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English

Students’ achievement in English is outstanding. The proportions of students making and exceeding expected levels of progress are well above average.’ (Ofsted)

KEY STAGE 3

In English lessons at FHS we aim to equip students with the skills and the confidence that they will need to access the whole curriculum, to be lifelong learners and to be successful in life after school. We aim to make English enjoyable and engaging by covering a wide range of texts from a variety of cultures. The English department is passionate about its subject and we hope that this is reflected through innovative and creative lessons where students are required to be actively engaged in their work.  

At Key Stage 3 students are taught in mixed ability groups. As part of the schemes of work, we study books in which women, girls and minority ethnic groups have positive roles; students are encouraged to write stories to counteract sexism and racism. Students are exposed to variety of texts including newspaper and magazine articles, extracts from modern and classic fiction as well as short stories, plays and media texts. 

To build on the work completed in lessons students will also complete two extended home learning projects for English each year. This is in line with the school’s homework policy and each project aims to consolidate learning which takes place in the classroom whilst developing students’ independence, organisational skills and curiosity for the subject.  

Year 7

In Year 7 students are introduced to Key Stage 3 through a range of texts including The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne, an introduction to the work and life of William Shakespeare, and a selection of poetry from other cultures. In term one students complete a creative writing unit with a focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar, building on the skills they have developed during Key Stage 2 to ensure that they start their secondary education with strong literacy skills which will support them throughout the rest of their education.  

Year 8

Schemes of work in Year 8 include: a gothic literature module (with a vast array of extracts from modern, 19th century and pre 19thcentury texts), William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Robert Swindells’ Stone Cold and a non-fiction writing unit. Students will develop their ability to be critical readers who can analyse language well and question authorial intent.  

Year 9 

Over the course of Year 9 we will develop and foster the skills students will need to be successful at Key Stage 4. Assessments will prepare them for the new English Language GCSE exam which they will be sitting in Year 11. Students will study a range of non-fiction, William Shakespeare’s Othello, Priestley’s play An Inspector Calls and a collection of Roald Dahl’s short stories.  

KEY STAGE 4

FHS are yet again celebrating a fantastic set of GCSE results: 74.6% of students achieved a 4+ in English (equivalent to a pass). We also obtained 8 grade ‘9s’ which are only awarded to two or three out of every hundred students and 12 grade 8s which are equivalent to the old A*. 

Language

At FHS we aim to make English Language accessible, useful, interesting and enjoyable for all students, regardless of confidence in the subject.  

Students are graded from 1 up to 9. There is no coursework or in-school assessments; everything is 100% based on exam performance, due to educational reforms. Students will sit two exams at the end of the two-year course. 

Our exam board for GCSE English Language is AQA. The course is flexible and exciting as there are very few restrictions as to what content we can teach, making it ideal for a range of students and classes. Students study a range of fiction texts including: Fantasy and Dystopia, classic fiction from the literary cannon and modern short stories; as well as: non-fiction extracts, newspaper and magazine articles and media texts.  

Literature

English Literature has traditionally been one of our most popular and enjoyable subjects. Our aim is to imbue students with a love of literature and a wide range of analytical skills to set them up for a lifetime of enjoyable reading. 

As with the Language course, this is a new GCSE and students will be graded from 1 up to 9. There are no coursework or any in-school assessments; everything is based on exam performance, due to educational reforms. Students will sit two exams at the end of the two-year course. 

Our students have opportunities to explore: a Shakespeare text (Romeo and Juliet), a range of contemporary and classic poetry, a 19th Century novel (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) and a modern text (An Inspector Calls). Where possible, links will be made with other texts, writers and historical contexts, where applicable, to ensure students get a rounded and inspiring experience of English literature. 

 

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