English & Media
The English Faculty covers the study of 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. ICT and literature in the form of plays, poetry and novels. Although we are laying the foundations for success at GCSE and in later life, the policy is to foster a confident use of language and an enjoyment of different texts.
At KS4, all students take the Eduqas English Language GCSE in Year 11 and normally, students also take the AQA English Literature GCSE at the end of Year 10. The Step Up to English qualification may also be offered according to students’ needs. The Literature course provides an experience of modern texts such as “An Inspector Calls” or “Lord of the Flies”, a ‘classic’ novel such as “A Christmas Carol”, Shakespeare (usually “Macbeth”) 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. Media Studies is available as an optional choice from Year 9 onwards. Students have the opportunity to work on a range of projects such as magazines and films, following the Eduqas course. 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.
For Sixth Form study, each discipline is a popular choice. The A-Level specifications build upon knowledge and understanding from GCSE study. For example, the Edexcel English Language and Literature course develops an understanding of the factors which influence language, the importance of context and the ways in which writers construct a variety of literary and non-fiction texts, both spoken and written. Students get the chance to write their own texts for coursework, as well as studying major literary works for their exam. In Literature A-level, students acquire a sharper understanding of the different genres and the social and historical influences which have affected various writers through the ages, again pursuing the Edexcel qualification. Students can shape their own choice of question in an extended coursework essay in Year 13. Media Studies at A-level refines students’ knowledge of techniques and allows students to explore the social contexts that drive these forms of mass communication, continuing to work towards an Eduqas Media qualification with coursework a major component again.
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. We welcome visiting drama groups to bring to life both Shakespeare and classic texts. Students go on a range of trips and visits such as theatre productions of set texts and a trip to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Year 7. The department has an excellent range of technology including interactive whiteboards, projectors for laptops and 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.