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. 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 and Key Stage 4 study four hours of English per week with Year 7s and selected Year 8s and 9s also studying additional lessons focussed on 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.

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 and reading, writing, and oracy skills, are developed and mastered through the stimulus of these texts. 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. Both fiction and non-fiction texts are covered across the curriculum including Shakespeare. 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 (pre 2018-19 Year 9 students studied 19th and 20th century short stories) 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 specifications for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.
Year 10 study A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Other texts studied in Year 10 include Woman in Black by Susan Hill and a range of Anthology poems. Students study Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth for their English Literature examination. We also incorporate English Language skills linking thematically to support knowledge 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, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Animal Farm by George Orwell 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.
We ensure students are working at a proactive pace and the challenge of learning stretches students beyond their own expectations.
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 1Play: A Christmas Carol
The allegorical tale of Scrooge provides the stimulus to study the conventions of a play, Victorian attitudes and key elements of plot and character.
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. Develop a working understanding of parts of speech; subject/verb agreement and tenses.

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.
Oracy:
Role play and interviews
Term 2The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas/ Private Peaceful
The gripping context and themes of war provide the stimulus to study the writers’ craft. Non-fiction linked by theme reveal the real life issues surrounding the fiction.
Creative Writing
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.


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. Skimming and scanning and tracking techniques will be revisited and the importance of charting whole texts, embedded.
Writing lessons:
Language and layout features of narratives and newspaper articles. Exploring the STORY structure as well as crafting articles.
Oracy:
Debate and discussion.
Term 3Play: Dracula
The gothic genre provides the stimulus to study the conventions of the gothic; writer’s craft and track characters and themes across a text.
Review and Persuasive Writing
Consolidating understanding of articles; learning how to craft reviews and leaflets; have a working understanding of conjunctions and sentence construction.


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:
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 Play: The Tempest
Shakespeare’s comedy provides the stimulus to explore dramatic form, devices and Shakespeare’s mastery of language.
Creative Writing and Speeches
Learning how to craft effective descriptions; developing skills in narrative and speech writing; have a working understanding of compound and complex sentence structures; noun appositive phrases; conjunctive adverbs and semi-colons.
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; narrative structure and perspective; rhetorical devices.
Oracy:
Role play as well as both group and individual presentations.
Term 2Novel: The Prince of Mist
Tension and suspense with a dash of the gothic provide the stimulus to study the writer’s craft. Structural devices and character constructs are explored considering the impact on the reader.
Travel Writing
The language and layout of travel blogs, travel articles, reviews and leaflets; have a working understanding of the function of sentences and of using sentence structures impactfully - anaphora; hypophora; anadiplosis; analepsis; prolepsis.
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:
Language and layout features of blogs, travel articles, reviews and leaflets.
Oracy:
Discussion and presentation.
Term 3Poetry: an anthology of different forms of poetry.
From the Elizabethan era to romanticism to modern poetry, students explore the poetic form through the ages. The relevance of the context in which poems were written is linked.
Letters and Articles
Revisiting formal /informal letters and articles; using the full range of punctuation impactfully; further work on effective sentence structuring.

Reading lessons:
There will be a greater focus on analysis and the evaluation of poetic and structural devices; the language of comparison will be introduced and students will need to consider the subject matters being dealt with by the poets; their messages and the moods they create, being clear about the impact on the reader.
Writing lessons:
Focus on technical accuracy; revision of language and layout features of formal/informal letters and articles.
Oracy:
Discussion, debate and presentation. 
Year 9


Term 1
Duality
Charles Dickens’ novella A Christmas Carol
Analytical work on character, theme and setting.
Exploration of Victorian London to link context to text.
William Blake ‘London’
Non-fiction texts
Creative Writing
Creating settings and characters.
Oracy
Discussion and debate
Language analysis
Thematic tracking
Contextual overview
Understanding of form and structure.
How to evaluate Dickens’ purpose and the impact on the reader at the time and the reader now.
Tier 2 vocabulary and application.

Term 2
Power and Conflict
‘The Tell Tale Heart’ by Edgar Allen Poe, Poetry and William Shakespeare’s Macbeth
Analytical work on character, theme and setting.
Exploring mood and atmosphere.
Examination of plot and structure.
Understanding the conventions of form.
Creative Writing and Review writing.
Following the STORY structure.
Oracy
Debate and presentation
Language analysis.
Thematic tracking.
Plot overview.
Understanding of form and structure.
Making comparisons.
How to evaluate the writer’s purpose and the impact on the reader.
Academic writing styles.
Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.


Term 3
Texts in the modern world (Pre-2018-19 Year 9 studied Woman in Black)
Animal Farm by George Orwell,
Analytical work on character and plot.
Analytical work on setting, structure and theme.
Using terminology.
Evaluating writer’s craft.
Weekly Writing Challenge
Different writing forms and applying a success criteria.
Language analysis.
Thematic tracking.
Plot overview.
Understanding of form and structure.
How to evaluate Shakespeare’s purpose and the impact on the audience.
Academic writing styles.
Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.
Oracy
Role play and discussion.

Key Stage 4: Eduqas GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language

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

Term 1 Shakespeare’s Macbeth and Eduqas Anthology Poetry
Study the GCSE text to an appropriate GCSE level.
Read a selection of poetry from the Anthology linked by theme and context.
Explore central thematic links in poetry, such as; place, time, conflict, love and nature.

Conventions of language, structure and form.
Developments of characters, themes and relationships across throughout texts.
About the individual poets and the times in which they were writing.
Analysis of language devices.
Form and structure of poetry.
How to compare two poems.
Term 2Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Unseen Poetry
Study the GCSE text to an appropriate GCSE level.
Read a selection of unseen poetry linked by theme.
Explore central thematic links in poetry, such as; place, time, conflict, love and nature.
Revision Skills.
Recall Skills.
Essay Writing Preparation.
Exam Skills.
Term 3Exam Technique.
Revision of all components for Literature.
Preparation for the Unseen Poetry Exam.
Revision Skills.
Recall Skills.
Essay Writing Preparation.
Exam Skills.
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.
Refine exam skills such as; retrieval, inference, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.
Writing for a purpose and audience.
Using persuasive devices.
Reflecting writer’s devices in our own writing.
Mastering writing through style models.

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.
Term 3Revision of key skills and exam technique.
Revision of techniques.
Practice questions.
All skills covered in preparation for the GCSE English Language Exam.