- Our School
- Sixth Form
- Teaching and Learning
Our main aims, when designing and teaching the English curriculum, are to foster a love of the language and its literature and to support our learners to develop their skills in and attain high standards of literacy.
The wide breadth and depth of the topics studied, within the English curriculum, enable our learners to explore themselves, the world around them and beyond. It is a rich exploration of the past, present and future and an opportunity to hear a variety of different voices from different backgrounds and with different perspectives and experiences.
English encourages learners to develop their critical thinking and analytical skills and to ask and answer – why and how?
Throughout the three years, learners will explore a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and develop their skills in reading, writing and oracy.
Our curriculum is designed to provide learners with the requisite skills for G.C.S.E, ‘A’ level and life beyond the classroom.
English is part of the Languages, Literacy and Communication AoLE – along with Welsh and Modern Foreign Languages. The skills developed in all three subjects help learners to express themselves both verbally and in the written form and to listen and read with insight and understanding. The AoLE is developing a coordinated approach to the teaching of grammar and punctuation across the subject areas to help improve and embed vital literacy skills.
Head of Department
2Ic, Whole School Literacy Co-Ordinator
Teacher of English and Media Studies, Director of Sixth Form
Teacher of English, Deputy Headteacher
Term 1: Survival – in this unit, learners will develop their reading and writing skills as they explore how to survive the natural world and their first weeks at school.
Term 2: Twisted Tales – learners will read, explore and analyse a range of classic short stories from the likes of Roald Dahl and Shirley Jackson – each with a twist at the end. They will use this to write their own twisted tales.
Term 3: Visit Wales – here the learners will explore something a little closer to home as they are asked to draw on all their country has to offer and develop their writing skills by persuading would-be tourists to visit Wales.
Term 1: Gothic Horror – fans of Netflix’s ‘Wednesday’ will enjoy this unit as we explore the origins and conventions of the gothic horror genre, read extracts from classics such as ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘Dracula’ and then use all of this to create our own short stories with a dark and stormy edge.
Term 2: Social Media – love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. In this unit, we explore the pros and cons of the “socials” as learners develop their reading, writing and oracy skills.
Term 3: Poisonous Poetry – understanding and analysing poetry a joy in its own right but is also a key skill for the English Literature examination. This unit is designed to develop learners’ analytical skills and essay writing skills and to take the fear out of reading, exploring and enjoying poetry. I
Term 1: War poetry – building on the skills developed in year 8, learners explore a range of poems from a variety of conflicts and attempt to answer the question – How do the poet’s show their views of war and its impact.
Term 2: The Future – this unit covers a range of reading and writing skills needed for both G.C.S.E. English Language and Literature whilst asking learners to explore and discuss what they feel the future holds.
Term 3: Shakespeare – learners will be required to study a Shakespeare play and write an analytical essay in response to an essay question set by the examination board. This will count towards their G.C.S.E. English Literature which they will continue and complete in Year 10.
Involves an in-depth study of a range of literary texts for both examination and coursework. Texts covered are as follows: ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘Heroes’, ‘An Inspector Calls’, a Shakespeare play and a range of poems by Welsh poets. Learners will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the texts and, for some, the context of the time in which they were written. This will culminate in a G.C.S.E. in English Literature by the end of year 10.
The focus, in Year 11, is on the English Language G.C.S.E. This involves learners developing and being assessed on a range of different reading and writing skills. In addition, they will also deliver a presentation and participate in a group discussion which will form 20% of their Language G.C.S.E.
A Level English Literature
The A level Is a continuation and enhancement of the skills developed during the English Literature G.C.S.E with set texts being studied at a more advanced level. Throughout the course, students have the opportunity develop the skills required to interrogate texts, be critically reflective, consider other viewpoints, be independent, make connections across a range of texts and to understand and evaluate the effects of a variety of contexts. The texts currently explored are: a Victorian novel, pre-1914 and twentieth century poetry, two plays from the Renaissance period – Marlowe and Shakespeare - and a comparison of two novels from a specific genre.
A Level English Language and Literature
This A level takes the skills developed during the English Literature G.C.S.E and further enhances them whilst also developing creative writing skills and learning how to analyse the way we speak with different people and in different settings. Throughout the course, students have the opportunity develop the skills required to interrogate texts, be critically reflective, consider other viewpoints, be independent, make connections across a range of texts and to understand and evaluate the effects of a variety of contexts. The course content in Year 12 currently includes pre-1914 poetry, a wide range of creative writing opportunities, commentary writing, the novel ‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote and the play ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams. In Year 13, students explore a Shakespearean play (currently Othello), the novel ‘The Color Purple’ by Alice Walker, and a genre study (currently Crime fiction or the Gothic genre) which includes a comparison of two or more texts within the genre as well as a piece of creative writing, showcasing the knowledge gained from the genre study.
A Level Media Studies
Studying English enables learners to develop a range of high-level and transferable skills.
It could lead to careers in law, the media, PR, journalism, psychology, teaching and lecturing, publishing.