At Abbey Gate College, English is a subject that aims to inspire students’ creativity, to encourage clear communication, to fire their passion for reading and to develop their understanding of the power of words. The imaginative and exploratory nature of English, underpinned by a firm grounding in the grammatical building blocks of language, makes it a highly motivating and engaging subject. Using this as our starting point, our aims are as follows:
- Ensure that pupils appreciate the importance of English to their lives, inside and outside of school
- Provide a curriculum which meets our pupils’ needs, which engages them with the world beyond the classroom
- Develop independent thinkers and workers
- Develop comprehension and understanding
- Develop personal response
- Develop confidence in reading, writing, speaking and listening
- Ensure effective communication, both spoken and written
- Ensure high standards of literacy, including spelling and handwriting
- Provide opportunities to be creative
- Provide real audiences and contexts for pupil tasks
- Develop a love of reading
- Stretch and challenge as well as support
- Make effective use of ICT and media technology
We want pupils to find English exciting and fun, inspiring and relevant. English is all about being able to communicate what is thought and felt – this could be speaking to friends and family, writing in school or on social media sites, as well as what is read in books, through technology or walking the streets. Everything we do involves communication and therefore English. We want pupils to think independently, to read widely and, most importantly, to be creative. We also promote broad reading, with pupils encountering a range of texts, from fairy tales to Shakespeare, in lessons. Additionally, pupils are encouraged to develop their skills of independent reading. At KS3, pupils also participate in English Speaking Board (ESB) exams, advancing their speaking and listening skills through the achievement of a widely recognised qualification.
Through the two year programme students follow the Edexcel English Language and AQA Literature specifications. Both English Language and English Literature are studied and include a range of non-fiction and literary texts, as well as poetry; a wide variety of writing skills are also taught in preparation for four final exams.
Educational visits and extra curricular activity
Students are encouraged to enter a variety of non-fiction and creative writing competitions both internal and external. We have an extensive programme of writing workshops and visit all relevant theatre productions. We also offer opportunities for extra-curricular and additional support within English.
Rooms and resources
There are three dedicated classrooms and a smaller A Level teaching room, each featuring a Smart TV. The Department has a wide range of texts and visual resources for students to study which is updated annually.