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English

Head of Department: Mr M McLauchlan

Members of staff: Mr P Hinchcliffe (Head of Year 11), Mr J Kearney (Assistant Head of Department), Mr C Hollingworth, Mr J Clack, Mr A Canham (Head of Newton House and English Intervention Co-ordinator), Ms E Houlihan and Mrs C Cunningham.

As an English department, we are relentless in our pursuit of academic excellence and rigour. Our rich, robust and well-sequenced curriculum actively encourages students to develop a life-long interest of our language and literature. From Year 7 onwards, we actively seek to broaden and enrich our students’ cultural perspectives by teaching high-quality and challenging literary texts. We also understand the importance of offering students a true breadth of literature from a diverse range of different writers, backgrounds and contexts. Whilst there will always be a place for celebrated canonical writers in our 21st Century curriculum, we are working hard to address the obvious deficit of works produced by writers from different cultures and ethnicities. For example, while our Year 7s will be covering Shakespearean and Medieval Literature, they will also be reading a diverse range of modern poems from different voices. Furthermore, our Year 12s will be studying Tennessee Williams, a tour de force in the African American canon, while deconstructing poems by Shelley, Keats, Byron and Blake. We understand that our literature and language is culturally rich and diverse, and we feel it is imperative that our programme of study reflects this.

Our new KS3 programme of study ensures students are honing their reading and writing skills to guarantee future success at GCSE. For example, our dynamic Reading and Writing workshops, taught alongside our main schemes of work, are designed to help students with their literacy and reading comprehension skills. In addition, students will begin developing their ability to engage in close, detailed analysis of a wide range of different texts. Students will also develop their speaking and listening skills by participating and engaging in lively debates and presentations.

Our KS4 programme of study builds on the powerful knowledge implemented at KS3. Students will learn how to respond to texts critically by exploring language, form, structure, meaning and alternative interpretations. We will also explore a range of different social, historical and cultural contexts and literary traditions.

At KS5, we expect our students to become scholars of English. They will engage in lively seminars and lectures on a range of different issues. We expect our students to be academically challenged and stimulated through our robust programme of study, one which actively encourages our scholars to become increasingly more independent and sensitive to literary analysis. We find that our English students quickly develop key skills that will help them succeed at university and beyond.

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