Welcome to the English Department
In English, we aim to produce learners who are not just literate but also learners who are confident, resilient and able to succeed. Our desire for the English curriculum at Christ the King Catholic High School is for it to be holistic and integrated; our schemes of work are varied, relevant, engaging and challenging. We aim to improve and enhance our students’ cultural capital in order for them to thrive. English allows students to experience the world through the eyes of others and provides opportunities for the exploration of students’ cultural heritage and the appreciation of literary works from other cultures. The core literacy skills of reading, writing and speaking are at the heart of success across the wider curriculum and the intent of the English Department is to build a solid foundation of these skills, leading to excellent performances at GCSE level and beyond. Our team of specialist, experienced teachers seek to inspire and engage students with a love of the subject and a curiosity that extends beyond the classroom.
When planning the curriculum, the English Department takes account of the diverse needs of our students, considering Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), their prior attainment, those with English as an Additional Language (EAL) and those with high ability. This results in a programme that is flexible, innovative, relevant and challenging for all.
Key Stage 3 Curriculum: Students will access units which cover: contemporary and classical fiction; Shakespeare; poetry from the English cannon; non-fiction; news; transactional writing and debates. The use of drama, discussion, reading and writing aids both deeper understanding and assessment within the subject.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum: The two year Key Stage 4 course prepares all Christ the King students for Eduqas GCSEs in English Language and Literature. Our curriculum plan allows for the interleaving of subject content, so students constantly revisit and build on prior learning, developing confidence and supporting their revision for final examinations.
Reading is a key focus of English at Christ the King. The English department strives to ensure that students read for enjoyment in order to develop themselves in both an emotional and literate sense. At Key Stage 3, all English lessons begin with 5 minutes of silent reading. Students are encouraged to read a range of texts, from the weekly editions of First News, through to challenging novels and poetry anthologies, all of which is promoted through our Reading Challenge rewards programme. Beyond the classroom, every tutor group in the school has silent reading at least once per week, there are reading groups run by members of staff and Key Stage 4 students regularly support younger students through the Reading Buddy intervention programme. Our well-resourced library facility is extensively used throughout the week for a wide range of activities and is accessed by many students in their free time. Overall, we seek to promote a life-long love of reading.
Monitoring and Support:
All students are given aspirational targets to motivate them to achieve their full potential. Throughout the year, all students are regularly assessed and rigorously monitored. This assessment information is sent home at timely intervals. English teachers work meticulously to ensure students are equipped with the essential skills needed to achieve success; it is vital that if a student needs support to master a particular skill that this is identified at an early stage. If students require extra support to achieve their targets, parents and carers are notified and we use a range of intervention strategies such as: additional in class support, intervention, after-school booster sessions and targeted support from Teaching Assistants. In addition to this, we liaise closely with the Learning and Life Skills department with an English specialist providing literacy intervention to students at KS3.
Beyond the Classroom:
As teachers, we recognise the importance of the broader development of students and the importance of learning both in and outside of the classroom. In light of this, structures are in place to ensure that all students can access our full curriculum including the take-up of opportunities beyond the classroom.
- Designated reading time during English.
- Tutor Time Reading
- Book Buzz – free books for Year 7
- Reading Groups
- Published author visits
- GCSE revision booster sessions.
- Reading Buddy Training
- Theatre Trips
- Entry into local and national writing competitions
- National Literacy Trust competitions
- Lancashire Book of the Year
The English Department also significantly contributes to the school’s Extended Learning Day enrichment programme by leading workshops on various topics such as: identifying fake news, awareness and responses to online bullying, Curriculum Vitae (CV) writing, and writing job applications and personal statements. The rigors of the English GCSEs and the way in which the department focuses on the development of independent learning leads to students who are fully equipped for the wider world of further study and employment.