Aims of the Department
Pupils will develop high standards of literacy in order to enable them to communicate their ideas and to participate fully as a member of society. Through studying key texts, pupils will have the opportunity to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually.
Strengths of the Department
All pupils will be challenged to build upon the progress that they have made at KS2 whilst understanding the importance of reading for pleasure. They will read increasingly challenging material from a range of fiction and non-fiction (both pre-1914 and contemporary) and they will learn to analyse texts independently.
When writing, they will learn how to write accurately and fluently by writing for a range of audiences and purposes. They will also plan, draft and edit their work and consolidate and build upon their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. To develop their spoken English skills they will be given the opportunity to give short presentations and participate in debates.
The English Department achieves excellent results. In August 2017 79% of pupils achieved A*-C grades in English.
We are also very proud of the partnerships that we have formed with the wider community:
- We have recently been involved in a project entitled ‘Mother Tongue, Other Tongue’ where pupils worked with the poet Carol Ann Duffy to produce and perform their own poem, which celebrated cultural diversity and bilingual speakers in Manchester.
- We have worked with Manchester University and The Manchester Museum on the ‘Voice Box’ project to celebrate 10 years of the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama.
- We work closely with other schools in Manchester to share good practice and we were recently entered, and won, the inter-school writing competition.
- Due to our fantastic central location we are able to make full use of all the opportunities that the city offers us such as theatre trips, cinema screenings, author visits and links to the various universities.
KS3 English Curriculum
In the Autumn term pupils study a range of range of extracts linked by the theme 'New Schools. They then move on to analysing the novel ‘Holes’ (by Louis Sachar) in order to make inferences and focus on the writer’s use of language and structural devices. In the Spring term pupils develop their understanding of poetic devices and write this up in the form of an analytical essay. They also explore the conventions of non-fiction texts and write for real audiences and purposes. In the Summer term pupils analyse a Shakespeare play in order to understand how the work of a dramatist is communicated effectively. Pupils also follow the Accelerated Reader scheme to further develop as independent readers.
In the Autumn term pupils study a range of texts (including whole novels and poetry) linked by the theme of ‘War and Conflict’. They build upon the analytical skills taught in Year 7 and read critically to explain how language, grammar, text structure and organisational features affect meaning. In the Spring term pupils follow the ‘Travel Writing’ unit in order to analyse non-fiction texts and write for a range of audiences and purposes. Pre-1914 short stories are also compared in order to explore how tension is built effectively. Pupils also develop their spoken language as they present information and participate in debates. In the Summer term pupils explore a second Shakespeare play and further develop their analytical skills.
Year 9 is a transition year in that it prepares pupils for the demands of GCSE. Throughout the year, pupils will study a range of texts, including prose, poetry and drama. They will write for a range of audiences and purposes and will continue to focus on sentence construction and punctuation. Pupils will also practise writing under examination conditions to develop their examination technique.
KS4 English Curriculum
All pupils will follow both the AQA English Language and Literature two year courses. The courses consist of examinations only. Pupils will be awarded a 1-9 level (with 9 being the highest) and not an A*-G grade.
Pupils will be assessed by two examination papers (of equal weighting) and both contain a Reading and Writing section.
Paper 1 (1hr 45mins)
- In Section A (Reading) pupils will answer 4 questions to show their understanding of a literature fiction text. They will be expected to identify explicit and implicit meaning and analyse/evaluate the writer’s use of language and structure. In Section B (Writing) pupils will be asked to describe or narrate. In this task they will be expected to communicate their ideas clearly and to use accurate spelling, punctuation and vocabulary. They will also be asked to employ a range of sentence structures in their written work.
Paper 2 (1hr 45mins)
- In Section A (Reading) pupils will answer 4 questions to show their understanding of one non-fiction and one literary non-fiction text. They will be assessed on their ability to identify explicit and implicit meaning, summarise information, analyse language and compare writers ideas and perspectives. In Section B (Writing) they will be asked to write in order to present a viewpoint. The skills required here are the same as Paper 1.
Pupils will sit 2 exams at the end of their 2 year Literature course where they will be asked to write in detail about an extract and the play/novel as a whole. Pupils will be assessed on their ability to analyse the writers’ methods, use subject terminology, support their points with evidence from the text and to explore/compare ideas presented by different writers.
Paper 1 (40% 1hr 45mins)
- Shakespeare (Macbeth) and 19th Century Novel (Christmas Carol).
Paper 2 (60% 2hr 15mins)
- Modern Texts: Either ‘DNA’ by Dennis Kelly or ‘An Inspector Calls’ by Priestley.
- Poetry: From the AQA ‘Love And Relationships’ Cluster.
- Unseen Poetry: