Croeso i’r Adran Saesneg
Welcome to the English Department
Mrs B Beer Literacy Coordinator
Mrs L Brown
Mrs D MacDonald ALNCo
Mrs A Owen Learning Leader - English
Ethos and Aims
- The English department is a confident, cohesive team of professional teachers, committed to developing methodologies and strategies that will engage and motivate pupils of all ages and abilities.
- The core aim of the department is to enable pupils to grow and develop as confident, accomplished speakers, listeners, readers and writers who will become sensitive and informed users of the language. We believe in promoting the enjoyment of English as a core activity in each pupil’s learning, encouraging them to acquire the communication skills necessary to live as free-thinking, literate and responsible members of the community.
- At the heart of the department’s approach is an understanding that teaching and learning are not mutually exclusive but rather that good learning is reliant on good teaching. The department aims to value and nurture the contribution of all pupils in order to build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of responsibility and to help all pupils develop the basic skills for life and modern living. All pupils engage in their learning and we expect active participation in the lesson, encouraging pupils to take ownership of their work through original approaches to set tasks.
- English classrooms are clustered in C block and the Special Needs suite in B block. Teachers are able to use this opportunity to sustain close day to day links, discussing classroom organisation and teaching strategies, sharing resources and developing new approaches and drawing on one another’s experience and expertise to agree assessment levels on an informal basis.
- The classrooms are colourful, well-organised learning environments with displays of pupils’ work, books and language displays designed to enhance skill development.
Key Stage 3
- Throughout Key Stage 3 (years 7, 8 and 9) pupils are placed into ability sets and receive six lessons a fortnight of English. Teachers follow each class through from Year 7 to Year 11, developing a rapport with the pupils, though appropriate movement between sets is discussed by teachers on a termly basis. Teachers in the department place great emphasis on building a code of shared high expectations and developing a team ethos in the classroom while stressing individual responsibility. The relationship between the classroom teacher and pupils is an integral part of successful teaching for learning and the English department prides itself on the quality of that relationship between pupil and teacher.
- Schemes of Work are based around a class novel and cover the range of skills outlined in the National Curriculum. The department believes in an holistic approach to the teaching of English, recognising the interrelatedness of oracy, reading and writing. The sequence of activities and key tasks are designed to engage pupils through the variety of teaching approaches, recognising that pupils have different learning styles: visual, auditory and kinaesthetic.
- There are regular assessments of reading, writing and oracy with the results being used to track pupils’ performance and inform movements between sets.
Key Stage 4
- It is a requirement in Wales that all pupils follow the GCSE English Language course. Study takes place over 2 years, with some overlap with English Literature which is the main focus in year 10. The three areas for English Language study are:
· Speaking and Listening
- Pupils will complete 2 oracy controlled assessments which must be recorded:
· An Individual Researched Presentation from a list of set themes
· A group discussion, based on a stimulus set by the WJEC
These contribute 20% of the final mark.
- There will be also 2 examinations lasting 2 hours each, testing reading and writing skills. Each examination is worth 40% of the final mark.
- The majority of pupils will complete the GCSE English Literature course and examinations in the summer of year 10 and be awarded the GCSE in that year.
- Pupils will complete a controlled assessment involving the study of a Shakespeare text and a selection of poetry worth 25% of the final mark.
- There will be 2 examinations lasting 2 hours each, assessing students’ knowledge and understanding of a range of texts, including contemporary and literary heritage drama and prose. Most pupils study Of Mice and Men, Blood Brothers and A Christmas Carol, although texts are subject to change.
- 101 Ways to Get Your Child to Read by Patience Thomson offers plenty of practical tips to help you support your child with reading and explains some of the problems that some children experience when learning to read.
- BBC Bitesize. The BBC website has plenty of interactive activities to help children improve their understanding and use of the rules of grammar and punctuation:
From this site you can also navigate your way to resources on many of the texts studied for GCSE
- The Shmoop website has study guides for a wide range of GCSE Literature texts, including this one for Of Mice and Men:
- The WJEC website includes resources devised for teachers but many of these will be useful to kickstart revision in a wide range of subjects including English:
The online exam review gives real examples of pupils’ exam responses, alongside the mark scheme and
Past papers and mark schemes are also available: