Head of Department: Mrs A Russell
It is our intent for the English curriculum to be enjoyable for students - enthusing, inspiring and challenging them, whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills to be successful in the Language and Literature GCSE examinations at the end of Year 11. English will expose our students to a broad range of literary and non-fiction texts (in a range of forms – not just the written word) and allow them to engage with, and understand, a wide range of writers’ viewpoints and perspectives – as well as encouraging them to explore their own imaginations and emotions through composition. The teaching of English makes links to numerous other curriculum areas and will help to develop critical reading and interpretation skills that can be applied usefully in other curriculum areas. Additionally, the English curriculum will promote the respect of diversity, whether it be social, cultural or religious, through the variety of historical and contemporary texts that are studied.
Studying English at Priestlands will strengthen key literacy skills and equip our students with the reading, writing and speaking skills required to enable them to access all post-16 pathways.
By the end of Key Stage 3 students will be familiar with a range of literary eras, including Elizabethan, Victorian, Gothic, Romantic and contemporary. They will have sound knowledge of these historical periods and be able to make contextual links to the texts that they study in class. Within these eras, students will become familiar with a variety of challenging classic texts such as ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘Dracula’ and ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’; as well as range of esteemed authors and poets such as Shelley, Poe, Orwell, and Wilfred Owen. As well as classic texts, students will read and analyse more contemporary poetry, fiction and non-fiction developing critical and evaluative skills as they recognise and explore contextual and stylistic links. Students will be given opportunities to develop their literacy skills by writing creatively, taking inspiration from the texts they have read in class. In their writing, students will be able to demonstrate the ability to make ambitious vocabulary choices and a use range of literary devices, adapting their work for a variety of audiences and purposes.
By the end of Key Stage 4 students will be familiar with the works of a range of authors and poets, spanning several literary eras, including Shakespeare, Stevenson, Golding and a range of classic and contemporary poets. They will be able to demonstrate their understanding of the contexts in which the texts were written. They will be able to read and respond to the different texts and develop informed, original and personal responses that identify both implicit and explicit meanings, making competent use of textual references to support interpretations. Students will know how to analyse the language and structure used in a text as well as being able explain their effects on the reader. Students’ knowledge of relevant subject terminology will be sophisticated, and they will be able to use this vocabulary accurately in their own writing.
In addition to the breadth of reading skills, KS4 students will be able to create their own creative compositions that demonstrate their ability to communicate clearly, effectively and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences. They will be able to organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to support coherence and cohesion of texts. Students will be able to use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.
Finally, by the end of Key Stage 4, English students will have researched, planned and delivered their own individual spoken presentation, to an audience.
In addition to what goes on in the classroom, we offer a range of extra- curricular activities. These include book clubs (such as the Carnegie Award), writing competitions, public speaking events and a school newspaper that is written by students, for students.
The teaching of English makes links to numerous other curriculum areas and will help to develop critical reading and interpretation skills that can be applied usefully in other curriculum areas. Additionally, the English curriculum will promote the respect of diversity, whether it be social, cultural or religious, through the variety of historical and contemporary texts that are studied.