English

“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”
― Alan Bennett, The History Boys

Our aim is to instil a passion for English Literature in our students which will stay with them for life. We want to open the doors of Literature and ensure they experience some of the best writers and works of Literature. In English Language we aim to empower students so that literacy is never a barrier in their lives.

The English Department’s primary purpose is to ensure students develop high order reading, writing and oracy skills. We aim to equip students with the necessities to open doors in their lives, in the school setting, and in the wider world.
We are committed to delivering active learning where students take ownership of their own progress and are supported by a team of enthusiastic and skilled English teachers. We wish to instil a love of both the English language and great works of literature in our students through our enthusiasm, enjoyment and example.

As part of the learning journey for our students, we ensure we combine the knowledge based curriculum, cultural capital and enrichment opportunities to support the development of the individual. Supporting the acquisition of knowledge whilst developing and refining skills is fundamental to our teaching and learning. We understand the importance of English to our students and incorporate influences from Key Stage 2 to Key stage 5 in order to support progression at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

Students across Key Stage 3 study four hours of English per week with Year 7s, and selected Year 8s and 9s, also studying additional lessons focussed on vocabulary and reading across the curriculum (Excel). We ensure that we are equipping students with the skills needed for Key Stage 4 from the very start of Key Stage 3. In Year 9, students start to explore Key Stage 4 content as appropriate to ability and engagement. When in Year 10, students study five hours of English and in Year 11 students study four hours of English.

Extra-curricular opportunities allow students to discover different aspects of English that will challenge and stimulate their interest. Our students are involved in reading initiatives such as ‘The Big Book Quiz’, ‘Bolton Literature Award’ and ‘Readathon’; speaking and listening competitions including the ‘Rotary Youth Speaks’; and both internal and external writing competitions. Any opportunities to engage with external agencies such as theatre productions or author visits are also pursued.

Key Stage 3 – What we do:

Our Key Stage 3 Schemes of Learning offer a broad and balanced range of stimulus whilst being mapped to Key Stage 4. We have also worked with local primary schools to ensure we have a clear path of progression for students joining us in Year 7. Each Key Stage 3 group have a topic text as a focus with reading, writing, and oracy skills, developed and mastered through the stimulus of these texts. Both fiction and non-fiction texts are covered across the curriculum including Shakespeare. In writing lessons, students perfect skills in terms of the content and organisation of writing as well as the technical construction.

In Years 7 and 8 we use a range of texts to inspire our learners and ensure they have the grounding for success in our subject. A range of creative and real life writing styles are studied. ‘The Community Project’ in Year 7 forms the backbone of Year 7 encounters with employers and the community heroes of Westhoughton. Year 8 speeches and presentations also ensure Key Stage 3 students are confident in written and oral communication.
Students in Year 9 now start to engage and explore GCSE content such as A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and poetry. Each term, students study a broad curriculum of fiction and non-fiction linked by a theme.
Oracy is at the heart of developing our students’ confidence and communication skills. We embrace the opportunities the subject allows to discuss and debate topical issues. As such, this allows the social, moral and spiritual development of students to be embedded within English and encourage students to grow into well-rounded citizens. 

Key Stage 4 – What we do:

Year 10 and Year 11 study the Eduqas specification for GCSE English Language and AQA specification for GCSE English Literature.

Year 10 study A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Other texts studied in Year 10 include Animal Farm by George Orwell and a range of AQA Power and Conflict Anthology poems. Students study Shakespeare’s Macbeth for their English Literature examination. We also incorporate English Language skills linking thematically to support knowledge acquisition and retention, and explore texts further. Students have the opportunity to complete GCSE English Literature in Year 10.

Year 11 study a key text in order to transfer and develop relevant comprehension skills for English Language. These include some of the class teacher’s personal favourites, such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Lord of the Flies by William Golding and Heroes by Robert Cormier to name but a few. Writing skills are explicitly taught in order to master specific text types when writing for particular purposes and audiences as required.

The daily learning diet of our Key Stage 4 students ensures they build on prior learning, acquire the knowledge necessary to succeed, and are capable of being robust learners ready for the world beyond Westhoughton High School.

Key Stage 3:

What will I learn?
What will I do?
Year 7

Term 1Is the Past Present?
This key question is explored throughout the first term, through a range of modern texts and 19th Century texts. The primary text studied is the play version of the classic tale A Christmas Carol.
The allegorical tale of Scrooge provides the stimulus to study the Victorian attitudes family, children, the poor and the supernatural and explore if these attitudes have changed in the modern day.
The Community Project
Use knowledge of formal letters to invite community heroes into school to discuss their role in the community and be interviewed by your class.
Reading lessons:
Explore plot; characterisation and themes, locating and retrieving evidence; inferring and making judgements about the text. Students will be taught how to skim and scan and effectively track texts.

Writing lessons:
Language and layout features of formal and informal letters. Exploring personas both fictional and non-fictional through both creativity and experience. Develop a working understanding of parts of speech; subject/verb agreement and tenses.

Oracy:
Role play and interviews.
Term 2Redemption
Up until half term (February) there is an exploration of a diverse range of texts to examine attitudes towards such issues as redemption, family, poverty and power.

Shakespeare’s Others
After half term the works of Shakespeare are considered through the way in which the playwright presented his more fantastical characters.
A range of extracts from across the Shakespeare canon will be used to explore the presentation of these characters and to provide opportunities to examine Shakespeare’s world.

Creative Writing
Using knowledge of personas, successful short story writing techniques are developed. Language and layout features of narratives and newspaper articles are studied. Exploring the STORY structure as well as crafting articles. Both external and internal writing competitions can be entered.
Reading Lessons:
Understand the importance of social and historical context; develop ability to locate, retrieve and infer about characters and themes; be able to use technical vocabulary to discuss mood and atmosphere.
Explore a range of texts that share common thematic ideas. Skimming and scanning, and tracking techniques will be revisited and the importance of charting whole texts, embedded.

Writing lessons:

Learning how to craft narratives and articles; have a working understanding of apostrophe usage, adverbs, comparative and superlative adjectives, nouns, plural nouns and the genitive case.

Oracy:
Debate, discussion and presentations.

Term 3Fate and Freewill
During the summer term, pinnacle characters from Shakespeare’s works are further explored and the concept of fate and freewill is discussed.
A range of extracts from across the Shakespeare canon will be used to explore the presentation of these characters and to provide opportunities to examine Shakespeare’s world.

Report and review writing
Considering problems and resolutions, the concept of report writing is studied in order for students to develop real life skills. Justifying and supporting opinions in a lively manner is studied in order for students to review for different audiences and forms including blogs and music reviews.


Reading lessons:
Continue to strengthen location and retrieval skills; build on ability to infer about characters, themes, moods and atmospheres; begin to analyse words, phrases and devices for impact, using technical vocabulary to give responses greater authority; move towards critical evaluations. Skimming and scanning and charting whole texts will remain a focus.

Writing lessons:
Learning how to structure a review and report using a range of punctuation and vocabulary to create a suitable tone. Including the graphological features of a text, colon usage and factual vocabulary. Focus on technical accuracy; learn language and layout features of reviews and the art of persuasive writing.

Oracy:
Role play and discussion.
Year 8

Term 1 Mortality and Morality
The juxtaposition of these two elements is explored throughout the novel The Woman in Black by Susan Hill. This classic ghost story presents the reader with questions about the nature of gothic suspense. When exploring the nature of morality and mortality a range of other stimulus will also be explore including:
Farthing House by Susan Hill
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Nurture group:
Room 13.

Developing creative writing skills through settings, senses, characters and literary devices takes precedence at this term.
Reading lessons:
Securing an appreciation of the significance of context; exploration of plot, characterisation and themes, locating and retrieving evidence to support responses; ensuring quotations are apt, inferring, analysing and evaluating. Further opportunities given to students to chart texts.

Writing lessons:
The language of effective description; developing narratives with limited time frames; have a working understanding of compound and complex sentence structures; noun appositive phrases; conjunctive adverbs and semi-colons.

Oracy:
Role play as well as both group and individual presentations.
Term 2Violence and Rebellion.
After half term, Shakespeare’s classic and much loved play Romeo and Juliet is studied through the way the playwright presents the key ideas of violence and rebellion. The twin themes of violence and rebellion will be further explored through a range of diverse texts to enhance the study of Romeo and Juliet. Texts such as‘My last Duchess’ by Robert Browning and ‘Poppies’ by Jane Weir.

As the term progresses, the language and layout of travel blogs, travel articles, reviews and leaflets will be examined and practised.
Further development of retrieval, analytical and tracking skills with an understanding of how writers make use of language and structure to create tension. The presentation of characters’ relationships will also be explored. The use of technical vocabulary will be embedded and development work done on the tone of academic essays.

Writing lessons:
Writing for a range of purposes and audiences, ensuring vocabulary is appropriate to formality; using a range of punctuation for effect.

Oracy:
Discussion and presentation.
Term 3Honour
During the summer term Shakespeare’s classic play Romeo and Juliet is explored further. An enhanced understanding is promoted through the way the playwright presents the key ideas of honour, violence and rebellion.
A variety of texts will be studied alongside the Shakespeare play. The relevance of the context in which texts were written is linked to a range of modern and classic texts such as:
Street Gang – H.Webster
Extract from Heroes by Robert Cormier
The Hunger Games-Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Vendetta.
Lamb to the Slaughter.

Persuasive and linguistic devices are embedded with a number of different speeches from the modern day and historical figures.
Reading lessons:
There will be a greater focus on analysis and the evaluation of playwright and structural devices; the language of evaluation will be introduced and students will need to consider the subject matters placement in the time it was written.

Writing lessons:
Focus on technical accuracy; revision of language and layout features of formal/informal letters and articles; using apt devices in speeches; varying sentence structures for effect.

Oracy:
Discussion, debate and presentation.
 
Year 9


Term 1
Power and Conflict
Through the AQA anthology of poetry and the chosen class reader, the prevalent themes of power and conflict are explored.

Class reader:
Boys Don’t Cry by Malorie Blackman
Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Language analysis
Thematic tracking
Contextual overview
Understanding of form and structure.
Comparison.
How to evaluate the poet/writer’s purpose and the impact on the reader at the time and the reader now.
Tier 3 vocabulary and application.
Writing with precision.
Writing for different contexts.

Oracy: Discuss, debate, argue and persuade in a number of scenarios.
Term 2
Judgement and Redemption
Continuing looking at the thematic thread of power and conflict through Edgar Alan Poe’s classic tale ‘The Tell Tale Heart’ and its exploration of the power of guilt.
The text will also provide the stimulus for creative writing.

Embedding skills and applying to short stories:
Language analysis
Thematic tracking
Contextual overview
Understanding of form and structure.
How to evaluate the poet/writer’s purpose and the impact on the reader at the time and the reader now.
Tier 3 vocabulary and application.
Using the structures and techniques of effective creative writing.

Oracy: Discuss, debate, argue and persuade in a number of scenarios.
Term 3
Macbeth
During the summer term, students will study the AQA exam text Macbeth by William Shakespeare. This text will provide the opportunity to track the descent of a character across a text and to evaluate the play form in order to assess its impact on the audience, both in Shakespeare’s day and modern day.

Refining skills and applying to a play:
Language analysis
Thematic tracking
Contextual overview
Understanding of form and structure.
How to evaluate the poet/writer’s purpose and the impact on the reader at the time and the reader now.
Tier 2 vocabulary and application.
Writing structures for analysis.

Oracy: Discuss, debate, argue and persuade in a number of scenarios.

Key Stage 4: GCSE: AQA English Literature / Eduqas English Language.

What will I do?
What will I learn?
Year 10

Term 1 The AQA anthology of poetry will be completed and revised alongside a study of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
Cultural enrichment opportunities for both Language and Literature are encountered with external agencies, performances on and off site, and the real life relevance of English being promoted.


Read, understand and respond to texts.
Maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response.
Use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations.
Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.
Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.
Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.

Oracy: Discuss, debate, argue and persuade in a number of scenarios.
Term 2During the summer term, Students will the AQA exam text Animal Farm by George Orwell. This text will provide the opportunity to explore this classic allegorical tale; exploring the real historical figure and events that informed Orwell’s work.
Links to modern day politics and key moments in history are evaluated in order to broaden the relevance of this exam text.

Read, understand and respond to texts.
Maintain a critical style and develop an informed personal response.
Use textual references, including quotations, to support and illustrate interpretations.
Analyse the language, form and structure used by a writer to create meanings and effects, using relevant subject terminology where appropriate.
Show understanding of the relationships between texts and the contexts in which they were written.
Use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.

Oracy: Discuss, debate, argue and persuade in a number of scenarios.
Term 3Exam Technique.
Revision of all components for Literature.
Preparation for the Unseen Poetry Exam.
After May half term the speaking and Listening component of the English Language exam will be completed. This will provide students with the opportunity to explore topical issues of the day.
Creative writing is studied and enhanced.

Revision Skills.
Recall Skills.
Essay Writing Preparation.
Exam Skills.

GCSE creative writing success including communicating clearly, effectively, and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences.

Oracy skills, preparing and delivering an effective speech. Presentations.
Year 11

Term 1Eduqas English Language Component 1: Prose Reading
Study a class novel from a selection if the following:
To Kill a Mockingbird
Of Mice and Men
Heroes
Lord of the Flies
Animal Farm

Creative writing and transactional writing. Mastering writing through style models.

Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas. Select and synthesise evidence from different texts.
Explain, comment on analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their
Views.
Compare writers' ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.
Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references.

Communicate clearly, effectively, and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences.
Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to
support coherence and cohesion of texts.
Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.
Term 2Eduqas English Language Component 2: 19th and 21st Century Non-fiction Reading.
Study a range of stimulating non-fiction texts from the 19th Century that are linked to 21st Century texts.
Creative writing and transactional writing.

Develop resilience and stamina when dealing with two unseen non-fiction texts.
Refine exam skills such as; retrieval, inference, analysis, synthesis and evaluation and comparison.
Writing for a purpose and audience.
Using persuasive devices.
Reflecting writer’s devices in our own writing.
Mastering writing through style models.

Identify and interpret explicit and implicit information and ideas. Select and synthesise evidence from different texts.
Explain, comment on analyse how writers use language and structure to achieve effects and influence readers, using relevant subject terminology to support their
Views.
Compare writers' ideas and perspectives, as well as how these are conveyed, across two or more texts.
Evaluate texts critically and support this with appropriate textual references.

Communicate clearly, effectively, and imaginatively, selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences.
Organise information and ideas, using structural and grammatical features to
support coherence and cohesion of texts.
Candidates must use a range of vocabulary and sentence structures for clarity, purpose and effect, with accurate spelling and punctuation.
Term 3Revision of key skills and exam technique.
Revision of techniques.
Practice questions.
All skills covered in preparation for the GCSE English Language Exam.