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The English department staffing includes:
- Mrs C Cornhill – Lead Teacher of English
- Mr J Lee – Teacher of English
- Mrs G Gidley – Teacher of English
As a key pillar of the curriculum at SST Maidstone, the English department leads an engaging curriculum ranging from Poetry, Creative Writing, Classic and Modern Novels and Shakespeare Plays. Students learn a vast array of skills to support their reading, writing and oracy skills and play a key role in the promotion of Reading within the school.
The English department works closely with the School Library to ensure students are supported in developing a love of reading and improving their reading age. Competitions such as Extreme Reading and AR Millionaires ensure students are engaged in this. Students are also encouraged to become authors, crafting and editing their own stories and publishing a book alongside their peers. The annual Book Launch event showcases the students skills in writing and imagination, sharing their success with parents and staff.
The department has strong collaborative links with other departments, such as:
- Liaising with Computer Science to challenge students to create animations based on their Gothic literature projects being studied in Term 5 of Year 7.
- Teaching Shakespeare plays at the same time as the Drama department, to support students’ depth of understanding of the plays.
- Year 7 Term 2 links with War Time Literature and the Humanities department.
From the start of their English journey, students will explore how communication has evolved through time. We want students to understand that language is a system that can be decoded and continuously evolves according to purpose, audience, context and culture, transmitting ideas about identity. At the heart of our English curriculum is our drive to foster a lifelong love of reading; we offer the range of opportunities needed to develop fluent, enthusiastic and critical readers. Students are immersed in an array of literature from Shakespeare to contemporary drama, poetry and prose, cultivating a cultural appreciation of the literary arts. This wealth of imagined and real world texts, for example, Chinese Cinderella and War Time literature, encourages independent thought on the human condition, nurturing an understanding of the intricacies of their own world and what it means to be human.
We want to expose students to new skills which enhance their awareness of the potential of language and equip them with the ability and determination to make words their greatest power through both accurate writing and their spoken language. These excellent literacy skills will prepare them for the modern world, enabling them to engage with the written word in everyday life. Students will be-able to make connections across subjects to understand that skills and knowledge are transferrable and continuously expanding. We aim to foster critical, confident and articulate students who are inquisitive, individual, creative and have engendered an appreciation for the value of literature and a love of reading.
By understanding the importance of being articulate and being able to read and write accurately, students will be able to communicate effectively and possess the wider skills in order to fulfil their potential in the ever-changing world around them. Students will place this value not only on the impact in developing imagination and empathy, recognising the importance of equality, but also the development of their literary skills.
- An Introduction to Language in Context - An exploration of how communication has evolved over time.
- War Time Literature – Extracts and poetry on the theme of war.
- Modern Novel ‘Chinese Cinderella’ – An autobiographical account of Adeline Yen Mah’s childhood.
- Gothic Literature – Extracts and poetry that conform to the Gothic genre.
- The Book Project – A project where students craft their own effective short story that will be published in their class book.
- Other Cultures Extracts and Poetry – Extracts and poetry from authors including Benjamin Zephaniah, Malorie Blackman and John Agard.
- Shakespeare’s Comedies – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing’.
- Non-Fiction Writing – Exploring and writing different forms of non-fiction.
- Modern Novel
- Modern novel
- Dystopian literature and creative writing
- Thematic extracts + poetry - writing for a particular purpose and audience
Years 10 and 11
Students will have separate English Language and English literature lessons as they embark on their GCSE English course.
Years 12 and 13
English Literature/Language Alevel will be available in the Sixth Form at SST, or other schools within the Maidstone Campus.
Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3
There is a clear focus in KS2 on writing and reading comprehension. KS3 will build upon these skills and begin to introduce higher level reading skills such as analysis.
Primary schools also foster a clear love of reading in their pupils, and this is something that we want to continue to instil in our pupils as they move into KS3.
Library lessons occur once every two weeks where students will have opportunities to read a book of their own choice and discuss and recommend books to their peers. All students will participate in the Accelerated Reader programme and have regular access to books in the library.
Key Stage 3 to Key Stage 4
Throughout Key Stage 3, students will have been provided with opportunities to read a wide variety of texts from a variety of genres to promote reading for pleasure.
The Key Stage 3 Curriculum focuses on preparing and facilitating students with the relevant skill sets to be able to undertake the 9-1 GCSE. The Key Stage 3 Curriculum intends to enable students to develop their skill sets, as well as providing opportunities for practicing analysing and evaluating extracts and texts as they would in KS4.
Key Stage 4 to Key Stage 5
During the GCSE course, students will have a more detailed awareness of the English Language and English Literature GCSEs. Students will be introduced to critical theory, and this will help them to consider how A Level and University study extends from the GCSE syllabus.
Links with Sixth Form students at other schools on the campus allows discussion with GCSE students so they can find out more about aspiration.
Beyond Key Stage 5
Students are given opportunities to look at different routes to study English beyond the Sixth form. They will be able to identify the transferrable skills that their English studies give them and consider which jobs, apprenticeships, college courses and University modules would be of interest to them.
Click here to view the English Unit Plans.
Extended Curriculum Opportunities
Click here to view the Extended Curriculum Opportunities.