Welcome to Kents Hill Park English Department. We offer a challenging, academic and stimulating curriculum, underpinned by an emphasis on reading and precise communication. Important genres and and literary works – from The War Poets of WW1 to Animal Farm – build knowledge and cultural capital, but also provide opportunities for the careful teaching of core skills in reading and writing.
Staff and Facilities
Mrs Haines leads our English Department, a team of 4, all of whom teach both English and Drama. They are Miss Potter, Miss Baker, Miss Randell, and Miss Williams. English is deeply embedded in life at Kents Hill Park; each year our new Year 7s are given a Reading List for them to explore over the summer and promote their love of literature.
The English Department utilises our Learning Resource Centre, as well as a suite of classrooms on the 1st floor and a dedicated Drama Studio.
In English children are given opportunities – where possible – to attend performances, live or virtual, of texts being studied in school.
English Club runs weekly for extra support, homework or creative tasks.
All children in KS3 visit the library once a fortnight to choose books with their English teacher, read for pleasure and take part in guided reading .
All children in KS3 have a Drama lesson once a fortnight, learning about drama practitioners and dramatic conventions. Drama lessons also support learning in English with an emphasis on cooperation, confidence and creativity too.
DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time runs across the curriculum each week in 20 minute slots three times a week. Children read novels that have been carefully selected to challenge and extend their reading experiences. They also practice reading confidently and fluently during this time.
Year 7 Curriculum
Upon entry to the school, Year 7 children at Kents Hill Park study a range of topics in English, from Dystopian Fiction and Science and Nature to Shakespeare, developing their confidence. Covering texts from across genres and time periods, such as ‘The Tempest’, ‘Animal Farm’ and ‘The Invisible Man’ , children learn to read closely and analyse with precisely chosen evidence. Crafting accurate and creative written work also builds an important foundation in Year 7 and draws upon a knowledge base, constructed across the year. Year 7 children will experience new and challenging texts, developing their understanding of complex texts and fostering a love of reading.
Year 8 Curriculum
Building upon knowledge and skills established in Year 7, children in Year 8 learn to connect culturally significant texts with historically significant events when they focus upon Conflict in Literature and the theme of Outsiders. Drawing upon a wealth of texts, including non-fiction, ‘Of Mice and Men’ and World War 1 poetry, children explore – through both reading and writing – the ways the ways that writers create effects, becoming more independent. Overarching themes and ideas, connecting texts over time, feature again in Love through the Ages and the study of ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Year 9 Curriculum
In Year 9 children at Kents Hill Park study texts that enrich and broaden their knowledge; they are forward-thinking, getting ready for GCSE. Important texts from The Gothic genre reinforce experiences of archaic language and allow children to make connections between Victorian sensibilities and gothic themes, whilst Kelman’s Pigeon English introduces multiple voices and narrative perspectives. From Aristotle, JFK and many more great figures over time, children also learn the power of words and the influence of rhetoric. Especially useful for children when exploring non-fiction texts and when learning how to influence a reader of project a point of view, the Power and Rhetoric unit develops a subtle understanding of audience and purpose.
GCSE English Language & English Literature
English Language and Literature are compulsory at GCSE. Pupils will, therefore, undertake one GCSE for English language and one GCSE for English literature. They are confident, independent and forward-thinking from their experiences in English at KS3.
The WJEC Eduqas GCSEs in English Language and English Literature encourage learners to develop knowledge and skills in reading, writing and critical thinking. Pupils will read a wide range of texts, fluently and with in depth understanding.
The GCSEs provide pupils with opportunities to read widely for pleasure across a range of high quality texts in the genres of prose, poetry and drama and to develop an understanding of how literature is both rich and influential.
Specifically, English Language very much has a focus upon accurate and precise reading and writing. Children become expert in both fiction and non-fiction reading and writing during the course. Over two papers, children read unseen extracts in section A and write fiction and non-fiction texts in section B.
English Literature also focuses upon fluent and accurate expression, with an emphasis on the the knowledge and understanding of literary texts.
Across two challenging exam papers, children learn the skills of detailed analysis and critical interpretation. Although Literature and Language are awarded grades separately, the GCSEs complement each other and are taught together, with the knowledge, skills and understanding in one fully supporting learning on the other.