Grangefield

Together, Beyond Expectations

English

Introducing The Grangefield Academy English Department

What is English?

English is integral to everything! Words are one of the main ways in which we access and make sense of our experiences, and it's through mastering language that we can better understand ourselves, our lives and our world.

In English, we explore how words are used in different contexts, for different purposes, and for different audiences. We investigate how great writers from the past and present have used language not only to express themselves and their ideas but to represent and reshape the world around them, and we help our students discover how to master these skills and apply them creatively.

What is an English Student?

An English student is someone who is alive to meaning in the world and understands the importance of language. An English student not only recognises what words can do but is able to use their own choices to influence and shape the world around them.

Good English students read and write often and confidently, taking care to express themselves clearly and accurately.

The best English students are those who see the usefulness of language in their lives and explore the impact that language choices can have.

Key Concepts

Our curriculum at The Grangefield Academy is structured around three key concepts, building the competencies necessary to prepare our students for both GCSE and their futures in the world outside compulsory education:

  • Textual construction and deconstruction
  • An exploratory approach to meaning
  • Communicative competence, clarity and fluency

The Team

English at The Grangefield Academy is taught by a dedicated and experienced team of seven subject specialists.

Almost all members of the English team are current or former examiners, as well as teachers, and the team also includes top-graded coursework moderators and award-winning textbook writers.

  • Mr. J. Craven (Teacher of English, Leader of Learning for the English and MFL Faculty)
  • Miss N. Jobson (Teacher of English, Lead Practitioner - Teaching and Learning)
  • Miss J. Brack (Teacher of English, Head of Discovery and Ignite Schools)
  • Mr. S. Haywood (Teacher of English, Head of Innovation School)
  • Miss L. Bird (Teacher of English, Literacy Coordinator)
  • Miss C. Keene (Teacher of English)
  • Miss S. Smethurst (Teacher of English)


The English Curriculum

Students at The Grangefield Academy follow a five-year programme designed to give them a thorough understanding of both English Language and English Literature, preparing them for both their GCSEs and for life beyond secondary education.

Key Stage 3

The KS3 English curriculum is carefully structured to aid students in developing their analytical, discursive and creative skills, to offer them a firm grounding in GCSE-style content and skills, and to aid them in accessing and engaging with the world in which they live.

Schemes of learning in each year are built around GCSE exam content, using a mixture of fiction and non-fiction texts from a range of genres to guide and assist the students in improving their skills while also engaging with real-world literacy.

Students in each year study:

  • a play by Shakespeare
  • thematically linked poetry over time
  • a nineteenth century novel or set of short stories
  • nineteenth and twentieth century non-fiction
  • a modern novel or play

In addition, every student in Year 7 and Year 8 has literacy lessons each week, focussing on improving their technical accuracy and engagement with texts on a functional level. This is intended to build on the work in their regular English lessons and in other subjects, and to promote the importance of reading.

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

GCSE Eng. Lit.: Paper 2

GCSE Eng. Lit.: Paper 1

GCSE Eng. Lit.: Paper 1

GCSE Eng. Lang.: Paper 2

GCSE Eng. Lang.: Paper 2, GCSE Eng. Lit.: Paper 2

Year 7

An Introduction to Poetry

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

Adrenaline (Non-Fiction)

Frank Cottrell Boyce, Millions

Mock Exams

Year 8

Conflict Poetry (1)

William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Monsters (various authors)

Travel Writing (Non-Fiction

John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men or Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Mock Exams

GCSE Eng. Lit.: Paper 2

GCSE Eng. Lit.: Paper 1

GCSE Eng. Lang.: Paper 2

GCSE Eng. Lang.: Paper 2, GCSE Eng. Lit.: Paper 2

GCSE Eng. Lit.: Paper 1

Year 9

Conflict Poetry (2)

Charles Dickens: his life and work

Speeches that Changed the World (Non-Fiction)

William Golding, Lord of the Flies or George Orwell, Animal Farm

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Mock Exams

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, all of our students study towards AQA GCSE English Language and AQA GCSE English Literature.

GCSE English Language focusses on exploring literary and non-literary English in a variety of genres and contexts, leading to two final exams taken in the summer of Year 11. The course also involves assessed speaking and listening tasks, though these do not contribute to the final grade.

GCSE English Literature involves the close study and broader exploration of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Jekyll and Hyde (Sets 1 to 3) or Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Sets 4 to 6), J. B. Priestley's An Inspector Calls, and a selection of poetry over time centred on the key concepts of power and conflict. As with Language, the final grade is decided by two examinations taken in the summer of Year 11.

Language skills are taught through and alongside the skills and content needed for the English Literature GCSE.

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

GCSE English Lit. Paper 1

GCSE English Lit. Paper 1

GCSE English Lit. Paper 1

GCSE Eng. Lit. Paper 1

GCSE Eng.Lit. Paper 2

Year 10

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet

Robert Louis Stevenson, Jekyll and Hyde

Robert Louis Stevenson, Jekyll and Hyde

Conflict Poetry Cluster / Unseen Poetry Skills

Revision of all aspects of the course and mock exams

GCSE English Lit. Paper 2

GCSE English Lit. Paper 2

Year 11

J. B. Priestley, An Inspector Calls

J. B. Priestley, An Inspector Calls

Revision of all aspects of the course

Revision of all aspects of the course

Exams begin

Beyond the English Curriculum

Among other activities, the English department have organised theatre trips, film screenings and cultural visits for both KS3 and KS4. Successful writers have visited the academy, and students have also taken part in local and national reading competitions. This year, the English faculty are also in the process of setting up a debating society and creative writing group, and are hoping to enter students in 'spelling bee' and public speaking competitions.

English staff are widely involved in promoting reading across the academy, and several also take part in out-reach work in local primaries.

As a matter of course, the English department offer weekly 'catch-up' sessions for students in every year group, as well as residentials, weekend revision sessions and holiday boosters for students approaching their final GCSE examinations. In addition, students in all years are given access to a wide-range of online resources, including online discussion forums, web-based support materials, podcasts and study guides.

Student Perspectives

Feedback from students on the content and teaching within English is reliably very positive.

Formal and informal feedback from students has identified strong student/teacher relationships as a particular strength of the department, and students report enjoying both the lesson content and the style of teaching in the subject, taking particular pride in the progress they make.

It is no surprise that so many of our year 11 students go on to continue their study of English Language and / or English Literature at college and beyond.

Our Results

As of 2016, the English Faculty at The Grangefield Academy has, for the second year running, achieved results which are above the national average, with 73% of our students achieving 3 Levels of Progress or above, 38% achieving 4 Levels of Progress or above, and 73% achieving a grade from A*-C.

This is against a national picture of a fall in the number of students achieving A*-A and A*-C grades, and is the third successive year of significantly improving results.

In external reviews, both teaching and leadership within the faculty have consistently been graded as Good or better, with a high proportion of lessons seen judged as Outstanding.

All of this means that, as with the academy as a whole, the English faculty is on a journey to Outstanding!