English is at the heart of the curriculum, enabling our young people to become effective speakers and listeners, readers and writers, as well as thinkers, team-workers and citizens who value themselves and others. Good literacy and effective communication skills promote life-long personal, cultural and civic development. We encourage our pupils to access and enjoy literal and imaginative worlds in equal measure. As a department we aim to develop imaginative, progressive and reflective teaching with adaptable and individualised lessons. We value collaborative learning, but also allow students time for independent development, to nurture responsive students who are keen to take risks in order to develop enquiring minds.
Curriculum at Key Stage 3
During KS3, students take part in a wide variety of engaging activities, developing their skills in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. They explore, analyse and create a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including poetry, prose and media texts and they also participate in Speaking and Listening activities, such as role-play, group discussions and presentations. The emphasis at KS3 is on encouraging engagement and enthusiasm for English, achieved by following a varied, challenging and stimulating curriculum. Our pupils participate in the Rookwood Reading Challenge, which aims to develop an appreciation of and love for reading for pleasure, as well as knowledge. Alongside this, our Key Stage 3 pupils are equipped with the skills to read critically and analytically. Great emphasis is placed on teaching accurate, fluent and sustained writing and our pupils learn how to adapt their style to suit a wide variety of purposes and audiences.
Curriculum at Key Stage 4
As well as continuing to try to foster a life-long love of the English Language, we ultimately aim for our students to fulfil their individual potential and achieve success at GCSE. Each Year group is set according to ability and we aim for the same teacher to take their classes through the two year course, allowing a close working relationship to develop as well as creating a sense of continuity for the pupils. The course combines Language and Literature and at the end of two years all of our students will receive two grades. It has become a ‘linear’ course, which basically means that the students sit all the examinations in the summer after two years of study. Classes complete units of work, each of which prepares them thoroughly for an exam section. At the end of each unit, they sit a practice paper under timed conditions, providing them with both valuable experience and an overview of progress.
Exam Board: AQA English and English Literature
As an experienced team of specialist English teachers we are committed to continuous improvement to teaching and learning, providing a wealth of exciting opportunities that aim to enrich, inspire and develop a passion for language and literature. We offer a comprehensive range of extra-curricular activities, which include regular visits to theatres to support students' understanding of drama in performance. We organise a residential experience in London for Year 9, during which students sleep on HMS Belfast and enjoy a West End theatre performance.
We encourage our young people to enter writing competitions and many have had their work published. Annually we take an active part in Rotary’s ‘Youth Speaks’, entering teams for both Intermediate and Senior levels of the competition. We welcome visits from authors, poets and theatre companies. It is important that our pupils take pride in their work and we ensure that our marking is thorough, prompt and acknowledges individual achievement, as well as areas in need of development. Equally, we promote evaluation and critical analysis, encouraging self and peer assessment.