Where relationships are at the heart of the school and
the school is at the heart of the community


Subject Overview: 

"I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading"

The Swanage School English Department is a fun, vibrant area where we aim to develop the whole child. We want students to learn about themselves, their relationships and to have an awareness of their place in a multi-cultural society, as well as to prepare them for the resilience needed to meet the demands of the 21st century.

We want to develop confident students who are effective and reflective communicators. We believe in enjoying literature and developing an appreciation of how language can inform, entertain, shift and provide necessary uncertainties. Students should study English knowing that it will challenge and support their beliefs about many topics.

KS3 Year 7: Pupils will begin the year with a unit of work on autobiographical writing.  Following this, all pupils undertake study of fiction, non-fiction, Shakespeare, drama and printed media.  Speaking and Listening is built in to all units.

Assessment occurs every half term, both in reading and writing.  These assessments generate personalised targets for all pupils – these become the focus for learning for the next half term. All students also complete benchmark testing in reading, writing and spelling.

KS3 Year 8: As with year 7, pupils study a range of topics linked to fiction and non-fiction.  This includes pre-1914 fiction, Gothic literature, moving media, poetry and a modern novel.  Assessment follows the same structure as in Y7 and at all times pupils are working towards their own personalised targets.

KS3/4 Year 9: Year 9 is a transition year into GCSE English Language and Literature.  Pupils start with the study of a modern novel and then move on to Shakespeare, poetry, further fiction and non-fiction.  The year concludes with all pupils reading one of the GCSE novels, one from the following list is selected; Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird or Lord of the Flies.

KS4 Year 10: Primarily the focus is on completion of Controlled Assessment, three of the four English Language pieces will be completed this year and the Shakespeare single assessed piece for Literature (25% of the final grade). In addition, students will become familiar with the format of the English language exam paper and the assessment objectives for the whole paper. Speaking and listening skills will be developed and assessed internally in accordance with the current national curriculum requirements. 

KS4 Year 11: The priority in the autumn term of year 11 is completion of the final piece of Controlled Assessment (Extended Reading). The text used for this is also the text to be examined for GCSE English Literature in Unit 1 of the prose paper, which is why we encourage students to purchase their own copy of whichever text their teacher is using. Focus thereafter shifts to refining examination skills for English Language and coverage of the prose and poetry necessary for the English Literature paper.

Extra-Curricular English

Students will be given the opportunity to visit the theatre, both locally and on larger trips around the country. In addition, there is the opportunity to be involved in the Christmas and end of year shows.

After School clubs have included Newsletter Club, Reading Club, Library Club, Creative Writing and Homework Club. Also, students can participate in the many inter house competitions linked to the subject. Current competitions are a Reading Race, 50 Word Story, Debate, Spelling and Poetry competitions. Various whole School literacy competitions run throughout the year to enhance variety in vocabulary use.