The English Department aims to develop skills in the key areas of reading, writing and speaking and listening. From Years 5 to 8 the students follow a varied programme based on the criteria of the National Curriculum but also looking forward to support the Key Stage 4 courses. The long term aim is to provide a strong foundation for successful study at GCSE level and beyond.
The emphasis is on personalised learning and providing the support needed to help each student reach their full potential. Class sizes are no larger than 20 in a top set and are often smaller for the other sets.
We aim to develop the critical skills necessary to enable students to be active, confident, readers and writers. Speaking and Listening is also a focus of the Department. Students give individual presentations from entrance examination level to GCSE to develop the necessary skills to become confident speakers and sensitive listeners. Students are stretched and challenged through extra-curricular activities such as: Public Speaking Competitions, Debating, Spelling and writing competitions. Poetry appreciation is offered as an E3 activity.
We utilise and apply modern methods to nurture key skills, but also believe strongly in emphasising the increasingly important and traditional areas of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Students are encouraged to learn and apply new vocabulary accurately and develop an intellectual curiosity of language. Students are encouraged to read and use our popular E Library.
At Key Stage 4 we follow the AQA specifications in English, English Language and English Literature appropriate to the ability of the individual student. Work is carefully differentiated across 3 sets. The Department has a proud tradition of attaining very successful pass rates at GCSE level, gaining a 100% Pass rate in 2013 in English, English Language and English Literature, despite more robust marking and declining national trends. Assessment is continuous and students are encouraged to reach the personal targets they are set.
Feedback from external moderators of internally-assessed work in 2013, and previous years, has been very encouraging. For example, English Literature: ‘The tasks set allowed students of different ability to respond successfully and it was clear that the students had enjoyed the themes, ideas and characterisation in the texts. It was fantastic to see students engaging with Shakespeare’s language in such detail, exploring the significance of a single word or phrase in detail.’ For English Language candidates in general were praised for: ‘writing from personal experience which resulted in deeply felt and immersive accounts.’ One candidate: ‘took a complex issue and lucidly explored his experiences, establishing a convincing voice and manipulating narrative structure to great effect. This was an inspiring piece of writing.’
Head of English Faculty: Mrs Alison O’Connor
Mrs Rachel Shaw (English)
Miss Zoe Tinsley (English)
Mrs Julia Sinclair (English & SEN specialist)
Mrs Alison Tomlinson (English Teaching Assistant)
Scarisbrick Hall, Southport Road, Ormskirk L40 9RQ : 01704 841151
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