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Ridgewood

School

English

The English Department sets its vision as making ‘Independent and curious readers, writers and thinkers.’

One of our largest departments, the English team consists of nine full-time members and three part-time members of staff, two of whom are also part of our Lead Practitioner team, which is a testament to the department’s love of innovative T&L. The department is led by two co-heads, with one Second in Department. At KS3, students are taught in mixed ability sets with eight sets across two bands, and receive seven lessons a fortnight including a library lesson. At KS4, students have nine lessons a fortnight; students are also taught predominantly in mixed ability sets. At KS5, students benefit from nine lessons a fortnight with a 5/4 lesson split between two teachers. In order to facilitate transitions between key stages, Year 6 students have an English lesson every day during their transition week in the summer.

Lessons in English are characterised by teachers conveying and encouraging enthusiasm for all aspects of English: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students have the opportunity to experience a range of texts from different writers from different time periods and around the world, as well as the chance to be creative and produce their own narratives, poetry and even plays. A typical lesson involves a combination of collaborative, interactive group tasks, and detailed feedback and advice from the teacher about next steps and ways to improve. Lessons are planned carefully to help students make progress and achieve their targets, and high standards of behaviour and expectations of written work and presentation are promoted at all times. A range of teaching and learning strategies are used to challenge students’ thinking and develop key skills in reading, writing and speaking and listening.

Outside the classroom, students are offered a range of trips and clubs in order to enhance their love of the subject. Trips to the theatre regularly take place for students at all key stages, and the chance to enter a variety of writing competitions is made available to students to nurture their talents. Additionally, KS4 and KS5, students’ learning is boosted by a bespoke exam support session available to everyone studying English.

 

KS3 

What support can I offer as a parent?

  • Purchase copies of set texts.
  • Encourage students to access resources on the VLE.
  • Access websites such as BBC Bitesize and Sparknotes.
  • Create flashcards and other revision materials (quizzes, mind maps) as they go through topics.
  • Improve assessments at home using class teacher’s feedback.

Useful web links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zykdmp3

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z3kw2hv

http://www.sparknotes.com/

http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20110809101133/nsonline.org.uk/node/20683

KS4 

Students follow the AQA English Language and English Literature GCSE specifications.

How can students be successful and what support can I offer as a parent?

  • Purchase copies of set texts.
  • Purchase revision guides for set texts and language skills (from the English Department).
  • Encourage students to access resources on the VLE.
  • For language, encourage students to find and collect any interesting non-fiction or literary non-fiction texts and create a scrapbook.
  • Access websites such as BBC Bitesize and Sparknotes.
  • Use AQA website to access specimen exam papers and mark schemes.
  • Create flashcards and other revision materials (quizzes, mind maps) as they go through topics in Y10 and Y11.
  • Improve mock exams at home using class teacher’s feedback.

Useful web links:

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-literature-8702

http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english/gcse/english-language-8700

http://www.sparknotes.com/

https://www.cambridge.org/ukschools/subjects/english/

http://www.litcharts.com

KS5