‘To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark’
The ultimate aim of the English department at Dyson Perrins C of E Academy is that students not only learn, but love to learn.
English is central to the school's curriculum in its potential to raise standards of achievement; the key skills of oracy and literacy being crucial for all subjects. We believe that a mastery and appreciation of studies in English literature and language is the core of all academic success and we encourage students to realise this as they work across the curriculum; students build a foundation for life beyond school
We are passionate about reading and aim to instil in our students, the confidence and ability to read and enjoy a wide range of modern literary texts: those from different cultures and those from the literary heritage, as well as a range of moving image, media and non-fiction texts across both key stages.
Within English, we work on the premise that all students should learn to be critically aware and able to understand a wide range of cultural experiences. They should be able to articulate their views in a range of situations and for a range of purposes, having confidence in the validity of their own responses.
Useful Information: PIXL English App
In studying English, pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing that they will need to participate in society and employment. Pupils learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others confidently and effectively.
Literature in English is rich and influential. It reflects the experiences of people from many countries and times, and contributes to our sense of cultural identity. Students learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as non-fiction and media texts, gaining access to the pleasure and world of knowledge that reading offers. Students can expect to study Shakespeare in each year of Key Stage 3, alongside a contemporary novel, non-fiction texts, poetry and some 19th Century texts.
All students will study the AQA specifications for GCSE English Language and Literature, with examinations for both GCSE subjects being taken at the end of Year 11.
English Language GCSE:
Students of all abilities will be able to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a wide range of different texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures. The texts studied will come from a range of genres and types. The texts will include literature and extended literary non-fiction, and other writing such as essays, reviews and journalism (both printed and online).
There are two equally weighted examination papers, each assessing reading and writing in an integrated way. Each examination paper has a distinct identity to better support high quality provision and engaging teaching and learning. Paper 1, Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing, looks at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers. Paper 2, Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives, looks at how different writers present a similar topic over time.
The approach to Spoken Language (previously known as Speaking and Listening) will emphasise the importance of the wider benefits that speaking and listening skills have for students. The endorsed unit will draw on good practice to suggest how engaging formative tasks can lead to a single summative assessment. Spoken Language is marked and assessed by the class teacher and appears as a separate endorsement but is worth 0% of the actual English Language GCSE.
English Literature GCSE:
Students will study a range of texts including a Shakespeare play and a 19th century novel, pre-1900 poetry and more modern texts which include post-1914 prose fiction and drama.
Students are encouraged to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Through literature, students have a chance to develop culturally and acquire knowledge of the best that has been thought and written. Studying GCSE English Literature should encourage students to read widely for pleasure, and as a preparation for studying literature at a higher level.
There are two examinations papers, one worth 40% of the English Literature GCSE and the other, worth 60%. In preparation for these exams, students will:
Read a wide range of classic literature fluently and with good understanding, and make connections across their reading
Read in depth, critically and evaluatively, so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding and ideas
Develop the habit of reading widely and often appreciate the depth and power of the English literary heritage
Write accurately, effectively and analytically about their reading, using Standard English
Acquire and use a wide vocabulary, including the grammatical terminology and other literary and linguistic terms they need to criticise and analyse what they read.
At A Level, we currently offer AQA English Literature: Specification A
- 80% Exam and 20% NEA (Non-examination assessment); a 2,500 word comparison
- Study a minimum of eight texts, including those four texts previously studied at AS Level
- Two exams; 3 hours and 2.5 hours. Both examinations will require students to respond to unseen material