The English Department changes lives through learning. We strive to inspire a love of reading and a thirst for knowledge in our students, developing them as independent and enquiring learners, equipped to succeed in the world outside our academy.
During their time at the academy, students study a wide range of engaging texts and follow a programme of personal reading to help them develop into insightful and perceptive readers. There is an emphasis on reading fiction with every student studying at least one fiction text per term as part of their class work, as well as reading fiction during their independent reading time. During English lessons, students participate in a wide range of learning experiences, developing them as effective communicators and active learners.
All of our students progress to study English at GCSE and the majority also follow the GCSE Literature course. A large number of students choose to continue to study English subjects at ‘A’ level.
The department runs a variety of book and creative writing clubs, and work closely with the PEXA Department to organise theatre trips. Students in the department run the academy newspaper, and our Gifted and Talented students work as learning ambassadors, helping students in other year groups to achieve their full potential.
Head of English: Mrs Deeks
Second in English & KS5 Coordinator: Miss Relph
KS4 Expert: Mrs McConnell
Literacy Coordinator: Mrs Ross
Pupil Premium Link: Miss Capstick
Entry Level Coordinator: Miss Graham
Interventions & Enrichments Coordinator: Mrs Freestone
Governor Link: Miss MacLeod
Reading Champion: Miss Savage
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 students develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through a range of core units which cover many different types of text including poetry, drama, non-fiction and fiction. All students are enrolled on the Accelerated Reader scheme to help develop them as fluent and independent readers. Students have four English lessons a week.
English classes are set by ability and extra support is available for those who have weak literacy skills or need further help with reading. Gifted and Talented students are encouraged to involve themselves in the many enrichment activities offered by the department.
The English department runs a number of extra-curricular activities for Key Stage 3 students including visits to the National Media Museum in Bradford, Wordsworth's Museum in Ambleside and various theatre trips. There are also several different Reading Clubs that the department runs over the course of the school year, including the Booked Up Club for students in Year 7, the Teenage Booktrust Shadowing Group for students in Years 8 and 9 and the Carnegie Children's Literature Award Shadowing Group which is open to all Key Stage 3 students.
Key Stage 4
English at Key Stage 4 offers all students a lively and varied course, which develops their language and analysis skills through speaking and listening, reading and writing. Students work towards one or two GCSEs – either English Language and English Literature, or English (a combined course which covers elements of both English language and English literature). All courses comprise of 40% controlled assessment and 60% external examination. KS4 students have five English lessons a week. They are also encouraged to attend after school revision and study sessions.
“I think it’s a genuinely interesting subject that brings together so many different skills that came in handy across all of my A-Levels, we got to study four topics over the two years so we were never doing the same thing day in day out. But the best part? The enthusiasm of our teachers, debating and discussing… the lessons weren’t just about learning to pass an exam but understanding a topic because we wanted to know more.”
A student's view on 6th Form English at WLA (Thomas Heslop Year 13)
Both of these are successful courses with a 100% pass rate in 2012. Both courses attract a high number of students. We currently have around 70 students studying English Language and/or English Literature in our Sixth Form.
Relevant Links• BBC Bitesize - GCSE English
• SAM Learning
• Spell Any Where
• BBC Skills Wise