At Key Stage 3 in English we try to make sure that students experience a wide variety of activities. To help establish a love of reading – and, indeed, the reading habit – we start each and every lesson with 10/15 minutes private reading time. Discussion, writing in a variety of styles, some role play and acting, shared reading of a range of different literature from newspaper articles to experimental poems, together with the odd bit of grammar and educational games complete the heady mix.

We have elected to follow AQA 8700 English Language at GCSE level. The course builds on the range of activities whose foundations have been laid in KS3. The course is entirely assessed by two examination papers scheduled for the end of Year 11. Spoken English is separately assessed and provides a “pass”,”merit” or “distinction” endorsement included on the GCSE award. Full details are available from AQA’s website.

Students are encouraged to use a wide variety of online resources for the purposes of research (particularly at KS4) but must be careful not to plagiarise. It is useful for students to have a good working knowledge of Word or similar word-processing packages (eg Google Docs), though hand-written work is completely acceptable. Some skills in desktop publishing (for example through Pages or Publisher) can also be helpful.

For those for whom GCSE English is not the best choice of KS4 course, the department provides opportunities at Entry Levels (1-3) and/or Functional Skills 1-2.