“Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”
― Henry David Thoreau
The English department are dedicated to teach pupils lessons that are meaningful, engaging and challenging; that prepare them fully for exam success, but also well beyond that, because we realise each pupil is unique and learning is life- long.
We are a department of tradition and innovation; of collaboration and independence; and of consistency and flexibility.
As teachers we embrace the four 'concepts' of teaching English:
- Competence: we want all pupils to be skilled and fluent communicators, and be adept in reading, writing, speaking and listening.
- Creativity: we want all pupils to experience language as a mode of expression and imagination.
- Cultural understanding: we want all pupils to appreciate the legacy of the English language through great works of literature; and how it is evolving in the wake of fresh challenges.
- Critical understanding: we want all pupils to analyse how language is used to persuade and influence.
Each of us is proud to have the privilege of teaching English to the pupils of Silverdale School.
We expect our pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 to bring a private reading book - either from the library or home - to school every day. There is a reading opportunity at the beginning of each English lesson and there may be chances to read in form time or in other lessons when work is completed.
Key Stage 3
Our Key Stage 3 course in English is designed to be stimulating, challenging and fun while providing opportunities to develop key skills for success in GCSEs and A Levels.
At the heart of our vision for English is reading. In classes we read a range of classic and modern prose, poetry and drama, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Hobbit (Year 7) and Animal Farm and To Kill a Mockingbird (Year 9).
Pupils are given various ways to show their appreciation and understanding of English - from creative writing responses to traditional essays, as well as drama and spoken performances.
We also aim to continue the work done in primary to ensure that all pupils have at least competence in spelling, punctuation and grammar. We have a focus on a particular aspect each half-term which still allows for a more individualised approach in response to pupils’ needs.
GCSE english language and english literature
(AQA EXAM BOARD)
The course starts with close study of two literature texts that explore the theme of social responsibility: An Inspector Calls and A Christmas Carol. We then turn to developing skills in creative reading and writing for the English Language exam.
Throughout the course we examine a collection of poetry connected by the theme of 'power and conflict', with classic poems from Percy Bysshe Shelley and William Blake alongside modern poems by Imtiaz Dharker and Carol Ann Duffy.
In Year 11 we turn to Macbeth by William Shakespeare and analyse how writers use language to express their viewpoints before writing our own.
We also offer a Functional English course alongside the GCSEs for selected students.
what will you learn?
- Read a wide range of non-fiction and fiction texts with understanding and insight.
- Develop an appreciation of literature through the close study of prose, poetry and drama texts.
- Write skilfully to suit various audiences, purposes and forms.
- Speak with increasing confidence and fluency for a variety of purposes and audiences.
how will this be assessed?
- 100% final examination. Two papers.
- 50% Reading, 50% Writing.
- Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing.
- Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives.
- Non assessment certification: ‘Spoken Language’ skills.
- 100% final examination
- Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (40%)
- Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (60%)
beyond the classroom
The English department supervises the debating club and public speaking competitions. We run theatre and cinema trips every year to see adaptations of our course books. We enter pupils for national creative writing competitions - and run our own writing competition in Year 10.
Communication skills, creativity and critical thinking are essential for all post-16 subject areas and a good GCSE in English is a requirement for many courses and jobs. Skills and techniques developed in English studies may be continued in a wide range of A-level courses including: English Language, English Literature, Combined Language & Literature, Studies and Film Studies.