English should excite and enthuse, and develop a love of reading which fostered through our various schemes of work. This prepares pupils for the rigours of examination testing whilst developing essential literacy skills and the cultural awareness needed to thrive in the modern world.
Writing, both fiction and non-fiction, allows students to explore the world of literature, current affairs and historical periods in time. Pupils are taught how to write in a range of contexts, utilizing a variety of structural and linguistic devices to enhance their technical ability.
Standard English and a sound understanding of correct grammar and punctuation are at the forefront of all writing tasks. All students are reminded of the importance of drafting/ redrafting work and amending work when mistakes have been made. Spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught in all units of work, both explicitly and implicitly.
Guest speakers, poets and writers are invited in at all key stages to showcase different reading and writing skills to students, allowing students to experiment with language and form.
Students are also actively involved in various writing competitions throughout the year, including the famous BBC 500 words competition.
The use of standard English is encouraged and developed during writing tasks, speaking and listening activities and within the classroom setting during general discussions.
The pupils at SFX study a broad and ambitious English Language and Literature curriculum which is designed to give all of our students, particularly the most disadvantaged and those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) or high needs, the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life. We coherently plan and sequence the curriculum so that sufficient skills and knowledge are in place for future learning and any type of employment the pupils wish to pursue. The curriculum is very ambitious and includes the following texts at KS3: Of Mice and Men, Pygmalion, Julius Caesar and Animal Farm. All learners study the full curriculum with each pupil studying the same texts, at the same time, no matter what their ability. We want to foster a love of literature which will remain with pupils throughout their lives. All pupils are entered for GCSE Language and Literature.
All SFX English teachers have excellent subject knowledge and possess a love of literature. Pupils have English lessons every day and this allows for continuity and regular recall and retrieval of information. Teachers are gifted at presenting their subject matter clearly and are keen to promote fruitful discussions around the texts they are teaching. Teachers check learners’ understanding systematically and they provide clear feedback to pupils. The English curriculum is designed to help learners remember in the long term the content they have been taught. The SFX English Learning Journey from Years 7 – 11 is designed to help pupils to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts. A rigorous approach to the teaching of reading develops pupils’ confidence and enjoyment in reading. The school reading plan ensures that we have a meticulous approach to improving pupils’ skills in reading.
SFX pupils develop detailed knowledge and skills across the English curriculum and, as a result, achieve well. Pupils are ready for the next stage of education, employment or training. They gain qualifications in English Language and English Literature that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intention of their course of study. They read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension. They leave school having experienced a wide range of Literature which will enable them to have a broader understanding of the world in which they live.
There are opportunities to develop a love and thorough understanding of English language and literature. Pupils study plays, novels, short stories and poetry in each year group.
It is a rich curriculum which covers texts from the literary canon, as well as seminal world literature. We have a thematic approach, covering, for example, dystopian and gothic fiction in Years 7 and 8. We cover fiction and non-fiction reading, writing, speaking and listening.
It is a curriculum which builds upon KS2 and lays solid foundations for KS4.
Year 7 texts/SOW: Boy by Roald Dahl/Autobiographical writing/Dystopian Fiction/In my Liverpool Home SoW/The Tempest by William Shakespeare.
Year 8 texts/SoW: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck/Love and Relationships SoW/Gothic Fiction/Strong Women SoW/Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
Year 9 texts/SoW: Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw/Animal Farm by George Orwell/Famous speeches/Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.
AQA English Language and English Literature
KS4 pupils have English lessons every day with the same member of staff. All GCSE teachers are English specialists. It is a curriculum that teaches beyond what is required by the exam board specifications and fully prepares students for the rigours of A’ Level English Literature.
It is a rich and varied curriculum which spans the chronology of the literary canon. The resources made available to pupils fully prepares them for the skills they need to succeed at GCSE. They are given detailed revision notes and resources for both the English Language and Literature exams.
Pupils are given detailed feedback on what they need to do to improve; they are also given the opportunity to redraft their work. Easter and weekend revision sessions are offered to pupils around the public exam season. Exemplar scripts, bought back from AQA, are shared with pupils and they are able to understand how they need to approach the examination to reach the top levels of 8 and 9. Assessment objectives are shared with pupils, so they are fully aware of how they need to answer questions in the examination.
There are numerous enrichment activities made available to pupils.
English Google classroom is furnished with a plethora of materials and resources to aid study and revision.
Set texts: Macbeth by William Shakespeare/A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens/An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley/15 Power and Conflict poems/Unseen poetry
AQA Literature B
English Literature is studied at KS5; it has a high success rate with 75% of pupils achieving A*/A grades in 2019. We focus on developing evaluative writing styles and full critical awareness.
Pupils are encouraged to read widely, not just the set texts on the specification. Pupils are introduced to Liverpool’s Central Library and the University’s Sidney Jones library. Pupils are expected to collate their own critical files, this prepares them for the independence required for undergraduate study. The department has subscribed to numerous A’ Level websites and publications to help pupils with their understanding of academic literary study.
Regular theatre trips are organised to enthuse and create enjoyment of the subject. We also attend A’ Level lectures in Manchester each year. Support is given to pupils to confidently bridge the gap between KS4 and KS5, intervention strategies are put in place for those pupils who struggle with the transition between the two key stages. Pupils are given the chance to do regular presentations and are expected to do regular timed essays in exam conditions.
Set texts: King Lear by William Shakespeare/Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy/Brighton Rock by Graham Greene/Atonement by Ian McEwan/Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller/Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge.
All pupils are required to complete spelling and reading homework each week. Teachers may also set additional writing tasks.
Ms Amy Hayes: Head of Department
Ms Patricia Shinks: Key Stage 4 Coordinator
Mr Kris Mansfield: Key Stage 3 Coordinator (English and Film Studies teacher)
Mr Rae Clark: Literacy and Reading Lead
Mr Phil Green
Ms Katherine Griffin
Ms Sara Richardson
Ms Eithne McCrory (English and Film Studies teacher)
|Out of Hours Activities:
English Study Club: Tuesday and Thursday in E6.
Film Club: coming soon…
Library: reading and study available for all year groups from 8:15-8:45am and from 3:10-4:00pm.
Dungeons and Dragons/Creative Writing: each Wednesday in P3.
|Department Website Links:
Liverpool Children’s Festival of Reading 2021
From Monday 25th January until Tuesday 9th February, Liverpool Learning Partnership will be hosting a range of online author sessions that schools can access for both in school and home learning. For more information about the festival see http://www.liverpoollearningpartnership.com/author-events-online/
These sessions will be accompanied by a range of support resources for schools and parents/carers to access here: https://padlet.com/jholder_llp/lcfrresources
English Learning Journey 2021/22
English Google Classroom (KS4): egbovin (this has lots of fantastic resources, practice papers etc)
English Google Classroom (KS3): e2trove (lots of ‘working from home’ booklets and resources are on here.)
https://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/ – see Miss Hayes for username/password
www.bl.uk (British Library)
Resources from the National Literacy Trust for pupils and parents
The following resources from the National Literacy Trust will prove useful to parents of pupils educating and reading at home during the lockdown:
Words for Life (for ages 0 – 12):
Zone In (for ages 13+)
Literacy Resources Google Classroom
Here you will find nearly 50 Google Slide presentations to assist with spelling, punctuation and grammar. There is also an extensive grammar booklet with a wide range of exercises to improve skills along with links to some video tutorials from the Oak National Academy.
There is a code to join this classroom: obaksi5
Alternatively, email Mr R Clark at the college and he will add any pupil who wants to join.