St Michael's
We believe that a three way partnership between the school, its students and their parents is vital to success

English

  A downloadable version of this information can be found here.

Overview

The English department is a well-established and successful department at St Michael’s. The department has long-standing members of staff alongside newly qualified teachers.

The department is driven by the belief that English is essential to the pupils’ progress across the whole curriculum. Consequently, there is assiduous attention paid to the technical areas of writing together with a desire to foster a love and enjoyment of literature.

What skills will pupils develop?

The skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening are of vital importance in many areas, both in school-life and life beyond the classroom. These skills are essential in many careers and in addition to this they underpin successful study at all levels.

What will help pupils to learn?

The English department use a variety of teaching tools and strategies in order to engage pupils and ensure that pupils across the ability bands are able to progress. Learning is differentiated to meet the needs of the students. The English department set the students to ensure that their individual needs are met.

In both Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, we have an academic coach to support in lessons and support pupils in additional interventions to ensure they are able to progress. Intervention groups are decided each half-term based on teacher assessment and teacher recommendations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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KS3 Assessment

Throughout their time with us in English, pupils are assessed against GCSE 9-1 criteria so that their curriculum, while broad and creative in scope, leads them on a flightpath towards GCSE success. All pupils are assessed upon entry and their starting point upon this flightpath is then decided for them so that the learning they experience is tailored to their needs. Some pupils may have more complex needs and we feel that it is right for them to begin on P levels; those who need some support begin on a transitional phase and other pupils start on GCSE criteria from the beginning of their experience. Our pupils come to us from a broad range of backgrounds, abilities and with a diverse set of needs and we feel that our assessment criteria offers a starting point and trajectory for all.

The pupils will have two continuous assessments per half-term together with three formal assessments. Homework is set on a regular basis and this is also used to inform pupil progress. Homework maybe skills-based related to the topics covered in class or individualised based on an assessment of pupils’ areas for development.

KS4 Course Structure/Overview

English Language

Pupils will experience a varied diet of language from a literary perspective and the everyday world around them, exploring and evaluating both nineteenth-century fiction and twentieth and twenty-first century non-fiction texts. There is a key focus on spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and the development of creative ideas through writing. Further to this, pupils will explore their own views and opinions through the construction of non-fiction writing such as writing to persuade and argue in various formats such as letters, articles and reports.

English Literature

This course is based on the conviction that the study of English literature should centre on informed personal responses to a range of texts in the genres of prose, poetry and drama. Teachers and pupils have some flexibility in the texts studied to enhance and encourage the enjoyment and success of analytical reading skills. Texts studied will help pupils develop an appreciation of the breadth and power of the English literary heritage whilst shaping personal viewpoints and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. The course will also allow pupils to understand how the social, historical and cultural contexts of literary works are significant when informing a critical evaluation. The course aims to enable pupils to connect ideas, themes and issues relatable to the real world.

KS4 Assessment

English Language

Assessment:

  • Pupils will complete two examinations: one focused on nineteenth-century fiction and imaginative writing; the other focused on twentieth and twenty-first century non-fiction and transactional writing. Paper 1 is worth 40% of the overall grade. Paper 2 is worth 60% of the overall grade.
  • Speaking and Listening will be assessed but this will not support the overall grade achieved. Pupils will be awarded either a pass, merit or distinction.
  • This course is not tiered and pupils will be graded on a nine-point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the highest grade.

Pupils must demonstrate their ability to:

  • read and understand texts, selecting material that is appropriate to its purpose. Develop skills that enable cross-referencing and comparison;
  • develop personal interpretations and perspectives of writers’ intentions and craft (making links where necessary to the context of a text);
  • explain and evaluate how writers create different effects using linguistic and figurative devices;
  • write clearly, effectively and imaginatively for a variety of forms and purposes. Adapt and select vocabulary that is appropriate to the purpose, task and audience whilst engaging the reader;
  • organise ideas and information through informed and accurate structural choices such as sentences, paragraphs and punctuation;
  • use language to craft deliberate effects and convey precise meanings ensuring accuracy of spelling and grammar (and, where required, standard English).

English Literature

Assessment:

  • Pupils will complete two examinations, both of which will be closed text exams (this means candidates cannot take the texts in with them). Across the two papers candidates will be assessed on: a Shakespearean drama text; a 19th Century prose text (novel); a text in the form of a drama or a prose; a collection of poetry from a selected anthology and a comparison of unseen poetry. These units are not tiered and pupils will be graded on a nine-point scale: 1 to 9 – where 9 is the highest grade.
  • Paper 1 is worth 40% of the grade. This paper will cover the Shakespeare and a poetry anthology.
  • Paper 2 is worth 60% of the grade. This paper will cover a drama text, a nineteenth-century prose text and unseen poetry.

Pupils must demonstrate:

  • A close knowledge and understanding of prose, poetry and drama texts and their contexts.
  • An understanding and appreciation of writers’ uses of the following as appropriate: characterisation, theme, plot and setting.
  • An understanding of the writers’ use of language, structure and form to create literary effects.
  • A focused, informed, critical and evaluative personal engagement with the literary texts.
  • An accurate and coherent use of grammar and punctuation.

Staff

Ms L Mitchell-Barnes – Director of English and Assistant Head teacher for Literacy

Mrs N Eglinton – Head of Department

Mr T Clarke - Lead for Assessment

Miss A Griffin - Lead Intervention Teacher

Miss M Lester

Ms S Myers

Miss K Mannington

Mrs K Dingley

Mrs S Piesley

Mr C Oakshott

Mrs K Daniels

Miss K Khan

Miss L Wilcox

Mr J Knight (NQT)

Miss D Fullwood - Lead Academic Coach for English

Mr J Element - Academic Coach

Opportunities out of lessons

Pupils are given opportunities to participate in trips to the theatre, both locally and further afield. Revision sessions are available to pupils outside of lesson time in order to support the learning within the curriculum.

Career Pathways in this subject

Success in English Language and/or English Literature is a requirement for all courses followed at FE. The acquired skills of communication, both written and oral, the ability to read, digest and infer are key in all subject areas.  These universal skills will be utilised throughout life and in any career a pupil chooses to follow. Career pathways for those continuing the study of English to degree level include: teaching, journalism, editing, proof reading and publishing.