English

Head of Subject:  Miss Stevens:  lstevens@huntcliffschool.co.uk

How the English department at Huntcliff School prepares students for life in modern Britain.

Rationale

The overarching aim of the English and Media Studies Faculty at Huntcliff is to enable every individual pupil to develop their ability to understand and use English in speaking and listening, reading and writing.

There are two distinct but complementary purposes behind this one aim. Firstly, English contributes to the personal development (intellectual, emotional, moral and aesthetic) of the individual child because of the cognitive functions of both spoken and written language in exploratory learning and in making sense of experience, both real and imagined. Secondly, English as a subject contributes to a child’s preparation for the world of the adult: people need to be able to communicate effectively and appropriately in all the wide range of social situations in which they find themselves.

Both aspects of language, the personal and the social, contribute to giving young people an understanding of and a power over their lives. Language empowers!

Thus we aim to be a small community of optimistic endeavour enabling every individual pupil to use and enjoy English in all its infinite variety and richness: to provide our pupils with roots to grow and wings to fly.

Syllabus

KS3

At Huntcliff, we believe that the road to GCSE success starts at KS3. Therefore it is crucial that thecurriculum provides pupils with opportunities to develop the skills they will need at KS4. With that in mind, pupils now study a range of pre and post 1914 literature, comprising of poetry, prose and drama. Pupils also study Shakespearean drama throughout KS3.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar is now taught more rigourously. with all pupils at KS3 taking part in a reading and literacy lesson once a fortnight. In addition to homework set in normal English lessons, pupils are required to read for twenty minutes a night as part of these lessons. Reading regularly will help to improve a pupil's sentence structure, technical accuracy and vocabulary, as well as helping them to develop skills if inference and analysis.

From 2015, English at GCSE will be assessed entirely by exam. In order to prepare KS3 pupils for this, the department have moved away from controlled assessment as a form of asessment and pupils will now be assessed through half-termly tests. Pupils will now be taught how to respond critically to texts both seen and unseen, as well as developing the ability to suit their writing to a wide range of purposes, audiences and formats.

KS4

At Key Stage 4 we offer two different GCSE routes: students will either sit English as one GCSE or they will sit English Language and English Literature together, which will result in two separate GCSE qualifications.

Whatever route they take, pupils are required to complete controlled assessments (taught by the teacher and written during lessons). There is a common exam for English and English Language which covers both reading (information retrieval, inference, writers’ use of language and the use of presentational devices) and two writing tasks. There are two exams for English Literature, one covering modern prose and drama texts and one covering poetry and other cultures prose.

Staff

There are teachers in the Faculty. Between them they have a considerable range of marking external exams and of writing for publication, both in print and on the internet.

In addition there is a dedicated Teacher’s Assistant who is responsible for intervention strategies in Key Stage 3 and a part-time Administrator.

Teaching Area

The teaching area is the English and Media Studies Centre as opened in 2006. It is a light, airy building of five classrooms, an ICT suite, a conference room and an office.

Resources

Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard. There is an enviable access to computers.

Extra Curricular

Members of the Faculty organise visits both from and to Huntcliff. English Masterclasses take place regularly.

Successes

Examination results in English, English Literature and Media Studies have been consistently good. Many ex-pupils go on to study English at A level and university and several have themselves become English teachers.