English & Media
The English Faculty offers three different disciplines – English Language, English Literature and Media Studies. Teachers with a range of teaching experiences and subject specialisms deliver each of these subject areas. The department aims to equip each student with key literacy skills in both reading and writing, as these skills are the key to success in other academic areas and the world of work.
Students at KS3 are offered a varied programme of literacy skills, speaking and listening projects, library skills, media. I.T. and literature in the form of plays, poetry and novels. Although the focus of KS3 is the SATs examinations in Year 9, the policy is to foster a confident use of language and an enjoyment of different texts.
At KS4, all students take English Language but they may choose between Media Studies and English Literature. Media Studies gives students the opportunity to work on a range of projects from magazines to films to CD covers. Students will also learn about the background of certain types of media such as comic magazines or science fiction films. They will understand a range of technical language and the implications of a ‘target audience’. Final projects require students to explain their choices of technique in terms of the form of media and the expectations of the audience. The Literature course provides an experience of modern drama, a ‘classic’ novel and a range of poetry. To explore these texts, a variety of strategies are used such as role-play, imaginative writing and structured group tasks. In addition, students become confident using literary terms to explain their responses.
For Sixth Form study, each discipline is a popular choice. The ‘A’ Level syllabuses build upon knowledge and understanding from GCSE study . For example, the study of language develops an understanding of the factors which influence language, the importance of context and the ways in which the English Language has developed over the centuries. In Literature, students acquire a sharper understanding of the different genres and the social and historical influences which have affected various writers through the ages. Media Studies refines students’ knowledge of techniques and allows students to explore the social contexts that drive these forms of mass communication.
At all times, in any discipline, the focus is on engaging students and allowing them to experience the power of different styles of communication. The English Faculty works closely with the LRC to give experiences such as writer seminars, understanding research skills and resources for lessons. A visiting drama group provides an interactive workshop on Shakespeare for SATs. Students go on a range of trips and visits such as ‘Poetry Live’ for G.C.S.E. The department has an excellent range of technology from interactive whiteboards to projectors for laptops to visualisers which allow for the instant display of a student’s work or other text. Staff are given regular opportunities to attend courses which give up to date understanding of examination requirements and teaching or assessment strategies.