide variety of writers and contexts.
The new specifications can be accessed here:
A weekly English clinic runs for students to receive extra help or ask for further clarification on things covered in class. We run scheduled revision sessions in year 11, as well as reading groups and discussion groups aimed at students of various abilities and needs.
English Language and English Literature are both popular options at A level. Studying an English A level is superb preparation for many careers and degrees such as Law, History, Marketing, Business, Politics, Journalism, Advertising, Publishing and many, many more. With an English A level, students can prove to employers and universities that they are analytical, articulate, creative and thoughtful.
English Language A Level (AQA):
In this course, the students will study many different aspects of language, ranging from the language used by different social groups to the development of language in young children. The first section of the A level exam requires a close reading of texts and an exploration of the different aspects of language used; there is also an assessment of a student’s writing skills. There are two Non Examined Assessments on this course. The first requires students to produce a personal investigation in to any aspect of language that interests them, collecting and analysing their own personal data. The second piece is a creative writing task.
English Literature A Level (AQA Specification B):
Students on this course study a variety of texts (poetry, prose and drama) through the lens of a particular genre. For Paper 1, they will explore texts that could be considered tragedies (Othello by William Shakespeare, Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and poetry by John Keats). In the second year of the course, students consider elements of texts that are considered Political and Social Protest writing (The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Kiterunner by Khaled Hosseini and poetry by William Blake). In their Non Examined Assessments, students apply their knowledge of literary criticism to the poetry and novels of their choice.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
The English department offers a huge range of extra curricular opportunities to further broaden our students’ experiences of English. These include theatre trips, trips to the Harry Potter Studio Tours, A Level study days and external workshops.
World Book Day is celebrated emphatically at Waingels with a range of events and activities showcasing the love of reading shared by staff and students of Waingels.