English language is the root of everything we do; it is how we communicate with each other and how we present ourselves, and our thoughts and ideas, to the rest of the world. For this reason it is essential that students have a strong grasp of the skills involved in being successful readers, writers, speakers and listeners.
The St Clement’s High School English Department is dedicated to making sure every child can enjoy and achieve in their English lessons.
English at Key Stage Three
The English curriculum allows students to learn and improve their basic skills – skills that they will need for the rest of their lives – but should also foster a love of reading and help to build students’ confidence in their abilities and ideas.
In the early years of their secondary education at St Clement’s, students will study a topic-based curriculum. Through subjects such as ‘Monsters’, ‘Childhood’ and ‘Conflict’ students will explore a variety of ideas and learn a huge number of skills. They will be given the opportunity to read and analyse a range of older and modern texts, write their own creative pieces, and engage in group and individual speaking and listening activities.
As well as novels and poetry, we will also require students to analyse and discuss newspaper articles, advertisements and moving image (such as film trailers). This is a hugely important ability as we are constantly bombarded with messages through these mediums; if students are able to distinguish the lies from the truth, advertising from honesty, it will help to keep them safe in the future.
The Department works very closely with the school’s Learning Resource Centre, allowing students to access the Library in lesson time once a fortnight and to regularly use the computers for research and support.
We run off timetable days and trips (to places such as ‘Harry Potter World’) in order to extend students’ learning beyond the classroom and, of course, to have fun!
English at Key Stage Four
The Key Stage Four curriculum builds on the skills and abilities taught at Key Stage Three. Students study for two GCSEs: English Language and English Literature.
In English Language, students work towards examinations which test their reading and writing abilities. These exams ask students to:
- Read, understand and analyse a range of texts
- Make links between a wide range of texts
- Choose quotations and analyse their effect
- Write in a range of formats and styles
- Use punctuation and grammar appropriately
- Use a range of vocabulary, spelled correctly
In English Literature students will need to demonstrate their ability to:
- Read and analyse the language used by writers
- Understand the social and historical context of various texts
- Discuss the themes presented in texts
- Analyse characters’ actions and motives
- Make links between a range of texts
In order to support students to complete these exams we run a range of revision sessions – both in school time, before and after school and during the holidays. We also run trips and activities to further support the students’ learning; this year we are taking Years 10 and 11 to see ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (the theatre recording) and taking year 9 to see ‘The Woman in Black’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’ (theatre performances).
Dates to remember:
- 22nd and 26th May- AQA English Literature examinations
- 6th June – Edexcel English Language Paper 1 examination
- 12th June- Edexcel English Language Paper 2 examination
We hope that whilst supporting students to achieve in these examinations we also prepare them for life beyond school, equipping them with the skills and abilities they will need to succeed.