Sunday, September 24, 2017


English has an impact on our daily lives both inside and outside school – from our capability to read the post that drops through our doors, to writing a letter of application for a job, to being able to communicate a strong point of view to our friends.  It is the learning of English that empowers us with these skills.

Throughout the English curriculum at THS, we endeavour to enable students to share and build upon their creative ideas and interpret meaning from a variety of texts. We understand the importance of our subject and that each child differs in their level of confidence with English, and we welcome the productive relationships we have with students and their parents to develop their independence. We believe that through our teaching and support programmes we are able to encourage each child’s ability and enthusiasm in English in preparation for life after school.

As a forward-thinking department, we are always reflecting on our practice in order to make sure that all students can not only reach their full potential, but also be challenged enough to exceed it! Each year group is carefully divided into sets, and within them, every teacher differentiates to suit all abilities and learning styles through a variety of different tasks. These tasks might include group work, "jigsaw" activities, expert groups, mind mapping, paired work and independent writing.

The English teachers carefully use data to inform their planning and teaching, which is obtained through continuous teacher assessment, regular summative assessments at the end of each scheme and our half-termly "Big Writing" tasks. Students are provided with both individual and class targets in order for them to continually make progress in this subject and progress throughout KS3 and KS4.

Georgina Doeller Subject Leader  
Hayley Payne Assistant Subject Leader  
Natalie Westacott KS3 Co-ordinator  
Jessica Bartram Teacher  
Sarah Bennett Teacher  
Victoria Castley Teacher  
Juliet Main   Teacher  
Matthew Naylor Teacher  
Rebekka Rousseau Teacher  
Amanda Uffendell  Teacher  
Tom Williams Teacher  
 Leah Cottrell  Curriculum TA
Ruth Roberts   Curriculum TA  
Anna Wieckiewicz  Curriculum TA  

We are a team of full and part-time teachers wholly committed to conveying our enthusiasm for literature, non-fiction and media texts. Our aim in KS3 is to share our zeal for English with our students by ensuring that our curriculum and schemes of work are well structured, engaging and cater for all abilities. We foster independent learning by using a mixture of whole class, paired and group tasks. Throughout KS3 we teach, practise and embed the skills in writing, reading and speaking and listening that the students will need to be successful in their English GCSE.

In Key Stage 3 students will study fiction from different genres and cultures, non-fiction, media, creative writing and speaking and listening modules, as well as regular Big Writing tasks that allow students to recognise their own strengths/weaknesses/target feedback and then evaluate their own progress and set themselves targets for future learning.  We also seek to build students’ familiarity and confidence in reading pre-20th century texts, so also teach regular Big Read lessons which focus on reading and responding to older literary texts.

At GCSE we follow the Eduqas (formerly WJEC) syllabus for English Language and English Literature; though examined as separate subjects, they are taught simultaneously throughout Year 10 and 11. At KS4, students further develop their skills in reading and writing as well as the appreciation and understanding of literature. The content of the English curriculum is rich and varied. Students cover a wide range of topics: narrative and transactional writing, poetry, Shakespeare and 19th century prose such as "Jekyll and Hyde" or "A Christmas Carol," as well as a range of extracts from contemporary and classic literature and non-fiction reading. 

We are a collaborative department and lessons are carefully planned to engage students and to prepare them well for examinations as well as the world outside of school. Class work is marked regularly and summative assessments are given every half term to inform our "flightpath" forecasts. Throughout KS4, we talk with students about their targets and progress, and we aspire to instil in students a lasting enthusiasm for our subject.

Please see the Eduqas website for more information:

English is a core subject that is essential in everyday life. Colleges/universities and employers all like to see a good English GCSE grade, as this highlights that the applicant has proven, quality communication skills.

Gaining a C grade at GCSE opens many doors. You need Grade C (new GCSE level 5) English to effectively access A levels. For that reason, for many A level courses, a grade C in English is necessary to study AS/A2. A levels are required to study a degree course at university and a degree increases earning power further. For most careers, from hairdressing to medicine, you need your English GCSE, so working hard now will reap rewards later in life!

Times change, but the power of words and language only grows. We are proud to help our students on the journey towards becoming perceptive, articulate and creative participants in society.

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