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
This conceptual curriculum is designed to develop pupils' sense of English as an academic discipline by linking its abstract frames and metaphors to concrete examples within challenging texts. Each concept is foregrounded, introduced and exemplified using extracts drawn from both fiction and non-fiction, before being explored in a longer key text, and then revisited to develop a deeper, more nuanced understanding. Concepts can't be separated from each other and taught in isolation, but we are able to foreground each one in turn so that it can be explored and exemplified thoroughly, enabling pupils to develop their own complex schema about English as a subject over time.
The concepts also underpin the teaching of writing and grammar. Throughout KS3, pupils will use the range of texts and extracts they study in their reading as models of writing, which they will emulate. As they practice and become more fluent in a range of writing styles, we hope their own individual style will emerge. As research on the teaching of grammar is inconclusive, we have adopted the approach
favoured by Hochmann & Wexler (The Writing Revolution), which focuses less on technical terminology and more on the relationship between language and thought.
We also run trips and activities through out the school year to support the curriculum and students learning.
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:
- TBC- AQA English Literature examinations
- TBC – Edexcel English Language Paper 1 examination
- TBC- 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.