Learning in English is active and engaging. Encouraging our young people to possess a real love of reading and finding opportunities for them to express themselves as the creative writers, speakers and thinkers of tomorrow are among our top priorities. We have designed a wide and varied curriculum, which includes drama, radio, photography and film-making. Exploration and creation are at the heart of learning in English, as well as the academic rigour required in order to succeed in external examinations. We love to get involved in performances, competitions and challenges that inspire our young people. Every year we also make sure there are several extra-curricular opportunities, such as taking part in local Literary Festivals, performing in the Shakespeare for Schools competition, participating and hosting the Carnegie Book Shadowing event, going on theatre trips and inviting authors in to run workshops and readings.
Teaching is currently in mixed ability within each population for Years 7 and 8, with some smaller supportive groups for those students who really need an extra help with their literacy. From Year 9 onwards the majority of students are in mixed ability groups within both populations, and again we have a smaller group for those who will benefit from extra support. In Year 10, we usually make at least two higher push groups, where we aim to stretch our most able students, and two smaller supportive groups for those students who will find GCSE English particularly challenging. However, our other mixed ability groups will have many very high ability students within them and many students from these groups attain top grades every year. We aim to stretch and challenge all our students and are keen to develop new ways to ensure all our students make excellent progress.
At GCSE level in English, we follow the AQA Specification, entering students for English Language and English Literature (2 GCSEs). We also have a very strong and innovative Media Department who ensure media skills are taught throughout our KS3 English Curriculum, as well as at KS4.
We have an excellent Library which is managed by a full-time librarian who works closely with the English Department. All our classes use the library to encourage wider reading and develop using the Library as a research resource.