Wightwick Hall School

A Business & Enterprise College

Developing Life Skills through Ethical Business Education

Tinacre Hill, Compton,
Wolverhampton, WV6 8DA
Tel: 01902 761889 or 761658
Fax: 01902 765080
English | Maths | Science | Computing | Gates | Geography | History | Religious Education | PSHE | Languages | 6th Form | Design&Technology | Art | Music | PE | Business & Enterprise

Welcome to the English Department

English is a dynamic and engaging subject, essential for successful communication with others, both at school and in the wider world. It develops key skills relevant in all curriculum areas allowing pupils to become effective learners, whilst providing pupils with tools to be successful during their time in school, employment and society.

The three areas of focus for all pupils are reading, writing and speaking and listening, including drama. We aim for all pupils to reach and fulfil their true potential, and realise their own unique talents.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7-9)

In KS3, pupils learn to express themselves imaginatively and creatively. Groups are differentiated into ability groups where the pace of the lesson, level of work and the topics covered in lessons are adapted to suit their needs. All work is closely linked to the 2014 National Curriculum and covers fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories, drama and media. We keep to current trends following modern and popular authors and poets, whilst also linking to work from significant authors and texts from other cultures. Examples of authors studied are: Louis Sachar, Roald Dahl, Anne Fine, Jacqueline Wilson, Alfred Tennyson, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle and many more.

Key Stage 3 pupils are assessed using SATS results, NEALE reading tests, spelling tests and a school base-line writing test in order to be grouped. There are TAs per group and group sizes average 8 pupils per class. During each half term, pupils complete various reading, spoken language and writing tasks which are assessed and moderated.

In order for pupils to communicate effectively, key spellings and phonics, word and sentence structures, and conventions of the English language are focused on. Being able to use language in different contexts is a vital skill; pupils have the opportunity to create presentations using computers, sustaining characters in drama and use various linguistic and literary techniques.

Pupils are encouraged to become independent, critical thinkers as they describe, analyse and compare texts. Peer and self-assessment are embedded in all schemes in order for pupils to understand their strengths and areas of development.

Throughout the year, pupils are assessed and monitored. Spelling, reading and comprehension is tested, whilst group assessments allow teachers to moderate against National Curriculum Levels. It is during this key stage that pupils work towards being entered for an academic examination route.

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

KS4 pupils follow a variety of different modules in which they are engaged in critical and imaginative thinking. They consider the value of text and its influence on the reader, whilst learning the key features of writing fiction or non-fiction. Pupils either follow the Edexcel Functional Skills (Entry 1 – Level 2) or AQA English Language. We are very pleased with results from Year 11 pupils, with pupils achieving more than one level in Functional Skills, and GCSE grades ranging up to a C.

As of 2017, all English examinations have only one tier meaning that pupils can now have access to achieving a grade above C (now known as a 5). Coursework has also been removed meaning that English Language and Literature are 100% examination, with pupils studying the courses over two years.

The current year 10s are studying English Language and English Literature which will equate to two separate GCSEs. There is now more of a focus on language analysis and evaluating texts critically, exploring purpose and historical impact. All pupils at both key stages are encouraged to become critical thinkers developing and honing their ideas with justification.

Reflection on the development of pupils’ abilities as speakers in a range of contexts is vital, whilst using talk to summarise, question, hypothesise, solve problems and develop thinking about complex issues and ideas. Spoken Language is part of the GCSE but is not accredited. For Functional Skills, speaking and listening is a key element allowing pupils to practise appropriate talk in every day scenarios.

A range of modern and classic texts are read, including William Shakespeare, Susan Hill, Simon Stevens, Carol Ann Duffy and Robert Browning. Pupils learn the significance of key texts on society and how contexts may have influenced the way the text was written whilst explaining and evaluating how writers use various features to achieve effects. Writing skills are vital whereby organisation of ideas, sentences structure, punctuation and spelling are approached from angles pupils can relate to.

For both GCSE and Functional Skills, pupils sit regular mock examinations and practise questions. Feedback is given regularly in order for pupils to gain independence and confidently master the complexities of the English language.

British Values: English department

Within the English department, we ensure that pupils’ knowledge, understanding and development of British values is thoroughly demonstrated and promoted. This includes coverage of the school SEAL and SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural) programmes within lessons.

Through a range of topics, themes and texts studied, we are able to promote the rule of law, British democracy, individual choice and respect for multi-faiths within our country. Examples of this are:
• Respecting the civil and criminal law of England
Pupils look at how and why some laws have been developed (eg the poor law), the need for change and gain a sense of togetherness as cultures and traditions evolve. Pupils study the Elizabethan era and Victorian era by reading classic texts such as Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley and Charles Dickens. This is a great opportunity to discuss social impacts and how citizens can influence decision making and the democratic process.
• Developing self-confidence and self-esteem
An array of teaching and learning methods are used such as self and peer assessment, drama activities and the personal voice within pupils’ writing.
• Appreciating that wellbeing and safety is protected by living under the rule of law
Pupils study various poems which focus on homelessness, the treatment of women and disengagement from society for example. They look at what legally is in place to help and protect whilst challenging stereotypes.
• Accepting that other people may have different faiths and beliefs and the importance of combating discrimination
The use of non-fiction articles keeps pupils current with topical issues to debate. Pupils also regularly read BBC news, Newsround and First News. Furthermore, pupils use role-play and characterisation studies to understand the freedom to choose and hold other faiths, is protected in law.