We aim to create the very best communicators, readers, writers and thinkers. The functions of literature and language in enabling students to lead the best possible lives are at the forefront of our curriculum. Through the teaching of English Language, we strive to provide students with the language capacity to navigate and succeed in courses of their own choosing post-16, as well aiming to inspire those who aspire to pursue more language-based careers such as journalism, writing, education or speech therapy.
With English Literature, we ensure students engage with texts from different historical periods and a variety of cultures, whilst developing the critical faculties to evaluate the ideas and the craft in these texts. We challenge students to think, act and speak like those working in the field would: to read like writers, to write like writers, and to speak like orators.
We teach a range of activities that demand students think inquiringly and independently, developing their ability to articulate ideas confidently, thoughtfully and with precision, politeness and accuracy, and to listen to, evaluate and respond to the opinions of others. Enthusiasm is modelled by our staff and praised in our students who are engaged and motivated to do well.
As a department we define the knowledge our students need and help them recall it by having a carefully mapped progression through our curriculum, with content, concepts and skills clearly defined in all of our schemes of work. All students have access to the content they need at all times via the use of Firefly.
We build the Cultural Capital of our students by teaching texts in context. We ensure that the curriculum covers both key writers in the traditional canon, and examples of literature and language from a range of times, cultures and traditions, making clear how language and literature have been and can be instrumental in changing the world we live in.
Collaborative curriculum planning lies at the heart of what we do in the department. Our curriculum covers the different areas of reading and writing fiction and non-fiction, alongside the study of literary texts each year with the sophistication of the skills gradually increasing; with regular spiralling back to ensure the key content is secure. Discussion and debate are a regular feature of lessons, as is extended reading and writing.
Wherever possible, we engage students with real-life contexts to enable students to connect their learning with the world beyond the classroom.
Our students demonstrate the impact of our curriculum through their assessments, feedback and during their dedicated reflection and improvement time in lessons. The quality of teaching and learning in English has been praised during learning walks by both internal and external observers, and further impact can be measured through book looks and student voice feedback.
Examination results demonstrate an improving upward trend in both Language and Literature. Most importantly, students frequently express their enjoyment of the subject and many go on to study English further at A level.