Head of Subject: Miss Stevens: firstname.lastname@example.org
How the English department at Huntcliff School prepares students for life in modern Britain.
The overarching aim of the English Faculty at Huntcliff School is to enable every 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: we all need to be able to communicate effectively and appropriately in the wide range of social situations in which we might find ourselves.
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 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.
At Huntcliff School, we believe that the road to GCSE success starts at KS3. Therefore it is crucial that the curriculum 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 rigorously with all pupils at KS3 taking part in a reading and literacy lessons once a fortnight. In addition to homework set in normal English lessons, pupils are required to read for twenty minutes per night. Reading regularly will help to improve a pupil's sentence structure, technical accuracy and vocabulary, as well as helping them to develop skills of inference and analysis.
English Language and English Literature GCSEs are both assessed entirely by a terminal exam at the end of KS4. In order to prepare KS3 pupils for this, progress will be assessed through regular (usually 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.
At Key Stage 4 we offer two GCSEs to all pupils, English Language and English Literature. As a department we feel that taking both GCSEs is essential for a rounded understanding and development of reading, writing and analytical skills.
The English Language exam consists of two papers (one fiction and one non-fiction) with a range of reading tasks and an extended writing piece. There are also two papers for English Literature, one covering modern prose and drama texts and one covering a Shakespeare play, anthology poetry and an unseen poetry task.
The staff within the faculty are all specialists and have a considerable range of teaching experience between them. There are also GCSE markers for English Language as well as a dedicated lead for both KS3 and KS4. Teaching Assistants regularly assist with classes as well as acting as readers and scribes for pupils as necessary.
The teaching area is a dedicated building that is light and airy. It consists of five classrooms, an ICT suite and an office. Each classroom has an interactive whiteboard.
Members of the Faculty organise visits both from and to Huntcliff School in order to enrich the study of both English Language and English Literature. There are also intervention classes held to support the study of these at GCSE level.
Examination results in English Language and English Literature have been consistently good. Many ex-pupils go on to study English at A level and university and several have themselves become English teachers.