English

Staffing

Miss N Murphy – Acting Head of English: murphyn@maghullhigh.com

Mrs D Houghton - Assistant Head of English: houghtond@maghullhigh.com

Mrs C Larkin - Assistant Headteacher/Teacher of English: larkinc@maghullhigh.com

Mrs W Burns - Teacher of English: burnsw@maghullhigh.com 

Miss H Lynes – Teacher of English: lynesh@maghullhigh.com 

Mrs L Middleman – Teacher of English and Drama: middlemanl@maghullhigh.com 

Miss H Brady - Teacher of English/Literacy: bradyh@maghullhigh.com

Miss S Cahill - Teacher of English: cahills@maghullhigh.com

Miss K Kirby - Teacher of English: kirbyk@maghullhigh.com

Mr P Hitchen - Assistant Headteacher/Teacher of English: hitchenp@maghullhigh.com

Mrs V Christian – Library Resource Centre Manager: christianv@maghullhigh.com 

Intent

English underpins every aspect of our lives and enables us to make sense of the world around us.  Although English is a core subject on the National Curriculum, we want students to want more than to simply ‘pass’ the subject at GCSE. We want students to have a passion for English by developing a love of reading for both pleasure and information which allows them to grow both spiritually and morally. We want to build students’ confidence in both written and spoken language to enable them to communicate their ideas and feelings effectively, thus enabling them to fully participate in society. The ultimate aim is for students to enjoy their study of English.

English unites all subjects as the success of foundation subjects depends heavily on the fluency of reading, writing and communication skills. English is the most commonly spoken language around the world and it underpins everything we do.  In order to access not only the curriculum, but also society, students should have high standards of literacy and language.

Consistency is key to ensuring high quality teaching and learning takes place across the faculty.

All staff will follow the same scheme of work at all key stages. Collaborative planning will take place to ensure the expertise of all staff is utilised to help build an engaging and exciting curriculum. Staff will employ autonomy to meet the needs of their individual class. 

Passing on a love of literature means that teaching should never be boring. It’s about equipping our students with the skills they need that can enable them to uncover an alternative interpretation of a text that is yet to be identified.  Through excellent teaching, students should develop a confidence to express their ideas clearly and freely in lessons. 

What are the key concepts that have to be mastered for pupils to be successful in this subject?

1. Fluency in reading, writing and spoken language

2. Develop an appreciation of our rich and varied heritage

3. Increase range of vocabulary in both written and spoken English in order to communicate ideas effectively and clearly

4. Develop an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

5. Write coherently, adapting language and style, for a range of purposes and audiences

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, students have eight English lessons every fortnight with year 7 and 8 students having one reading lesson per fortnight in our LRC as part of their Accelerated Reader programme. A key aim is to ensure we harbour a love of reading a Key Stage 3 and insist that most lessons begin with reading – either independently with their own reading book, or as whole class using a class reader. Throughout year 7 -9 students will explore a range of literary texts (both fiction and non-fiction) from 19th – 20th Century. Students will identify the methods used by a writer which enables them to carefully craft their writing to produce an engaging and thought-provoking text. Students will have the opportunity to compose their own writing including both creative and transactional pieces. Students will explore how performance is used in plays, including the work of Shakespeare. Students will analyse unseen poetry as well as being tasked with creating their own anthology. 

Scheme of Work Overview:

Year 7  - Autumn Term  Spring Term  Summer Term

Year 8  - Autumn Term  Spring Term  Summer Term

Year 9  - Autumn Term  Spring Term  Summer Term

Assessment in English at Key Stage 3

Each half term, at the end of their unit of work, students will complete a summative assessment. This assessment will test students’ application of knowledge and skills across the whole unit and will be graded using our KS3 grading criteria: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. Such summative assessments will be used to make an overall judgement on your child’s progress at their three assessment points throughout the year. 

Every term, students in Years 7 and 8 will complete a STAR Reading Test. This interactive test is completed online and will test students’ ability to read and comprehend what they have read. The STAR Reading Test will generate a reading age for each pupil which demonstrate a child’s ability in reading. To support students with their reading, each lesson will involve reading either through short extracts, reading of written or a class reader. As well as this, students in Years 7 and 8 have a fortnightly reading lesson which takes place in our LRC. This lesson is dedicated to students following the Accelerated Reader programme which will allow them to test their understanding of a book they have just read. 

At the end of the year, students will complete an end of year exam to formally assess their knowledge and skills acquired throughout the year.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students have ten English lessons every fortnight as they prepare for their GCSE examination. In English, students have the opportunity to achieve two GCSEs: one in Language and one in Literature. As they enter into Year 10, students will begin to apply their knowledge and skills built up throughout Key Stage 3 in order to access a range of texts across a variety of genres. 

For English Language, students are expected to critically analyse unseen fiction and non-fiction texts before exploring the impact on the reader. Students will consider carefully how a writer has used language and structural devices to interest the reader, before comparing ideas across two texts. Students are also expected to produce extended pieces of creative writing such as a description or a narrative, as well as arguing their viewpoint through transactional writing. 

Our study of Literature will see students covering texts such as Macbeth, A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls and Blood Brothers. Students will also apply their poetic skills to study a range of unseen poetry as well as completing a study of 15 poems from their Power and Conflict anthology.

Scheme of Work Overview:

Year 10        Autumn    Spring    Summer

Year 11        Autumn    Spring    Summer

Assessment in English at Key Stage 4

At the end of each unit of work, students will complete a response to a GCSE question. Students will have the opportunity to use their skills and knowledge acquired throughout the study of each unit to help in their response to a practice question. Students’ work will be marked and graded following GCSE criteria, allowing an opportunity for reflection and improvement after each assessment. 

At the end of Year 10, students will complete their first set of mock exams which will involve completion of both GCSE Literature Papers. 

In Year 11, students will complete two sets of mock exams in December and March. These mock exams will allow students the opportunity to sit both Language papers as well as a further practice of both Literature papers. Such exams will be marked and graded according to GCSE criteria and grade boundaries as set out by the exam board (AQA).

As well as mock examinations, students at Key Stage 4 will also have the opportunity to complete exam questions and past papers for homework. 

External examinations for GCSE English Literature take place in May of Year 11 and GCSE English Language exams take place in June of Year 11.

Key Stage 5

English Language and Literature remains a popular choice for those studying at A Level. Students in Year 12 and 13 have nine English lessons a fortnight with our most experienced and committed team of expert English teachers. Students will complete a two year study before completing their A Level examinations during the summer term of Year 13. Throughout their study, students will use their knowledge and skills acquired at Key Stage 4 to be able to delve deeper into a range of texts and produce a critical analysis of how a text is crafted to convey meaning and purpose. Students will study texts that range from past and present centuries such as Frankenstein and The Kite Runner. Through their linguistic study, students will explore a range of literary texts which are thematically linked to the city of Paris. Students will critically evaluate poetry from Seamus Heaney as well as exploring dramatic performance in A Streetcar Named Desire. Students will also complete their own independent literary and linguistic analysis through a comparison of two texts of their choosing as part of their NEA (non-exam assessment) unit which counts for 20% of their overall grade.

Scheme of Work Overview:

Year 13        

Curriculum Map Overview

A Streetcar Named Desire Curriculum Map

Paris Anthology Curriculum Map

NEA Curriculum Map

The Kite Runner Curriculum Map

Frankenstein Curriculum Map

Assessment at Key Stage 5

Throughout the study of each component, students will be required to complete regular response to exam questions. 

Students will complete two mock examinations in Year 12, as well as a further mock examination in Year 13. Each mock exam will provide students with the opportunity to complete full exam papers which will be marked and graded in line with AQA A Level criteria and grade boundaries. Practice responses and mock examinations will be used together to help inform our predicted grades at each assessment point.

Students will also complete their coursework component of their A Level exam known as NEA (none exam assessment) which counts for 20% of their overall grade. All mock exams, question practices and coursework are rigorously moderated and standardised within our own faculty, as well as collaboratively with local secondary schools. 

Cultural Capital

English underpins the success of all foundation subjects and without high levels of language and literacy, students will ultimately struggle to access the curriculum. English develops students’ skills in expressing themselves through reading, writing and spoken communication. In addition to schemes of work, students will also be provided with the opportunity to read for pleasure through the promotion of independent reading and class readers. Our department seek to go above and beyond the prescribed texts of exam specifications and allow students to immerse themselves in a wealth of both fiction and non-fiction texts. In addition to the study of a range of texts, students are provided with opportunities to learn outside of the classroom through theatre visits to watch live performances. Using links with universities, our aim is to enable Key Stage 5 students to participate in English lectures and seminars so they have an understanding of how they can continue their study of English into Higher Education. Keen to increase student engagement and participation in English, we encourage students to partake in external competitions such as Super Reads and Young Writer’s awards which has seen many of our students have their work published. To allow students to develop an appreciation of our literary heritage, visits to the birth places which helped to inspire great literary writers such as Shakespeare, Jane Eyre and William Wordsworth will be built into schemes of work. To support students in their examination preparation, targeted revision sessions are in place during tutorial, lunchtimes, after-school and during school holidays 

An Equitable Curriculum - Removing Barriers to Learning

All students will have access to the same curriculum through consistent planning and teaching in English. Through robust quality assurance, all students will experience good or better teaching across the department. Both the subject and pedagogical knowledge of staff within the department, including non-specialists, is key to providing an excellent teaching and learning experience for students which is why staff are encouraged to remain up-to-date with current research. Staff receive regular training to enable them to keep up-to-date with our ever-changing education system to ensure the needs of all students are met. Schemes of work will cover a range of knowledge and skills throughout the year and alternate between the reading of fiction and non-fiction texts, written and spoken communication therefore allowing every student to excel in English. Assessment of students’ knowledge and understanding will be continually monitored through a range of formative and diagnostic strategies in class to enable class teachers to meet the needs of individual students. Assessment criteria is shared with all pupils and makes clear links to objectives outlined in both the national curriculum and GCSE specifications. All assessments across each key stage are moderated and standardised to ensure validity in marking. Supportive feedback is provided to students regularly and dedicated improvement time is provided to allow all students to reflect and improve on their work. 

Through the development of schemes of work, every lesson is clearly differentiated to support both lower and very able ability students. Planning is shared with support staff who are deployed accordingly to work closely with SEN students. Small group intervention is used to work with targeted groups of students to support them in accessing the curriculum, as well as challenging our more able students to complete higher level work. For students who enter into Maghull High School without having met the national benchmark for reading in English, tailored lessons are included in their school day to provide targeted intervention and increase their fluency in reading and comprehension skills to ensure all students have fair access to the curriculum. Through regular reading practice in class, students have access to our AR Reader programme which allows teachers and students to track reading ages. Whilst not only identifying students who struggle to comprehend what they are reading and providing additional support, this programme allows students with a strong reading age to access a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Our English department want to encourage students to continue to practice their English skills outside of the classroom and are keen to support students at home. Revision guides and materials are provided for our disadvantaged students as well as providing them with opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. Further to this, our department is committed to providing parents with a knowledge of our curriculum in order for them to best support their child at home. In addition to parents evenings, our department run a parental engagement evening, which seeks to provide parents with a breakdown of our Key Stage 4 curriculum as well as materials they can use to support their child at home. 

Homework

At Key Stage 3, students will be set one homework per week as either an independent task, or as part of an extended project linked to their topic of work. Students are also expected to complete independent reading on a regular basis at home. 

At Key Stage 4, students will be set at least one piece of homework per week as well as online revision tasks on either Seneca or GCSE Pod. Students will also be provided with the opportunity to complete further independent study through practice papers and questions. It is expected that students are regularly at home, particularly set exam texts. Students are also expected to be completing regular revision either through use of recommended revision guides, class work or online revision tasks. 

At Key Stage 5 students will be set regular independent study tasks to meet with the demands of the course. Students will also be expected to carry out independent research to support their coursework task, as well as ensuring coursework is completed to a high standard and meets recommended deadlines. In order to support students with their study of English at A Level, students are also required to complete regular independent reading outside of lessons to ensure they exposed to a wide range of literature. 

Extra-curricular study in English

Students will be provided with opportunities to attend live performances outside of school in a range of theatres, as well as in school. 

Each week, our dedicated English team run revision sessions for our Key Stage 4 and 5 students to help prepare them for their examinations. Revision sessions run after-school and during lunchtimes.

Our LRC is open every lunchtime and after-school every night for students to access a range of reading materials, as well as complete homework and revision.

To further develop our extra-curricular offer, it is our intention to begin a film club for Key Stage 3 students, as well as organise further excursions to places such as Liverpool Central Library and Universities. For A Level students, we will be inviting university speakers to meet the group to discuss studying English in Higher Education. We will be inviting further guest speakers into school, such as local journalists, to help nurture our students’ enthusiasm for our subject and understand opportunities that are available to all through their study of English.

Assessment:

Assessment is used frequently and consistently in English to help inform planning and to accurately track and monitor the progress of each student.

Students are assessed in every lesson. Our expert teachers will continually assess every student in every lesson to check their understanding. This is done through a range of strategies such as questioning, observations of students when on task and student feedback within the lesson. Misconceptions are made by students in almost every lesson they attend as this is part of their educational journey and it is our job as practitioners to address these within every lesson.

Students will complete ‘checkpoint’ activities on a bi-weekly basis which will be marked by their teachers and allow them to see how well students are applying their knowledge and skills learnt so far. Following each ‘checkpoint’ activity, students are allocated dedicated improvement time to reflect and improve on their work.

For every summative assessment that is completed by students, the English department will complete a moderation and standardisation process which will ensure consistency and accuracy in the application of our marking. 

Quality assurance is carried out regularly across the department which includes work scrutiny of student work across all year groups.

For more information regarding the English curriculum please contact Miss N Murphy (Acting Head of English) murphyn@maghullhigh.com

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