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Our aim is to encourage all students to understand the impact of written and spoken communication. Students are taught to recognise the effects of language and gain an appreciation of the different perspectives of the world through a range of texts. Staff work hard to inspire pupils to want to express themselves creatively, appropriately and effectively by using the richness and diversity of the English language.

What you will study

Key stage 3 students are exposed to a range of texts which explore key themes in many different ways. In year 7 we study Skellig or The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, plus a modern play, Private Peaceful, and detective stories. The students also study the spoken word and focus on the importance of discussion, with work based around poetry.

Year 8 focus on a Shakespeare play, a novel, a unit of work on based around survival, poetry from other cultures and pre-1914 literature.

In year 9, we begin to concentrate on the GCSE course, embedding skills for the new 100% examination specification. We study poetry, Shakespeare, two novels, and Gothic writing. All units of work have a balance of writing and reading.

We also engage students with a low reading age on a specific literacy programme in order to improve their reading skills. This runs across key stage 3 and takes place on a one-to-one basis.

For year 10, we have begun the new 100% examination course which gives students the opportunity to read various texts from the 19th to the 21st century, including non-fiction texts. Students are also encouraged to complete their own creative writing. At key stage 4, our year 11 students work towards GCSEs in both English Language and English Literature. We follow the AQA specification, retaining a coursework element.

The Learning Resource Centre

The English department works hand in hand with the Learning Resource Centre (LRC). Key stage 3 students visit the LRC to take part in the accelerated reader programme, which offers challenging reading activities based on individual ability. Students are also regularly assessed using the star reading test, which assesses reading age and helps teaching staff to understand personalised needs across the curriculum.

Retford Oaks Academy