English

The English Department at George Salter Academy is a highly skilled group of professionals who offer their students a fantastic range of learning opportunities throughout their time at the Academy. The English team are committed to providing students with an enriching and dynamic learning experience, inspiring a love for both literature and language. At all Key Stages, students are introduced to a range of thought-provoking texts to develop both academic skills and personal qualities. All students practise writing for a range of purposes, developing skills to serve them well in their adult lives.

Study Support

The department offers a range of opportunities in order for all students to engage actively in English and fulfil their potential. Study support sessions are provided across the key stages throughout the academic year and the library is open to all students.

Contact

Mrs G. Duncan (Head of Department), email: [email protected]

"English lessons have a really positive atmosphere. You are never scared to give your opinion." 

“In English we get to share our opinions and interpretations. Teachers make sure we think for ourselves but are also always there if we need some support.” 

“I enjoy reading texts as a class in English. It’s interesting discussing the different issues and learning about characters.”

All Key Stage 3 students enjoy a varied curriculum that helps to develop skills in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

Year 7

Students in Year 7 enjoy a varied curriculum that begins with them learning about how famous writers use language to express ideas. They also study novels from authors such as Mark Haddon and explore the poetry of Wilfred Owen. Students learn about the conventions of 19th Century literature and study extracts of literary classics by Charles Dickens. Year 7 concludes with the study of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Such texts are chosen to challenge and stretch the creativity of students. All pupils follow the Accelerated Reader programme which aims to develop independent reading skills and inspire a love of reading.

Assessment

All schemes of work ensure that all students acquire skills in order to meet the objectives for Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. They are assessed in a range of ways including formal written assessments.

Enrichment

There are many opportunities for enrichment which may include theatre trips and creative writing competitions. Students are also encouraged to take part in Poetry by Heart. 

Year 8

Students in Year 8 develop and build upon the knowledge they establish in Year 7.  They explore Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, 19th Century Gothic stories and Poetry from different Cultures through schemes of work that stretch and challenge pupils as well as meeting their individual learning needs. Year 8 students also benefit from studying creative writing based on ‘Heroes and Villains’ which develops both writing skills and cultural capital.

When responding to fiction and non-fiction texts, students are taught how to structure their ideas, use subject specific terminology and how to write accurately for different audiences and purposes. Speaking and Listening is a further priority for the programme of study for year 8 to help students develop self -confidence and life- long communication skills.

Assessment

All schemes of work ensure that all students acquire skills in order to meet the objectives for Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. They are assessed in a range of ways including formal written assessments.

Enrichment

There are many opportunities for enrichment which may include theatre trips and visits by actors who perform the texts studied. Students also have the opportunity to enter creative writing competitions and Poetry by Heart. 

Year 9

As the final year of Key Stage 3, Year 9 aims to consolidate our students’ knowledge and ensure that they have secure foundations ready for embarking on their Key Stage 4 GCSE studies.

They will study engaging texts such as Of Mice and Men, modern poetry and non-fiction texts relating to current affairs affecting our world. This year is a great opportunity to develop reading, writing, speaking and listening skills and teachers aim to facilitate healthy debate and discussion, encouraging students to think critically and maturely. Students will also have the opportunity to write creatively to develop literacy skills and improve their understanding of the importance of writing with a clear sense of audience and purpose in mind.

Assessment

Students will complete assessments which will enable them to develop skills to achieve the Assessment Objectives for reading, writing and speaking and listening. Assessments are of a formal nature as students complete extended responses under exam conditions

At Key Stage 4, students follow two courses: AQA GCSE English Language and AQA GCSE English Literature.

Year 10

In year 10 all of our students study the set texts required for the linear AQA GCSE Literature exam. Students will study a 19th century novel such as Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  Students will also explore a modern text such as Russell’s Blood Brothers and an anthology of poetry based on the themes of Power and Conflict.

Alongside their study of Literature, students develop the skills necessary to engage with the English Language GCSE course. This requires them to engage with both fiction and non-fiction texts, respond to texts using skills such as analysis and evaluation. Students also practise writing both creatively to describe and also create non-fiction texts such as letters, speeches and articles to express an opinion. Students at Key Stage 4 improve their understanding of the importance of writing with a clear sense of audience and purpose in mind whilst also engaging their reader.

Assessment

Students will complete assessments which will enable them to develop skills to achieve the Assessment Objectives for reading, writing and speaking and listening. Assessments are of a formal nature as students complete exam style questions under exam conditions. There are no coursework elements to the GCSE English courses, so mock examinations enable students to experience exam conditions in preparation for final exams in Year 11.

Year 11

Year 11 follow the linear AQA GCSE English Language and AQA GCSE Literature English courses. After studying Shakespeare’s Macbeth in the Autumn term, Year 11 is a time to consolidate and build on the learning from Year 10. Students have opportunities to revise the set texts: Macbeth, 19th Century novel, Blood Brothers and the Power and Conflict anthology of poetry. They also engage with 19th and 21st century non-fiction texts required for the language exam. Students also continue to develop creative writing skills as they respond to a range of engaging stimuli. The texts taught enrich students’ experiences of the world around them and promote a love of reading. As part of their AQA English Language GCSE, all year 11 students are required to deliver a Spoken Language presentation which is graded with a Pass, Merit or Distinction award.

Assessment

Students complete assessments which will enable them to develop skills to achieve the Assessment Objectives for reading, writing, speaking and listening. Assessments are of a formal nature and students sit two formal mock exams to prepare them for the final exams at the end of the year.

Enrichment opportunities Years 10 and 11

  • Theatre trips – Blood Brothers, Macbeth
  • Visiting Actors – RedHeart Theatre – Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
  • Study Support workshops and walking-talking mocks

Exams

AQA English Literature:

  • Paper 1: Shakespeare and 19th Century Novel 40% exam.
  • Paper 2 Modern Text and Poetry 60% exam.

AQA English Language:

  • Paper 1:Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing 50% exam
  • Paper 2 : Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives 50% exam
Exam results2017201820192020
GCSE English Language6.8% 9-7;
37.3% 9-5;
98.7% 9-1;
9.3% 9-7;
42.2% 9-5;
100% 9-1;
7.1% 9-7
49.7% 9-5
98.5% 9-1
12% 9-7
52.5% 9-5
100% 9-1 

At KS5, the English Department offers A Level English Literature and A Level Film Studies.

Please view our dedicated Sixth Form section for more information on the courses available.