About Our Subject
The English Department at Oldbury Wells School aims to provide a rich and stimulating experience for all of our students. We have a strong team of specialist teachers. Whilst we all appreciate the vital contribution our subject makes to the development of crucial literacy skills, we also know that English is so much more than that as a subject.
When Year 7 pupils arrive from primary, we work hard to build on the skills and knowledge they already have and continue to foster and encourage a healthy reading habit, something we know can ‘drop off’ when children are adjusting to the demands of secondary school.
Pupils are taught in mixed ability form groups to begin with, then are placed in ability groupings dependent on prior performance and our close observation in the first half term. These sets are reviewed very regularly. Our curriculum in Years 7 and 8 covers a wide range of skills and topics: from Shakespeare and authors from the English Literary Heritage, to contemporary issues explored through non-fiction texts and persuasive writing to creative writing. We underpin this with a continued focus on spelling, grammar and punctuation. Our lessons are designed to be robust but enjoyable. My teachers believe that English is important but also the most fun, flexible and challenging subject in the curriculum too.
At GCSE students build on the skills learnt at KS 3. All students study both English Language and English Literature courses. The English Language course develops analytical reading skills and the ability to write both fiction and non-fiction. These skills are taught in an integrated way. In Literature, students study poetry, a Shakespeare play, a pre-1900 novel and a modern text.
Students have the opportunity to really branch out and study according to their own interests as the course still carries a 20% coursework element. The students also study a range of exam texts in the genres of tragedy and crime.
Opportunities for progression: An A Level in English Literature opens the door to a huge number of courses and jobs. Many degree courses, particularly Law, value the analytical and argumentative skills students develop from studying English Literature.