Longbenton English department aims to equip students with the skills to become reflective readers, skilled writers and confident speakers.
Our dynamic team works collaboratively in the planning of courses that are stimulating and enjoyable. We offer a variety of activities and approaches that enable students to investigate texts, explore the ways in which meaning is communicated and develop skills in both speech and writing. We use regular key assessments to provide precise targets which allow students to make clear and continued progress, ensuring students themselves understand how they can develop their strengths and address their weaknesses. We put particular emphasis on students’ reading and all of our lessons begin with ten minutes of reading.
At Key Stage 3 students study a wide range of texts: novels, modern drama and Shakespeare, poetry, non-fiction and media texts. We aim to enthuse students and guide them in their enjoyment of reading, writing and discussion, and we actively seek out opportunities for extra-curricular experiences to enhance our KS3 programme. Activities in lessons are varied with all students working on collaborative tasks, paired work and individual work. Students are encouraged to discover books they will enjoy and the Accelerated Reader programme introduces an element of competition as well as letting students clearly track their own progress. We aim to produce confident readers who can recognise how texts are shaped and skilful writers who can craft their own work effectively.
At Key Stage 4 students follow AQA GCSE English Language and AQA GCSE English Literature courses, with all exams taken at the end of Year 11. We introduce students to a wide range of written texts from differing time periods, with different perspectives and of different genres. Students’ analytical skills are developed through close analysis and the texts are used to model skilful writing. Through participation in collaborative tasks, students are given opportunities to develop their ideas and deepen their understanding. We aim to provide enjoyable and engaging lessons which support our students in making excellent progress.
At Key Stage 5, we offer both AQA English Literature (Specification B) and AQA English Language AS and A levels. Both options are popular with our students, with some choosing to study both A levels.
In AS and A Level Literature, students have the opportunity to study a range of texts through the lens of genre and theory. At AS Level, we explore the Tragedy Genre, reading texts such as John Keats’s poetry, Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles and Shakespeare’s Othello. At A Level Literature, the examination is based on Elements of Crime Writing, exploring texts such as Ian McEwan’s Atonement, Graham Greene’s Brighton Rock, Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Alongside this unit, an exciting coursework module has been designed to allow students to read widely, to choose their own texts and to explore different theoretical and critical methods.
The English Language AS course offers opportunities for students to study language concepts and engage with a range of texts and discourses. Students will learn how to pursue lines of enquiry, analyse texts produced by others and debate different views. At AS Level, students will prepare for two examinations, covering the topic areas ‘Language and the Individual’ and ‘Language Varieties’. At A Level, two examinations will test students’ ability to explore ‘Language, The Individual and Society’ and ‘Language Diversity and Change’. In addition, students will complete a coursework folder which includes a language investigation piece and a piece of original writing with commentary. This coursework module allows students the opportunity to work independently and to pursue individual areas of interest.
Regular homework is given in all Key Stages. In Key Stage 3 there is a focus on reading and spelling whilst in Key Stages 4 and 5 homework tasks help to develop the skills and knowledge required for success in the end-of -course exams.
Extra Curricular Activities
Creative Writing Club, for both KS3 and KS4, runs 3:15–4:15 each Week 2 Thursday in CM17
Journalism Club runs Monday Week 1 3:10-3:45 in CM17
GCSE revision sessions run Week 2 Monday 3:10 – 4:10 in CM02 and CM16