English and English Literature
English is an invaluable subject for the future of all learners. A good command of the spoken and written word will help all pupils in everyday life situations including supporting the study of all other subjects and ultimately working towards their GCSE. English is a subject needed to support students through their journey after school life whether that is college, university, public speaking or employment.
Encouraging enjoyment of reading is one of our main focuses in the English department. We provide literacy lessons for key stage 3 and use of the library to improve and encourage reading. The national curriculum has recently changed which enables us to teach students a variety of novels from classics such as Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens to dystopian thrillers such as The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, this gives us the opportunity as staff to share our enjoyment of reading with the students.
The English department teaches both English and English Literature to the whole ability range up to GCSE level, which means that every student leaves St Matthew’s with two GCSEs.
From years 7 to 9, pupils are given ‘take away’ homework to complete each half term, this homework has been introduced to encourage students to be more independent learners and give them the choice of tasks to be completed. We also complete regular spelling tests to encourage use of interesting, advanced vocabulary.
At GCSE level, homework is set weekly as appropriate to the topics being studied. Students complete controlled assessments which contribute towards their GCSE’s. These are completed each half term in relation to the theme or text we are teaching.
Resources and facilities
Pupils are encouraged to use their own time to access ICT based resources, all of the classics which we teach are available for students to download for free on any tablet, such as an iPad. We have regular use of the library with all key stage three students having a lesson which takes place in the library once every two weeks. All lessons are planned with the use of the interactive whiteboards being used in most, if not all, lessons.
We have recently introduced the use of Kindles in the classroom to allow us to teach a variety of novels and to allow all students to access the novels in a more suitable way.
Extra- curricular and extended learning
Help is regularly available at lunch and after school from teachers for pupils who want extra support or advice. There are also revision and catch up sessions.