Salesian School

Enlightening minds, uplifting hearts

English

Head of Department: Mr David O'Reilly

In the English Department, we are extremely proud to be able to share our own love of reading and writing with our students. Our goal is to have enriched students' lives through the written and spoken word and to send them out into the world as confident communicators.

Key Stage 3 English

Students study English for 7 hours per fortnight in year 7 and 6 hours per fortnight during Years 8 and 9. English is key to success across the curriculum and in life and we try to ensure a balanced and well rounded interaction with the subject across all years, whilst also fulfilling National Curriculum requirements.

In each year, students study the following topics:

  • A novel
  • A range of poetry on a theme
  • At least one play (including Shakespeare)
  • Media and Non-fiction
  • Speaking and Listening

Each unit of study is designed to be both an enjoyable exploration of the richness and variety of English language and literature, and form preparatory steps towards the GCSE syllabus. We endeavour to provide students with the opportunity to explore literature from a range of periods in order to ensure they are comfortable with the various language forms and techniques, thus easing the transition to KS4 in year 10.

Extra-curricular opportunities include: Year 7 Creative Writing Group, Extreme Reading Competition, Annual Book Fair. We are planning to set up a KS3 reading group and take part in the Poetry by Heart competition. We have also previously organised trips to the Globe Theatre.

Key Stage 4 English

English is a core subject at GCSE and most employers and further education institutions expect students to hold at least a C grade as an indicator of their literacy and readiness for further study or work.

Students study English for 7 hours per fortnight during Key Stage 4. Students will study one Shakespeare play, one heritage novel, a novel from a different culture, the way spoken language is used and varies, a variety of poetry and a modern drama. They will also study the forms and genres of media and non-fiction, and learn techniques to support their own creative and factual writing.

We currently follow the AQA syllabus, although this is under review in light of current GCSE changes. The course is assessed through a combination of examination and controlled assessment.

For more information, see the current GCSE Options Booklet.

Progression opportunities

Studying English at GCSE leads directly to A Levels in English Language and/or English Literature, as well as being fundamental to all other subjects where there is a written component. You can find out more on our Sixth Form pages.

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