Welcome to the English Department

Meet Our Staff

  • Miss E Griffiths (Head of Department)
  • Mrs S Wills (Second in Department)
  • Miss H Mangan (KS5 Co-ordinator)
  • Mr G Daly (KS4 Co-ordinator)
  • Mr K McCormick
  • Mrs J Brown
  • Mr J Scott
  • Miss H Mercer
  • Miss S Robson
  • Mrs T Hughes
  • Ms A Connolly

Our curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the best opportunities to be successful in their learning. Our principles focus on depth not just breadth by creating a mastery within the curriculum, which stretches learners and accelerates their progress over their 7 year learning journey at our college. In this section of the website you will find the subject intent, implementation and impact.

Alongside this, are our long and medium term plans which enable all stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the content, knowledge and skills taught within this curriculum area. The long term plan also outlines the cultural capital experiences and career opportunities learners have within the subject, as well as our tailored approach to supporting learners' metacognitive processes. Further to these documents, the discrete sequencing of lessons are in the College's bespoke schemes of work that can be accessed through departments.

'Only the best will do!'

What exactly do they learn?

At KS3 we have a wide selection of literature in place to encourage an appreciation of reading. We explore the literary heritage of a range of texts, to allow for efficient and meaningful acquisition of new knowledge and its relevance in society. This is through units such as: Gothic Genre, Shakespeare's Tragic Hero's, Express Yourself Writing and Language of Warfare. Our KS4 curriculum builds upon the very foundations of KS3 and the interconnectedness of the subject. Learners have to demonstrate an appreciation of literature and be able to critically explore a range of texts commenting and analysing language, structure, form and context. Learners will need to demonstrate competent writing skills through the use of rich vocabulary and varied punctuation that display they have conviction in their responses. Our HAP's are continuously stretched and challenged through the concepts of these units of work and the sequencing of lessons. Oracy skills are fundamental to one's success in this subject as is their ability to express and empower their knowledge and skills of this subject. Our KS5 builds upon the rich knowledge of KS4 as our learners go on to show an appreciation of literature through critically articulating acquisition.

How do you measure attainment and progress?

Learners in KS3 and KS4 are formally assessed during two points throughout the academic year with KS5 learners assessed formally over three occasions per year. Learners are required to demonstrate autonomy from Year 7 by undertaking private study at home in preparation for assessments. Targets are derived from KS2 information and these are intrinsically measured throughout their academic journey. After each formal assessment, learners are encouraged to respond and feedback by making improvements in green. This ensures learners reflect and recall on their knowledge, allowing them to make further progress. KS3 assessments are based on a range of reading and writing skills-based questions which underpins their knowledge for the subject and supports learners developing a flair and originality in English. KS4 and KS5 assessments are exam-based questions, using materials from the awarding body AQA. All learners will receive further classroom intervention if assessments identify gaps in their knowledge, skills and understanding. Teachers will frequently recall prior learning in lessons and this is further supported in consolidations at the beginning of every lesson.

What's the purpose of teaching your subject?

Our intent is to celebrate literature, language and writing in an inspirational and dynamic way. We want learners to absorb the richness of knowledge that they study within the English curriculum and become critical, evaluative and ambitious readers and writers. The breadth and inclusivity of our curriculum enables all learners to engage, flourish and succeed. Our aim is to stretch and challenge all learners and to deepen their knowledge through posing questions using the Archbishop Beck Questioning Charter and increasing stickability opportunities. All learners are challenged throughout the breadth of the English curriculum, which builds upon fundamental skills and allows them to activate and acquire further knowledge. This enables learners to make connections and comparison of knowledge taught throughout their learning journey from primary school to KS3, KS4 and KS5.

What did they learn at primary?

The English Department has forged strong links with feeder primary schools through continuous dialogue; staff have actively taken part in primary writing moderations. Teachers have adequate knowledge and understanding of Early Years, KS1 and KS2 curriculum. Our KS3 curriculum solidifies prior knowledge and skills at KS2 to ensure learners activate new knowledge and skills to have a smooth transition into the KS3 curriculum. Year 6 learners are given a transition reading challenge to undertake to instil the concept of wider reading and independence. We ensure teachers plan using KS2 QLA information to ensure that any gaps in knowledge and skills from KS2 are revisited to ensure they recall their knowledge as they progress into KS3. Learners who arrive below the expected standard undertake the Literacy Catch –up programme that enables these learners to be tracked to ensure they bridge the gaps and make progress in KS3.

What order do you teach things in and why?

Learners are regularly given opportunities to revisit and practice what they know and how to deepen and solidify their understanding in English, which is recognised in the sequencing of the SOW and the High 5 lesson. The content throughout the key stages is coherently and logically sequenced so that it can develop incrementally over time. Tasks undertaken that show progress allow learners to deepen their knowledge of English requiring thought on their part, concepts and connections to prior knowledge.

How do you know that you have a 'good' curriculum?

Our curriculum design for English enables all learners to flourish. We consider gender balance in the approaches we take in relation to texts studied and we have a robust curriculum, which is tailored to meet all our learners' needs through challenge and independence. Outcomes at GCSE are steadily improving, with progress scores going from -0.53 in 2017 to -0.11 in 2018. A 'level results are consistently high, which is reflected in the ALPs indicators.

How do you enrich your subject outside the classroom?

The English department offers an array of enrichment which includes inviting journalists and authors in to talk to learners about the work they undertake and the influence that the subject English had in their early years. Learners are encouraged to attend poetry recitals to support the cultural awareness of this subject. We annually celebrate World Book Day and we have forged strong links with a Dementia Home within the local community where learners visit to undertake reading with the patients in there.