English

Welcome

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

― C.S. Lewis

The English Department at Havant Academy believes that every student we teach can be a passionate and avid reader and writer, regardless of their starting point. We believe that our curriculum enables students to both grasp and master the key skills that will allow them to succeed in the future, and to become as inspired by, and as passionate about, English as we are.

English achieved a 70% A*-C pass rate in Summer 2014, building on previous years’ results. Over 50% our 2014 Year 11 class made 4 levels of progress.

 

Department Staff

Ms Pinwill: Curriculum Leader for English
Mr Fisher: KS3 Coordinator for English
Ms Ridge: English Teacher, Literacy coordinator
Mr Giles:  Assistant Principal, English Teacher
Ms Hayes:  Assistant Principal, English Teacher
Ms Brodie:  Deputy Principal, English Teacher

Contact:  english@havantacademy.co.uk

 

Skills, Knowledge, Understanding/Topics covered:

 

Year 7

In Year 7, students cover a huge range of topics. In Autumn, they start with two thematic schemes of learning: “Childhood”, and “Monsters”. Within “Childhood”, the students explore the conventions of non-fiction texts, including presentational devices, before moving on to formal report writing.

“Monsters” allows students to explore and engage with a range of ‘monstrous’ texts, including Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”. Students begin to hone their reading skills, whilst writing in a range of styles around the theme of “Monsters”.

In Spring, students move onto their class novel, which has previously included favourites such as “Holes”, “Skellig” and “Private Peaceful”. The level of text chosen is entirely dependent on the reading ability of the child to ensure that every student is able to access and engage with the text.

The latter half of the Spring term allows students to study Shakespeare for the first time at KS3, with our “Shakespeare Snippets” scheme of learning. Students explore excerpts from a wide range of Shakespeare’s plays, including “Macbeth”, “Hamlet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Year 7 then move on to the Summer term, and their final two schemes of learning: “Poetry Across Time” and “Myths and Legends”. “Poetry Across Time” is designed to enable students to study a diverse range of poetry from across the generations. Students are then given the opportunity to write their own poetry, using the skills that they have practised.

The year draws to a close with “Myths and Legends”, in which students are able to explore myths, legends, fairy tales and traditional stories, examining their conventions and writing analytically on them.

 

Year 8

At the start of Year 8, students study two thematic schemes of learning, building on the skills that they developed in Year 7.

“Murder Mystery” develops students’ abilities to use inference and deduction, as well as speaking and listening, to solve a crime, respond to a range of mystery texts, including “The Ballad of Charlotte Dymond”, and build on their own use of the conventions of mystery writing to write their own narrative.

The “Titanic” scheme of learning develops students’ skills to write in a range of styles, and to explain a range of non-fiction textual and presentational devices. Students also build strong cross-curricular links here with History.

Year 8 begin Spring term with their class novel, which has previously included “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas”, “Fat Boy Swim” and “Face”. This unit builds on the reading skills taught in Year 7, with students encouraged to read independently, and to explore the deeper meanings of language and the themes within each text.

We then move on to a Contemporary Play; currently, we study “Johnny and the Dead” by Terry Pratchett. Students use speaking and listening, and drama based skills, to understand the features of play scripts, and use a range of strategies to unlock the meaning within the play.

Summer term sees the Year 8 students developing their knowledge of “Poetry from Other Cultures”, studying poets such as John Agard and Grace Nichols, to develop their awareness both of the range of styles of poetry that are written around the world, and to enhance their understanding of the world around them.

Finally, Year 8 culminates in the thematic “Superheroes” unit, in which students study and deconstruct a range of ‘superhero’ stories, including “The Dark Knight”. This multi-modal unit uses both graphic novels and film to enhance students’ understanding of how meaning can be conveyed across a range of different mediums, enabling them to see how their reading skills are able to be transferred.

 

Year 9

The first half of Autumn term in Year 9 works on encouraging students to look at the different ways that people are able to write about both themselves and one another. “Me, Myself and I” allows a student to look at the generic conventions of autobiographical and biographical writing, magazine articles, and personal speeches, to build on and hone students’ abilities to write in a range of styles.

The second half of Autumn term examines our “Visions of the Future”, with students studying a range of ‘futures’, from George Orwell’s “1984” to “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells. This unit also enables students to hone their creative and analytical writing skills, with students writing a range of texts from their own visions of the future, to essays analysing the use of language within a given extract.

As with Years 7 and 8, Year 9 start Spring term studying a class novel, such as “Face” by Benjamin Zephaniah, or “Stone Cold” by Robert Swindells. Students are encouraged to engage on a deeper level with the text, reading around the subject and researching the, at times, challenging issues that the class novel raises. Students’ analytical skills are nurtured during this unit, and they are taught to write in a similar style that the style that is expected when they start the GCSE course.

Year 9 then study “Much Ado About Nothing” by William Shakespeare, engaging with the text in more detail, but building on the skills taught in Years 7 and 9, when they study Shakespeare and Contemporary Drama respectively. Students learn how Shakespeare portrays female characters, and delve deeper into the social and historical context that heavily influenced his plays, before transferring their skills of analysis to develop their understanding of his use of language.

The thematic “War” scheme of learning ushers Year 9 into the Summer term, with students looking at the way that war has shaped poetry over the course of generations. Students explore and evaluate a range of poetry, including Wilfred Owen, before crafting their own creative writing and poetry around the theme of war. This unit has strong cross-curricular links to History and to the Citizenship curriculum, to enable students to fully understand the gravity of the theme.

The year ends with Year 9 students studying “Varieties of Writing”, a unit designed to ‘bridge’ the skills and knowledge developed at Key Stage Three, with the skills and knowledge required for success at GCSE level. Students create a writing portfolio, not dissimilar to the coursework portfolio required for their GCSE English course. Students are expected to develop their ability to write for a range of purposes and audiences, and in a range of styles, with a clear focus on adapting formality and using a wider range of appropriate vocabulary.

 

Year 10

For the first half of year 10, students prepare and draft the three pieces of writing that will form their coursework portfolio for the Cambridge IGCSE, with each piece focusing on a different style of writing: Assignment 1, a piece of persuasive/argumentative writing aimed at a specific audience and purpose; Assignment 2, a creative story based on a poem chosen by their teacher; Assignment 3, a response to a challenging article that the students have read and analysed in class.

The second half of year 10 focuses on preparation for the Edexcel Literature Certificate, to be taken the following January. Students study a prose novel, such as Of Mice and Men, a play (An Inspector Calls) and explore the poetry in the Anthology. Each text is examined in a 100% early entry examination, which allows our students the opportunity not just to achieve another GCSE, but also to develop and broaden their reading tastes and habits.

 

Year 11

For the first half of year 10, students prepare and draft the three pieces of writing that will form their coursework portfolio for the Cambridge IGCSE, with each piece focusing on a different style of writing: Assignment 1, a piece of persuasive/argumentative writing aimed at a specific audience and purpose; Assignment 2, a creative story based on a poem chosen by their teacher; Assignment 3, a response to a challenging article that the students have read and analysed in class.

The second half of year 10 focuses on preparation for the Edexcel Literature Certificate, to be taken the following January. Students study a prose novel, such as Of Mice and Men, a play (An Inspector Calls) and explore the poetry in the Anthology. Each text is examined in a 100% early entry examination, which allows our students the opportunity not just to achieve another GCSE, but also to develop and broaden their reading tastes and habits.

 

Extra-Curricular Enrichment/Opportunities

The English Department is a driving force in pushing “World Book Day” within the Academy. With dressing up, fun activities and a Readathon, it really is something that everyone can enjoy each year.

In the 2013-2014 academic year, some of our students were lucky enough, as part of World Book Day, to work with author David Gatward, on a creative writing workshop, producing original stories of their own.

At Key Stage 4, students are expected to attend weekly enrichment sessions with their English teacher, who will support them in completing GCSE coursework and revising to prepare for the examinations. This provision is also provided during half terms and the Easter holidays, so that students are given every opportunity to achieve their potential.

 

Trips

At Key Stage 3, students have previously had the opportunity to work with a poet to prepare their own poetry on the Leigh Park area, something that we hope will continue long into the future.

Students also have the opportunity to go to see live performances of plays that link directly to the curriculum, such as adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays.

 

Links to useful websites

Information on Edexcel English Literature Certificate: http://www.edexcel.com/quals/igcse/edexcel-certificate/english/english-literature/Pages/default.aspx

Information on Cambridge IGCSE: http://www.cie.org.uk/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-igcse-english-first-language-uk-0522/