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English

The key to success in life is the ability to express your ideas, thoughts and beliefs clearly and coherently, be this through speech, the written word or media.  Communication allows us to interact, participate and think, thus making us valuable members of society.

Good communication is based on a deep understanding of the power of words.  This profound understanding of words is gleaned and developed by consuming words; reading gives us the opportunity to do this.  Reading opens the mind; it takes us on journeys, it provides us with information, it allows us to listen to voices previously unknown, it tells us about history and opinions, it is the basis of modern communication.

It is with this knowledge of words that we can begin to experiment in our own writing and verbal communication.  Armed with words, punctuation and grammar we can become proficient wordsmiths and influence others, drive opinions, support ideas, create wonderful places and take others on our word journeys.

Language is power, life and the instrument of culture, the instrument of domination and liberation.” Angela Carter

 

English Department Vision

The teachers in the English department are committed to developing critical and creative thinkers who collaborate and communicate effectively. We strive to promote inquiry-based learning by using class discussions, Socratic seminars, and research opportunities, where students gather information, use textual evidence to support their claims, and evaluate sources. 

The English teachers help students learn to read critically, evaluate rhetorical strategies, write analytically (including argument and synthesis essays and literary analyses), speak effectively, and to view diverse, complex texts thoughtfully, so they will have the skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex, ever-changing world.  

We seek to inspire and motivate our students – to help them become life-long learners and to understand that reading, writing, speaking, and listening are universal skills that will be used throughout their lives. We strongly believe that the study of language and the imaginative world of literature will help our students to gain empathy, demonstrate tolerance, and consider other perspectives so they can better understand themselves and the world in which they live.

Teaching

Teachers are encouraged to be creative in all lessons in order to ensure that students become independent learners; students should take the lead in the lessons and feel they have ownership of their learning. Schemes of work, provide guidance for teachers and ensure common outcomes are achieved at the end of each half term.

The department is well resourced and has a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts. It is essential that we teach students using both books and new media, therefore every classroom is well equipped. It is through texts that language is explored and analysed. Many moral and ethical issues are raised through reading and students should question opinions and thought, and learn to formulate their own views on society and the world. It is essential they are provided with opportunities to question and debate.

It is our aim to develop students who speak fluently and listen closely thus ensuring they can articulate and deal with the successes and stresses of living in the modern world.

Classes

Students are set on ability. There are 4 one hour lessons a week for KS3 and 5 for KS4, with additional literacy support where necessary in KS3.

Homework

From September the English department will be launching a reading programme that will be interlinked with homework.  We want to encourage every student to read at least six texts for homework over the year, in addition to their classwork curriculum.

Every half term, students will be allocated a fiction or non-fiction text to read and review.

Lessons

In English lessons students will concentrate on the three main skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing. They will be given opportunities to speak, formally and informally, and listen to others with understanding in a variety of settings.  They will also learn the appropriate forms of spoken English for different situations.

They will read a wide variety of novels, poetry and plays, including Shakespeare, and discuss and write about what they have read.  They will also be able to borrow books from the school library and be encouraged to read for their own enjoyment. They will learn how to write in a variety of forms and styles so that they can express themselves confidently and clearly on paper.  The skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught as an integral part of this.

Key Stage 3

Term Year 7 Year 8
1 Poetry From Other Cultures Contemporary Novel
2 Victorian Short Stories Creative Writing
3 20th Century Fiction / Transactional Writing Shakespeare Play
4 Creative Writing Transactional Writing
5 Introduction to Shakespeare Poetry Across Time
6 Modern Drama Comparison and Analysis Skills (19th Century Short Stories & 21st Century Non-Fiction)

 

Additional Support with Reading

Within the English department there is a team of three specialist teachers, dedicated to the teaching of literacy.  They work principally with those in Years 7 - 9.

On transition from primary to secondary school, we have a great deal of helpful information from Year 6 teachers.  At the start of Year 7 we screen all students and use all this data to inform decisions about who would benefit from the literacy programme. 

Small groups have either two or three lessons a week.  Depending on the level, they follow a tightly structured programme of work from dedicated texts, on a wide variety of themes which are written specifically to appeal to teenagers.  The topics covered are often challenging and provoke fascinating discussions.

Our aim is to offer intensive input to support reading in the first few years at secondary school to enhance later results at GCSE and beyond.  This happens in a supportive environment, often allowing nervous or reluctant readers to blossom.

Key Stage 4

Year 9

Literature Course Outline:

Component 1 - Shakespeare and Poetry.  Students will either study:  Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing or The Merchant of Venice, and an Anthology of Poetry from 1789 to the present day (exam - 2 hours).

Component 2 - Post 1914 Prose/Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry.  Students will either study:  Lord of the Flies and Silas Marner, or The Woman in Black and Jekyll and Hyde, or Blood Brothers and A Christmas Carol.  There is an unseen poetry question as well (Exam - 2 hours and 30 minutes).

Year 9 are working towards the Eduqas (WJEC) English Literature where they will sit the exams in June of Year 10.


Year 10

Literature Course Outline:

Component 1 - Shakespeare and Poetry.  Students will either study:  Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing or The Merchant of Venice, and an Anthology of Poetry from 1789 to the present day (exam - 2 hours).

Component 2 - Post 1914 Prose/Drama, 19th Century Prose and Unseen Poetry.  Students will either study:  Lord of the Flies or An Inspector Calls; The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde or A Christmas Carol.  There is an unseen poetry question as well (Exam - 2 hours and 30 minutes).

Year 10 are working towards the Eduqas (WJEC) English Literature where they will sit the exams in June of Year 10.


Year 11

Language Course Outline:

Component 1 - 20th Century Literature Reading and Creative Prose Writing (exam - 1 hour 45 minutes).

Component 2 - 19th and 21st Century Non-Fiction Reading and Transactional/Persuasive Writing (exam - 2 hours).

Component 3 - Spoken Language (Internally assessed).

Year 11 are working towards the Eduqas (WJEC) English Language where they will sit the exams in June of Year 11.

Key Stage 5

Year 12

Year 12 are starting the new specification from Edexcel and will gain an 'A' Level at the end of Year 13.  All exams will be taken in June of Year 13.

Course Outline:

Component 1: Drama - a study of one Shakespeare text and one other drama text using critical essays to analyse the ideas presented (exam 2 hours and 15 minutes).

Component 2: Prose - a study of two texts creating a comparative essay (exam 1 hour).

Component 3: Poetry – a study of poetry from a specific literary period or movement (exam 2 hours and 15 minutes).

Component 4: Coursework – a study of at least two texts across a given theme.  Independent work is encouraged as much as possible with this unit (2500 to 3000 word comparative essay).


Year 13

Year 13 are continuing on to the 'A2' Level Edexcel course adding a further 2 units to their 'AS' level qualification to gain their 'A' Level qualification.

Course Outline:

Unit 3 - Prose and poetry, including texts published after 1990.  Three prescribed texts from a choice of six, including at least one text published after 1990 and both prose and poetry. Unit 3 is assessed through an exam in June.

Unit 4 - Content Summary: Poetry, prose or drama for independent study from a free choice of texts.  Assessment is through coursework of 2500-3000 words maximum, including quotations.  Either one extended study, or two shorter studies, or a creative response with a commentary.

 

Equipment

Students are required to provide their own pens, pencils and coloured pencils.  It is also advisable for each student to have his/her own pocket-sized dictionary and thesaurus.

How Parents Can Help

Parents can help by regularly asking their child what they learned in English that day.  By explaining what they have learned, this will enable students to reflect on their learning and allow parents to be proactive in their child's development in English. Additonally, by providing their child with a quiet place to complete homework; by encouraging them to join a local library; and to read and write for their own enjoyment, encouraging them to read non-fiction such as newspapers.

Prospectus

We invite you to take a look through the Knole Academy prospectus to discover the wealth of opportunities available.

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