Good news and bad news!
The bad news is that everyone has to do English. The good news is that even if there was a choice the subject is so interesting and exciting that you would choose to do it anyway! You will meet so many fascinating people in the Walworth Academy English department and we’re not just talking about the friendly and skilful teachers.
Where else could you zoom back in time and rub shoulders with William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen and William Blake? Present day geniuses are also waiting to greet you at the turn of a page or a flick of a mouse. We give you the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, the master blaster of poetry Benjamin Zephaniah and great American story-teller Louis Sachar.
These are only a few of the great writers that you will read and hopefully grow to love in your English lessons. However English is not just about bumping into great writers. We aim to improve every pupil’s own language skills so that they can manage their own lives
and environment by the way they write, read, speak and listen. We want pupils to grow emotionally, socially, morally and even spiritually through their love of English. We also encourage our students to think critically and to appreciate and value the cultural diversity of race, gender and class which our local community offers so abundantly. Finally, we aim to get all students able to survive and flourish in our fast-moving, technologically demanding brave new world of the 21st Century.
English at Key Stage 3
The journey from year 7 to year 9 is an eventful one. Once the new year 7s have looked back at their early childhood and studied other auto biographies such as Roald Dahl and Nelson Mandela we move on to study many different genres including the novel, poetry, plays, newspapers and myths and legends. A similar pattern is repeated in years 8 and 9 with added focus on Shakespeare.
All through the key stage pupils are assessed using national curriculum levels 1 to 8 with 8 being the highest. We use a system called APP (Assessing Pupils progress) which means that teachers look for evidence across speaking, listening, reading and
writing of each pupil’s individual English skills. Some of this work is assessed through timed assessments in preparation for similar GCSE requirements and other work is taken from the pupils’ continuous activities in the English classroom and at home for instance in extended pieces of writing.
English at Key Stage 4
Alas……poor coursework…I knew it well..but I’m afraid that it’s as dead as Hamlet. Our students now are examined by controlled assessments and external exams. However the exploration is just as exciting. We start with perennial favourites like John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” and Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, pausing only briefly for a role play or presentation towards the pupil’s speaking and listening grades. Then we hurry on to a modern play such as Priestley’s “An Inspector Calls” and follow this with a trip into our pupils’ imaginations with an imaginative writing project. As the course progresses students will get the opportunity to study for one or two GCSE’s depending on their confidence and competence in language and literature. We are following the OCR exam board as we feel it offers a clearer path through the minefields of GCSE and a more appropriate introduction to the higher mountain slopes of ‘A’ level.
We’re very proud of our past and current exam results because they constantly outstrip the pupils’ potential. It’s not just added value we get out of the pupils so much as multiple value. We are now up to 67% of our pupils leaving with the gold star rating of an A* - C in English and around 80% of our entry also achieve this admirable level in English Literature.
Exam board/ No. of GCSE:OCR examination board
- Literary Texts: prose and poetry
- Spoken Language Study and Imaginative Writing
- Imaginative Writing
- Literary Texts: Modern Drama and Poetry
- Preparing for the Information and Ideas exam
- End of Year exam and Work Experience
Exam board/ No. of GCSE: OCR examination board (Students can qualify for two GCSEs in this subject.)
- Literary Texts: Prose from Different Cultures and Shakespeare
- Mock exam preparation and revision
- Literary Texts – Poetry, catch up on Controlled Assessment
- Literary Texts – Prose, catch up on Controlled Assessment
- Exam revision
English at Key Stage 5
2010 sees the English department offer an AS and A level English Literature course. We begin in year 12 with the study of the 1st World War poets, focusing on Wilfred Owen. Students go on a residential trip to the Somme to visit first world war battlefields where Wilfred Owen fought, wrote and died. Alongside this pupils study a 19th Century novel such as “Wuthering Heights” and “Pride and Prejudice” or a more modern novel such as “The Great Gatsby”. In year 13 the course broadens and deepens when students explore poets such as Chaucer, Donne or Milton as well as studying the plays of Shakespeare. It’s our aim that you will emerge from this course as a thoughtful, cultured and open-minded individual to whom any university would gladly open their doors.
Assessment is by examination (60%) and coursework (40%) which helpfully prepares our students for university life by giving the student some independence to explore their own interests and to choose topics and texts in the coursework component.