The aim of the English Department is to enable all students to communicate and understand the nuances of the English Language and to develop analytical skills which can be used across many subjects as English Language and Literature are subjects which impact upon every curriculum area.
We provide a wide and varied English curriculum across all key stages, introducing pupils to quality literature including a range of poetry, prose and drama. We also seek to foster an enjoyment of reading.
Additionally, in our curriculum, we ensure a balanced approach to reading, writing and speaking and listening and pupils are given the confidence to develop reading, writing and oracy skills necessary to succeed in their school lives and beyond.
Our aim is to inspire and motivate pupils, providing appropriate stretch and challenge and all English staff have high expectations and adhere to the school’s code of conduct.
We aim to provide pupils with a solid foundation on which to build their futures, and effectively equip them with the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need in order to be successful in an increasingly demanding world.
English forms a suitable basis for a wide variety of university courses and can lead to careers in advertising, law, personnel, publishing, marketing, teaching, administration, politics, journalism, and the media, for example
Students are taught English in mixed ability form groups in Years 7 and 8 and have 3 x 50 minute lessons per week. Year 7s and 8s also have one 50 minute library lesson. We read and study a range of texts across Key Stage 3, from The Tulip Touch and sections from Shakespeare’s plays in Year 7, to Holes and Much Ado About Nothing in Year 8, until we reach Of Mice and Men and a GCSE poetry selection in Year 9. All years also participate in performing spoken language presentations to an audience. We cover a range of poetry, prose, drama, and non-fiction to ensure that students are well prepared for the demands of GCSE and are ready to begin the course in the middle of Year 9. At the end of Year 9, pupils prepare for the Spoken Language element of the GCSE course.
In Years 10 and 11, students are taught in ability groups for English. All girls study English Language and English Literature. Depending on option choices, GCSE students will have either 4 or 5 x 50 minute lessons per week. We follow the AQA GCSE syllabus for both Language and Literature and the course includes a variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose and Drama. Our set texts include: A Christmas Carol, An Inspector Calls, Power and Conflict poetry from the AQA anthology and either Macbeth or The Merchant of Venice.
We follow the AQA B specification for English Literature, which is a 2 year linear course. There are approximately 15-20 students in each group in years 12 and 13 and students have 5 x 50 minute lessons per week. We follow the Tragedy and Social and Political Protest writing elements of the course. Our current set texts are: Othello, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Death of a Salesman, The Kite Runner, A Doll’s House and William Blake’s poetry. We also use the AQA critical anthology to produce a 3000 word NEA folder.
At Bishop’s Hatfield we put great emphasis on literacy across all areas of the curriculum and school life.
Within all classes literacy is promoted, and work is marked using consistent symbols to ensure that pupils understand and can act upon the teacher’s comments. Literacy excellent awards are also given by teachers from Year 7-11 for written pieces of work that meet appropriate writing levels for each year. Literacy ambassadors within Year 7 forms are responsible for highlighting the use of literacy and general written and spoken communication within the form.
Word of the week focuses upon key technical terms within subjects and half termly quizzes from Year 7-11 are used to recap and even test understanding and knowledge of these terms.
- The Rotary Club public speaking group competes yearly in local and regional competitions.
- Year 9 visit the Warner Brothers Studios yearly to participate in Media activities within the Harry Potter Studios.
- Year 7 and 8 participate in a sponsored reading challenge each year.
- Year 7 take part in a Performance poetry event, competing in houses (See videos below)
- Theatre visits are regularly organised, including a yearly visit to the Globe Theatre.
- Gifted and Talented workshops are regularly organised for all years.
- GCSE and A-level Revision classes are organised.