Listening with sensitivity
Speaking with conviction
At The Urswick School, we are enthusiastic about the opportunities offered by English. Through their study of novels, students can expect to be transported to different worlds; through their creative writing, they can make words sizzle on the page; through discussion, they can discover.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, our principle aim is to inspire our students. We have an exciting and challenging curriculum that is designed to enable our students to appreciate the varied richness of language and literature, to stimulate their curiosity and their enjoyment of the subject while making individual progress.
Through the study of a range of challenging novels, plays and poetry, we endeavour to raise the expectations of all our students so that they each fulfil their potential and achieve their very best. One of the ways in which we will achieve this is by making independent learning prominent. In particular, we have an extensive reading programme; Year 7s, for example, will be given their own reading logs to encourage them to develop good reading habits. We also have ‘reading buddies’ where older students support some of our younger students in their reading. Central to our teaching and learning is the involvement of all our KS3 pupils in tracking their own progress using APP (Assessing Pupil Progress) materials. Everyone in the English Department has a genuine enthusiasm for the subject, which we hope to convey to our students.
Key Stage 4
At GCSE, we use the AQA examining board which offers two GCSE routes: English Language and Literature, which counts as two GCSEs; and English, which is a combination of language and literature and counts as one GCSE.
The assessment objectives aim to develop students’ analytical, interpretative and creative skills through their reading and writing of fiction and non-fiction texts. Students study a variety of different texts, including ‘Of Mice and Men’, ‘An Inspector Calls’ and the AQA Anthology; as well as develop their ability to write for different audiences and purposes. The new syllabus also has an exciting new component: The Spoken Language Study. Students have the opportunity to explore and investigate an aspect of spoken language, such as personal/ public talk, speech that is particular to an occupation, and multi-modal talk. Speaking and Listening, worth 20% of the GCSE, continues to be a central feature and a strong point amongst our students.