The English Faculty

Welcome to the English faculty! 

Through our lessons we aim to provide students with four fundamental skills: reading critically, writing fluently, listening effectively and speaking confidently. It is our belief that by providing students with these skills we are providing our students with the best opportunities for success in their future. 

Our curriculum stresses the significance of language and communication and explores why is it a critical area of learning. Through their time at Redruth, students will be exposed to a rich variety of classic and contemporary texts. By using this as our base, we aim to expand the thinking of our students, allowing them to develop their analytical and evaluative skills as well as writing accurately for a variety of audience and purposes.  

Our team of dedicated and enthusiastic staff will ensure that through engaging and exciting lessons students learn to succeed in all areas of language and literature and enable them identify their own areas of personal development to ensure progression. 

The faculty is led by Miss Rachel Barratt who can be contacted via rbarratt(at)redruth.cornwall.sch.uk 

Key Stage Three

In Year 7 and 8 students benefit from seven English lessons per fortnight, one of which is a dedicated Accelerated Reader session. Students are set in ability groups which are based on their Key Stage Two reading score and a writing assessment they complete shortly after joining the school. These sets are fluid and the groupings are looked at following each assessment point to ensure students are in the best place to ensure their success. 

The Key Stage Three curriculum takes students on a journey through both literature and language and, whilst challenging at times, is specifically planned to aid their progression from Key Stage Two to Key Stage Four and beyond.  At present, the current programme of study includes:

Year 7 Year 8

Descriptive writing  19th Century Prose –Treasure Island

Language Change Creative Writing

Non-fiction reading and writing – Disasters 20th Century Fiction

An introduction to Shakespeare Transactional Writing

Reading and Writing Fiction (Short stories) Shakespeare – Macbeth

Speaking and Listening Poetry from Other Culture

A drama text (tbc. for 2017/2018) Media – Documentaries. 

Most students will have more than one teacher, so the curriculum content is split between the two meaning that students are often working on two different areas of English. This interleaving teaching works well and we have found that it helps prepare students for the demands of the curriculum later in the school. 

Accelerated Reading

Accelerated Reader is a computer based programme which tests students, identifies a reading age and provides them with a ZPD (Zone of Proximal Development) range. This is linked to a range of books which students are encouraged to read to help them make optimum progress in their reading ability. Students then read a book and complete an interim quiz which provides us with data showing a student’s engagement and understanding of a particular level of book. Students retake the original STAR test at two later points in the year ensuring that we closely monitor their progress and provide interventions if necessary. 

Our current AR co-ordinator is Mr Stewart Defriend who can be contacted on: sdefriend(at)redruth.cornwall.sch.uk 

Key Stage Four

Our Key Stage Four begins in Year 9 however, with the exception of some of the poetry anthology, we do not begin looking at our GCSE texts in Year 9 but choose to focus on the transferable skills needed to succeed at GCSE. 

Our Year 9 curriculum is as follows: 

Year 9

20th Century Fiction – either To Kill a Mockingbird or Of Mice and Men. 

Non-Fiction Reading 

Transactional Writing

Shakespeare – either Romeo and Juliet or The Taming of the

Shrew or A Midsummer Night’s Dream or The Tempest. 

Creative Writing

War and Power Poetry

Speaking and Listening

At Year 10 and 11 our attention turns fully to the GCSE course. All students will sit two GCSE’s: one in English Language and one in English Literature using the EDUQAS exam board. Full specifications can be accessed on their website: www.eduqas.co.uk

In English Language, students focus on developing their reading and writing skills through a range of modes. Students will sit two exam papers: 

Paper One

Section A – Twentieth Century Fiction

Section B – Creative Writing 1 hour, 45 minutes 40% of the final grade

Paper Two

Section A  – 19th and 21st Century Fiction

Section B – Transactional/Persuasive Writing 2 hours 60% of the final grade. 

In English Literature, students student a myriad of prose and poetry from a traditional literacy canon. Students learn how to analyse and evaluate texts in detail commenting on the writer’s method (language, form and structure), their purpose and how a text can be linked to or influenced by the time in which it was written. Students will sit two exam papers:

Paper One

Section A – Shakespeare (Much Ado about

Nothing)

Section B – Poetry Anthology 2 hours 40% of the final grade

Paper Two

Section A  – Post-1914 Prose (Lord of the

Flies OR An Inspector Calls)

Section B – 19th Century Prose (The Strange

Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Section C – Unseen Poetry 2 hours, 30 minutes 60% of the final grade. 

Across the two years, students will visit and revisit each area of the course aiming to gain a thorough understanding of the texts and to fully develop their reading and writing skills. Students are encouraged to maintain a detailed workbook which will prove of great importance to them when they come to revise the course content as the exam period approaches. 

Key Stage Five

English Language

At Key Stage 5, we study the creation, reception and analysis of the English language from a hugely diverse range of settings, contexts and situations. Students will study both the written and spoken word (in transcript, in reality and on recordings) with texts ranging from literary extracts, conversations, journalism, text books, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, extracts from the Bible- anything with writing on really! 

The units of study will include language issues and the techniques which writers use; students experimenting with their own writing in a variety of creative and practical tasks and a range of key linguistic theories – for both written and spoken language - plus the grammatical terms you need to discuss language use effectively.

English Literature

The aims of the course are to develop skills of literary analysis both orally and through written communication, to engage with a substantial body of texts and to read a wide range of texts both independently and in class. The course exposes you to a variety of poetry, prose and drama.  

Assessment

At all Key stages, students are assessed regularly throughout the year.

  • At key stage 3 students will complete a formal assessment task every half term, each of which will cover different key skills in Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. In years 7 and 8, the assessments are differentiated to suit different abilities.
  • At Key Stage 4 students will be tracked and regularly assessed as part of their preparation for the final exams at the end of year 11.
  • At Key Stage 5 students will be regularly assessed through their coursework and exam preparation.

 How can I help my son/daughter?

  • Every student is required to complete a minimum of 20 minutes reading each night. You will be required to sign a sheet in their planner weekly to verify this is being completed;
  • At all Key stages, asking your son/daughter to talk about their lessons and what they are learning will help them consolidate their understanding and develop their ideas and knowledge;
  • Encouraging all students to proof-read and correct or improve all of their work (including in other subjects) will help create more independent, critical learners and help establish a very beneficial routine for your son/daughter;
  • Enquire after set homework, or check the ‘Show my Homework’ website to make sure homework is completed on time;
  • At Key Stage 4, encourage regular revision. Various web sites are available, but the BBC GCSE Bitesize is particularly useful offering notes, video clips and test questions on a range of skills and texts.