We are a collaborative, motivated and creative team who have a passion for teaching and seeing that our students achieve their potential. We share a belief that a focus on excellence, the use of modelling, varying the audience for work and an emphasis on the quality of feedback will achieve the highest of standards. Our aim is to inspire a love of our language, whilst at the same time making the study of English an enjoyable experience. Our work makes a significant contribution to the high academic standards of the whole school.
There are thirteen teachers of English, most of whom teach across the age and ability range. Some members of the department also hold senior roles outside of the department and many are or have been involved in developing the teaching and learning practice of the whole school through either their involvement in Hertfordshire’s ‘Teacher Led Development Work’, their M.Ed work or by being one of the school’s Teaching and Learning Advocates.
The English classrooms are based together and equipped with interactive whiteboards, integrated into classroom practice as an invaluable resource for the modelling or responses to reading and writing tasks. The department also works closely with the librarian and every key stage 3 class receives a fortnightly library lesson to promote reading for pleasure.
We are committed to offering our students an engaging and enriching curriculum both inside and outside the classroom. Students have the opportunity to go on trips to the theatre and other relevant places of interest. We also have a successful tradition of public speaking and debating and run successful book and creative writing clubs, as well as a scrabble club!
Pupils in Year 7 are taught in form groups throughout the year and set towards the end of the academic year, in preparation for Year 8. We offer a varied and stimulating curriculum which aims to allow students to develop into creative and critical thinkers at the same time as covering the National Curriculum. We have a focus on engendering excellence in terms of reading for meaning, writing for effect and speaking and listening actively and appropriately. Additional support is provided within the department for those students whose language skills are significantly behind their chronological age. This comes in the form of ‘nurture’ groups in Years 7 and 8. There is also close liaison with the Learning Support department.
KS3 Steps of Progress
ear 9, 10 and 11 classes are taught in ability groups. All pupils in our year 11 cohort will take AQA GCSE English Language (8700) and the majority of students will also take AQA GCSE English Literature (8702). Additional support is offered for targeted pupils who need re-enforcement in essential skills. This comes in the form of Functional English classes. All year 10 pupils are currently studying for the GCSE listed above. In year 9 pupils are studying the skills required for English Language and Literature, which they will then apply to more specific exam preparation in years 10 and 11.
English Literature or English Language and Literature are both popular choices for A Level. The courses follow the AQA English Literature Syllabus A (7711 7712) and Edexcel English Literature and Language (2015). The curriculum is enhanced by trips and visits and teachers are always available for advice. A large number of students continue their studies at University in this subject area or in a media/drama related combination.