The English Department's main aims are to ensure that pupils enjoy the subject while developing all the skills required to become confident and competent
|Simon Parke, author, with First Form pupils on World Book Day|
users of English. To this end the department has developed a comprehensive syllabus which is linked to the National Curriculum requirements, and yet has the flexibility to expand beyond them.
Although the syllabus is prescriptive, we ensure that differentiation enables all pupils to meet their full potential. Special emphasis is placed on the key skills of accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar so that pupils gain confidence to experiment with the written form. They will be expected to write in a variety of different genres, ranging from personal response and story telling to newspaper articles and parody. These skills are supported and developed through exposure to a wide variety of reading. This includes pre- and post-Twentieth Century literature, an introduction to Shakespeare and Chaucer, and a variety of non-literature and media texts.
Library periods are built into the syllabus and private reading is actively encouraged. Emphasis is also placed on speaking and listening. This builds confidence and enables pupils to articulate their ideas in a persuasive and logical manner. Group work and role-play are an integral part of English teaching at Sutton Valence.
Small classes, dedicated staff and a detailed syllabus enable pupils to have a clear focus on their learning. Regular monitoring of all pupils takes place to ensure that each child's individual needs are addressed.
Candidates can study for an AS level, taking an exam at the end of one year and submitting a coursework folder consisting of two essays. Most candidates then continue on to A2 level, taking an exam at the end of the year, re-sitting any AS units if necessary and submitting a further coursework folder consisting of an extended essay.
Texts studied range from Chaucer to the modern novel.
We follow the AQA B specification, studying two units: Texts and Genres and Further and Independent Study.
At AS we follow the AQA B specification studying: Aspects of Narrative and Dramatic Genres.
GCSE English Language and English Literature are taken as two separate qualifications, although they are taught as a two year integrated course following the new OCR specification.
This specification aims in reading, to develop candidates’ ability to:
• read accurately, fluently and with understanding;
• understand and respond to the texts they read;
• read, analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts, including literature from the English literary heritage and from other cultures and traditions.
In writing to develop candidates’ effective use of:
• compositional skills - developing ideas and communicating meaning to a reader using a wide-ranging vocabulary and an effective style, organising and structuring sentences grammatically and whole texts coherently;
• a widening variety of forms for different purposes.
In speaking and listening, to develop candidates’ ability to:
• use the vocabulary and grammar of standard English;
• formulate, clarify and express ideas;
• adapt speech to a widening range of circumstances and demands;
• listen, understand and respond appropriately to others.
The specification encourages candidates to develop:
• the ability to read, understand and respond to a wide range of literary texts, and to appreciate the ways in which authors achieve their effects;
• awareness of social, historical and cultural contexts and influences in the study of literature;
• the ability to construct and convey meaning in speech and writing, matching style to audience and purpose.
Key Stage 3:
At Key Stage Three the pupils follow a course which is designed loosely around the latest National Curriculum documents, but at the same time is flexible enough to foster personal interest through topic-based activities ranging from the detailed study of prose fiction to newspaper articles, drama, advertising, poetry, as well as the history and origins of English. Specifically designed department ‘block tests’ in Literacy are used across the board at KS3. This helps improve the standard of grammar use and places emphasis on the importance of writing the English language correctly and effectivelySpecial emphasis is placed on developing pupil confidence in expressing and discussing their own points of view as well as the ideas of others in a focussed and balanced way, both orally and on paper. All the activities will help to provide a secure platform in order for each pupil to move on with confidence to the next stage of study.
Mr Chris M Davenport BA
Fiona Gosden BA
Katherine Luxford BA
Charlotte Westlake BA
Fiona Porter BA
Dr Lilla Grindlay MA Cantab
Sally Rose BEd