English

      Overview of English at OLA          

      As one of the core curriculum subjects, English is at the heart of our teaching at OLA.  Our aim is to foster an enjoyment of language and literature. We offer a broad and lively curriculum, through which pupils are encouraged to experiment with their reading and writing skills.

      We recognise the importance of language skills in other curriculum areas, as well as in the wider world of work and study. We aim to give all pupils a strong foundation in written English, as well as developing their confidence in speaking and listening.  Through regular use of drama, speeches, presentations and debates in the classroom, pupils learn to enjoy the spoken language and shape the style and content of what they say according to their audience.
       

      Years 7 to 9 English Curriculum  

      English is taught in form groups during Year 7, giving all pupils the opportunity to explore the key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening within their friendship groups.  From Year 8 onwards, English is taught in ability groups, allowing teachers to work at a pace and level that is suitable for each pupil. This has proved very successful, enabling us to develop pupils’ confidence and enjoyment of English.

      In Years 7 to 9, teaching is centred on literary texts, allowing pupils to enjoy great writing whilst practising and improving their language skills. Pupils are introduced to literature from around the world, studying the Classics (including Shakespeare) as well as modern prose, poetry and drama. Teachers choose texts that are suited to their group’s interests and ability.  English follows a broad skills-based curriculum, ensuring that all pupils cover the same key language skills that they will need for the next stages of their education.

      The work in Years 7 to 9 is assessed in various ways, for example, classwork and homework assignments, mid-term and end of term assessments and an end of year examination which is usually set after the May half term break.


      Trips in English for Years 7 to 9

      1. Pupils attend theatre trips as appropriate to the texts they are studying.  Recent trips in Years 7 to 9 include:  ‘The Tempest’, ‘A Woman in Black’, ‘War Horse’ and ‘The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night Time’.

      2. From time to time, pupils in Years 7 and 8 have also taken part in a ‘play in a day’ workshop with the Creation Theatre.

      Trips are charged based on the cost to the school.


      Co-curricular English Activities: Years 7 to 9

      1. The English staff run a weekly Creative Writing Club at lunchtimes.

      2. The English Department also organises school teams for a number of local and national competitions.  These include The Rotary Club Public Speaking Competition, The Carnegie Shadowing Challenge and the national Kids’ Lit Quiz.


      Years 10 to 11 English Curriculum 

      All pupils in Years 10 and 11 prepare for IGCSE examinations in both English Language and English Literature, following the Pearson Edexcel International GCSE qualifications:-

      Pearson Edexcel International GCSE in English Language (Specification A) (4EA1)

      This course aims to develop a broad understanding of the English language, drawing from a wide range of authors, as well as literary non-fiction. During the course pupils are encouraged to read and respond to diverse materials, comparing the different ways in which language is used to convey meaning. Pupils are assessed in their reading and writing skills, as well as continuing to build their speaking and listening skills.

      At OLA we follow the coursework option for this qualification, which is assessed as follows:-

      Paper 1: Non-Fiction Texts and Transactional Writing, 60%, examined at the end of Year 11.

      Paper 3: Poetry and Prose Texts and Imaginative Writing, 40%, assessed internally based on two coursework assignments completed during Years 10 and 11.

      Pearson Edexcel International GCSE English Literature (4ET1)

      This course introduces pupils to English literature ranging from British heritage (pre 1900) to modern international texts in poetry, prose and drama. Teachers select texts that are best suited to their group’s interests and ability. The aim of this course is to develop pupils’ enjoyment of literature, as well as an appreciation of the ways in which authors use language and structure in their work. The skills that pupils develop in this qualification enable a smooth transition to English A Level for those who wish to further their literature studies.

      At OLA we follow the coursework option for this qualification, which is assessed as follows:-

      Paper 1: Poetry and Modern Prose, 60%, examined at the end of Year 11.

      Paper 3: Modern Drama and Literary Heritage Texts, 40%, assessed internally based on two coursework assignments completed during Years 10 and 11.

      As part of their course, pupils are expected to purchase their own copies of the examination texts. These will be provided by the school and charged at cost.


      Trips for English in Years 10 and 11

      These trips are determined by the texts that pupils are studying. Where appropriate, we take pupils to see theatre productions locally or in London. All trips are charged based on the cost to the school.


      Co-curricular English Activities in Years 10 and 11

      The English Department organises school teams for a number of local and national competitions, including The Rotary Club Public Speaking Competition.


      Sixth Form English Curriculum

      Please click here for full details on Sixth Form English