We take pupils on a journey of exploration to discover just how amazing their own language actually is! We start with the idea of myths and legends of Ancient Greek which underpin so many of our classic works of Literature and which add to the richness of many children’s stories. We move on to the famous warrior Beowulf, given them a chance to read the exciting tale in the original old English as well as write their own modern versions of a fable.
Next stop is the work of Shakespeare. Year 7 get a chance to see his villains in action in a number of exciting and bloodthirsty plays. This is followed by a look at Grimms’ Fairy tales – the original and macabre as well as the Disney translations. They finish year 7 with the opportunity to study Love Poetry through the Ages building up their awareness of the different eras of writing and understanding that, while love does not really change, how we write about it certainly has!
Year 8 continues this exploration of the richness of their heritage with further work on Shakespeare and then a chance to experience the very best of Victorian novels. Moving in to the 20th century we study a range of poetry from the First World War. We bring pupils right up to date with a fantastic look at the language of power and influence. Pupils are challenged to listen to the great political speeches of the 20th and 21st centuries and then write their own impassioned arguments.
Year 9 is pivotal in the transition to GCSE. They study a whole Shakespeare play in detail, they dip their toe into American Literature with the modern play A view from the Bridge and spend time developing their reading and writing skills while studying the history and culture of the great city that we are a part of – Manchester.
In addition to our well resourced lessons we offer pupils a chance to read for pleasure every week and build up a wealth of knowledge and vocabulary through reading entire books. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are not forgotten as we help them develop a writing toolkit through their 3 years at KS3 ready for the demands of the new and challenging GCSEs.
Our aim is to enable pupils to achieve their potential in English, helping them to develop the skills needed to move on to further and higher education at the same time as ensuring they are introduced to a wide variety of Literacy texts and cultural knowledge.
Pupils follow the AQA syllabuses for GCSE English Language and English Literature.
In year 10 pupils are encouraged to develop the skills needed for GCSE English Language through studying a range of texts which focus firstly on equality and discrimination in our SOL entitled #alllivesmatter and secondly on adventure and aspiration in our SOL entitled #riskandresilience. For GCSE English Literature pupils study: a 19th century novel (Jane Eyre, Frankenstein and A Christmas Carol are the choices at present); a Shakespeare play – Macbeth; a range of poetry and a modern play. In year 11 more detailed work is done to prepare pupils for the specifics of the exams for both specifications.
At both KS3 and KS4 pupils are assessed regularly to check that they are developing both the knowledge and the skills needed to achieve and make progress. The assessments are based on GCSE style questions from year 7 but the content of the tasks is carefully crafted to ensure that pupils are engaged with the work and not intimidated by the tasks!