Welcome to the English Department
Our curriculum is designed to equip students with the skills to be successful and confident communicators. In addition, we aim to embed a deep respect and appreciation for literature's role in shaping and challenging society.
We believe that the ideas, issues and topics that we explore in English will help to form, as well as to challenge, the attitudes and opinions of all our students, making them reflective and active learners.
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 learning through lessons incorporating a wide range of strategies and resources.
English at Key Stage 3 is delivered through an integrated programme of reading, writing and speaking and listening activities. All pupils follow the same core programme with activities differentiated to cater for the full range of abilities. In Years 7 & 9, pupils are timetabled for four 100-minute periods of English per fortnight. In Year 8, they receive three sessions of 100 minutes over the fortnight. In KS4, Year 10 pupils have four periods a fortnight, which increases in Year 11, so pupils have five periods across the fortnight.
Pupils are placed into mixed-ability sets on arrival in Year 7. Following the completion of baseline tasks and skills tests, teachers can tailor their curriculum delivery to individual needs whilst following the Curriculum Map for Year 7. Pupils' work is frequently monitored, and their progress is reviewed at timely intervals each year to inform further planning and support strategies.
At Key Stage 3, Pupils work through a series of units during which they focus on developing, enhancing and assessing key skills in reading, writing, literature and spoken language. In addition, they are involved in peer assessment and self-evaluation activities to clarify their understanding of how to progress towards and move beyond their target levels in each subject strand. At this stage, pupils are introduced to the assessment objectives for each subject strand in line with the new specification GCSE syllabus and examinations.
Much of the English Language work is delivered by exploring literature, covering texts from pre and post-1914 and a wide range of genres, with opportunities to analyse prose texts, poetry and drama.
Pupils will also receive a rigorous and uniform delivery of grammar alongside a stronger focus on independent learning to prepare pupils for the new linear exam-based qualification demands. Reading for pleasure is encouraged via our ‘Magic 3’ reading programme, during which pupils are encouraged to select their own reading material and produce highly creative responses to the texts covered. This supplements the use of Accelerated Reader in Years 7 and 8, reinforcing the integral nature of reading independently to academic success and improved student well-being.
Most of our pupils are entered for English Language and English Literature GCSE following the AQA Examination Board. Both qualifications culminate in two challenging examination papers at the end of the courses.
A recent move to linear exams has been thoroughly embedded into the spiral curriculum to extend pupils ‘knowledge and understanding of the assessment requirements. 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 are also provided opportunities to develop their public speaking skills and participate in regional and national competitions, where we have experienced regular success. The pupils’ enthusiasm for these activities enriches their experience of the subject as a whole and creates a learning environment in which excellence can thrive.
Mr S McGuire
Head of Department
Associate Assistant Headteacher
Miss J Donnelly
In charge of KS4
Mrs S Pilkington
In charge of KS3
Miss S Luisa
Miss N Ainscough
Mrs A Anglesea
Mrs D Keulemans
Mrs S Pendleton
Miss S Belshaw
Mrs S Dawber-Taylor
Pupils follow: the AQA English Language Syllabus (8700).
This course covers:
- Paper 1 Explorations in creative reading and writing 1 hr 45 mins
- Paper 2 Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives 1 hr 45 mins
More information can be found here - http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english language-8700
Pupils follow: the AQA English Literature Syllabus (8702).
This course covers:
- Paper 1 Shakespeare and the 19th century novel 1 hr 45 mins
- Paper 2 Modern texts and poetry 2 hrs 15 mins
More information can be found here - http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english literature-8702
A number of GCSE English Language revision websites still have content that is relevant from the old GCSE’s. Whilst some of these will cover the same skills, the questions will not be worded in the same way or have the same focus. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that pupils check the exact requirements of the Syllabus reference number and the examination board.
Some useful sites are:
Gcsepod - Login via username and password provided in school.
AQA GCSE Language 9781782943693
& online support 9781782944140
AQA Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for Grade 9-1 GCSE Study Guide 978847628916
AQA Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar for Grade 9-1 GCSE Study Guide Complete Study & Practice (with online edition) 978847621474
AQA Macbeth 9781841461168
AQA A Christmas Carol 9781782943099
AQA An Inspector Calls 9781841461151
AQA Blood Brothers 9781782943112
AQA Poetry Love & Relationships 976782943624
AQA Unseen Poetry 9781782943648
Where does it lead?
Studying English, both Language and Literature can lead pupils into fulfilling and challenging careers in education, journalism, digital copywriting, editorial assistant, lexicographer and writing. It is also valuable for the following areas: advertising, administration, and public relations, to name a few.
Studying English at degree level does not limit career opportunities to those listed above, as many employers value the academic skills demonstrated by successful completion of study in this area.
See your Careers Advisor for further information.
What our parents and pupils say.
Comments taken from English Department Review
- Parents feel that the education and offer their children receive from the English department is outstanding.
- All the parents felt that the relationships the teachers develop are positive. Teachers are approachable, and pupils are comfortable asking for help.
- Pupils of all abilities enjoy the subject.
- Pupils are given confidence in English to develop their subject skills and life skills
- Standards in terms of expectations and work produced are high.
- The department offers appropriate differentiation and stretch, and challenge.
- Parents and pupils are enthusiastic and appreciative of extracurricular opportunities such as public speaking competitions.
Updated: Mar 2023