Welcome to the English Department
English lessons at St. Peter’s are active and interesting, pupils extend their writing, speaking and listening skills and are encouraged to develop a love of reading. They are actively involved in their own learning through lessons which incorporate a wide range of strategies and resources. ICT, Drama and Film are all popular approaches used to encourage the best in teaching and learning. All rooms are equipped an interactive whiteboard and a visualiser.
English at Key Stage 3 is delivered through a combined programme of reading, writing and speaking and listening activities. All pupils follow the same core programme with activities differentiated in order to cater for the full range of abilities. Years 7, 8 pupils are timetabled for three periods of English and whilst Years 9,10 and 11 have four periods a week.
Pupils are initially taught in streamed sets during the first half of the Autumn Term of Year 7. They then move into ability based groups which are frequently monitored and reviewed in order to best cater for the individual needs of the pupils.
Pupils work through a series of units aiming towards an end of unit assessment which focuses on the development and assessment of specific skills. They are involved in peer assessment and self-evaluation activities in order to clarify their understanding of how to progress towards and move beyond their target levels in each strand of the subject. Much of the English Language work covered is delivered through the exploration of literature; covering texts from pre and post 1914, a wide range of genres with opportunities to analyse prose texts, poetry and drama. This year sees the introduction of a more rigorous and uniform delivery of grammar alongside a stronger focus on independent learning in order to prepare pupils for the demands of a linear exam-based qualification.
All pupils are encouraged to participate in subject based competitions organised at local and national levels to further develop their skills .We have recently enjoyed regional and national success in Public Speaking events in conjunction with the Rotary Club.
The vast majority of our pupils are entered for both English Language and English Literature GCSE following the AQA Examination Board. We have followed the new GCSE specifications since September 2010 integrating controlled assessments into our programmes of study. This is due to change to an exam only specification in September 2015. A recent move to linear exams has been thoroughly embedded into the Curriculum. Pupils enjoy the integration of Literature study with Language and we feel the benefits of this approach are reflected in the consistently high level of achievement in terms of A* - C grades. GCSE English language and English literature results are consistently well above the national average.
The English Department offers a variety of activities throughout the year across both Key Stages. Pupils in all years are offered the opportunity to participate in Theatre in Education days, which take place school. Theatre visits to support the key texts covered in school and to provide the valuable experience of engaging with live theatre are regularly embraced. The Department also offers activities to celebrate national events such as World Book Day and provides pupils with opportunities to work with visiting writers and poets each school year. The benefits of enhancing the curriculum through workshops, theatre visits and literacy celebration days e.g. National Poetry Day are clear to see. The students’ enthusiasm enriches their experience of the subject as a whole and creates a learning environment in which excellence can thrive.