Being able to read, write, speak and listen intelligently – be it online or off – has perhaps never been more important for our young people. In a tough economic climate and an increasingly media-saturated society, English provides the navigation skills necessary to explore the world, achieve and succeed.
Teaching English is our passion. From helping students experience the power of a Shakespeare play to deconstructing an X-Factor advert; from making spelling fun to creating online blogs; from theatre trips to writing short stories...
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 is to share our zeal for English with our students by ensuring that our curriculum is well structured, engaging and caters for all abilities. We foster independent learning by using a mixture of whole class, pair and group work, with every classroom equipped with an interactive white board.
In Year 7, students are taught in mixed ability tutor groups, then banded in Year 8 and Year 9. In Years 10 and 11 we teach in single sex classes, which again are broadly set. Students receive four lessons a week in Years 7 and 11 and three lessons a week in Years 8, 9 and 10.
In Key Stage 3 students will study fiction, non-fiction, media, creative writing and speaking and listening modules. . In Year 7 one lesson each fortnight is a Philosophy for Children (P4C) lesson. Students will have regular formal assessments – some reading , some writing and some speaking and listening - which ensure that students are used to working in timed conditions to prepare them for the rigours of GCSE examinations. Students are given ‘what went well’ (www) and ‘even better if’ (ebi) feedback and then time in lessons to ensure that they improve their work. In addition they regularly evaluate their own progress and set themselves targets for future learning.
In Years 10 and 11 students are usually entered for GCSE English Language and Literature. We use the Edexcel syllabus. Our results are consistently some of the highest in the county and we are proud of the number of students who continue to study English Language and Literature at sixth-form level.
The department offers a wide range of clubs: Philosophy, Creative Writing, Public Speaking and Debating to name a few. Our Public Speaking teams have reached the national finals of the Rotary Club competition in recent years. Students regularly participate in creative writing competitions with great success and we have visiting authors, poets and theatre groups working with us in school. We have recently welcomed the authors Beth Webb and Ally Kennen in to school to work with students and to share their love for writing and reading. We also hold an annual Inter House Creative Writing competition which is showcased at an English Celebration Evening held each autumn. The department regularly takes groups of students to London and to local theatres to see drama/musical productions.
Times change, but the power of words and language only grows. We are proud to help our students on the journey towards becoming perceptive and creative participants in society.
Are you englishified? The Castle School English department has a dedicated blog for showcasing our students’ work! Join the conversation at:
You can also follow us on Twitter here:
We also have a password-protected student revision website:
…and our Youtube channel is here!: