Welcome to English at TMWS. We are a small department with big ideas, passionate about our subject and eager to support our students to become subject specialists through a variety of reading, writing and speaking activities. Within the department we have a broad range of specialist academic backgrounds and this is reflected in the range and content of our curriculum. Students at TMWS enjoy English, citing us as a subject in which they feel well supported to make the best progress possible.
Key Stage Three is all about preparing the foundations which will allow students to enjoy English and succeed in the subject. Students are given the opportunity to study and appreciate a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts linked to four different themes each year. In Year 7 these include: Myths and Legends; Landscape, Weather and Wildlife; Ghosts, Magic and Witchcraft and Growing Up. The Year 8 topics are: War and Conflict; Love; Crime and Disorder and Science-Fiction and Fantasy. Within these themes at least two novels, two Shakespeare plays, and many poems taken from the last 500 years are studied. Students also learn how to produce their own writing in a wide variety of genres and styles and for a broad range of purposes with a focus on creativity and technical accuracy. This is all supported by the development of speaking skills through debates, discussions and presentations.
In Year 9 students begin their GCSE studies, starting with the study of Different Cultures through Of Mice and Men, followed by a 10-week topic on Language and Literature in English, which gives them an understanding of the development of English from Anglo-Saxon times up until the present day.
The key to enjoying and succeeding in English (and across the whole curriculum) is the ability to read fluently and with ease, and to support this we have invested in the Accelerated Reader programme which we will use from September 2016, and which supports students by suggesting appropriate books for them to read and quizzing them on these. Students who make the most progress will be awarded prizes and certificates.
GCSE: Exam Board AQA
At Key Stage 4, students study the AQA courses in English Language and English Literature. We use an integrated approach in which we study literature texts using the skills required for both Language and Literature exams. Students enjoy studying a wide range of contemporary and heritage texts, including: Lord of the Flies, A Christmas Carol, Macbeth, and An Inspector Calls, as well as a wide range of poetry from the Romantic Movement right up until the present day.
There are four terminal examinations, two for English Language and two for English Literature. We prepare students thoroughly for these, designing our lessons in such a way that exam style responses are produced every week, ensuring that students are well versed in the skills they need for these challenging examinations. This also allows us to very precisely assess and track the progress of our students, allowing us to provide timely and carefully aimed interventions where needed.
Extra Curricular Activites:
We believe that our students benefit from extra-curricular activities which enrich their experience of our subject. We run regular trips to the theatre (recent trips have included The Importance of Being Earnest and The Merry Wives of Windsor) and take students to the annual Poetry Live! event in Leeds, where they have the opportunity to hear some of the world’s greatest poets reading and discussing their own work and that of great poets from the past.
Each year we celebrate World Book Day, National Storytelling Week and National Poetry Day. A range of activities take place in the Library and students are encouraged to take part in these.
There is also a weekly drama club that aims to prepare theatrical pieces for performance at school events.
A pass in English is an essential requirement whatever next steps students decide upon. However, students who take the subject at university level often go on to careers in The Media, Communications and Marketing, Journalism, Teaching, Research (both in Academia and the private sector), and Authorship.