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Nottingham Girls' Academy

English

Mrs J Simpson - Head of Department

Mrs J Gresswell - Second in Department

Mrs K Meade - Assistant Principal

Mrs M Mehan-Passi

Mrs S Al-Najjar

Miss B Malpass

Miss J McLean

Miss K Straw

Ms C Tucker

Ms Z Scholtz - SENDCo

Ms L Murphy

As a specialist subject, English is one of the lead faculties in the Academy. Overall we aim to enthuse our pupils with a love of language and literature, as well as developing their ability to think for themselves.

More specifically our aims can be summarised in four key points:

  • To promote effective communication through reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • To stimulate our pupils' creativity and imagination.
  • To develop critical skills when exploring different type of texts.
  • To broaden pupils' cultural understanding by introducing them to texts from our literary heritage as well as from other cultures.

English at KS3

All students take English at key stage three and study a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Students study a wide range of literary texts including Shakespeare, poetry, plays and novels. Schemes of work enable students to consider the role of language and how it is used to reflect human relationships and universal themes. The structure of the KS3 Curriculum closely mirrors expectations at GCSE and the new specification.

Extra-Curricular Activities at KS3

In addition to the set study programme, pupils are encouraged to take part in a number of extra-curricular activities.

The English Department offers:

  • Theatre trips (Stratford-upon-Avon)
  • First Story (a creative writing course, culminating in the publication of student work.)
  • Debate-Mate (a Nottinghamshire debating competition. The regional winners of the competition get the opportunity to take part in the national finals in London.)
  • Carnegie Reading Trail.
  • Literacy catch-up lessons.

English at KS4

At the Nottingham Girls’ Academy we believe that the English department plays an essential role in the progress of our students and provides valuable life opportunities. English allows students to develop key literacy and communication skills enabling them to succeed in further education or employment. Moreover, English lessons provide our students with a platform to discuss important issues, broaden their perspectives, and a safe learning environment to listen and respond to the viewpoints of others.

The aims of the English curriculum are:

  • Our first aim is to ensure that all students leaving the academy will have the required English skills to achieve and flourish in their further studies or the career of their choice.
  • Our second aim is to instil in students a sense of ownership of the English language and to develop their own voice through the study of a wide range of writers from a broad range of social and ethnic backgrounds.
  •  Our third aim is to ensure students have an understanding of different genres and which authors have significantly contributed to the English literary heritage.
  • Our fourth aim is to encourage students to develop a keen interest in English, and to fully understand the role the subject plays in the modern world across a broad range of mediums.

(Changes to GCSE are due to take place in 2015. The programme of study will be amended following the publication of DoE proposals.)

Extra-Curricular Activities at KS4

The English Department recognise the demands that GCSE study places upon pupils in Years 10 and 11. In order to ease the pressure, we offer extra revision classes and coursework catch-up sessions.

English at KS5

Students also have the option to continue their study of English at AS and A2-level. The AQA Literature and Language courses give students the opportunity to further develop English skills and to consider the role of spoken language in life and in literature. Students study seminal Literature from a wide range of genres, periods and cultures. Students are encouraged to explore the impact of these discourses, how they reflect society, human nature and how students can entwine them into their own creative voice. The courses are made up of both written assignments and examinations at the end of the AS and A2 course.

A good English student is someone who explores the places, people and ideas presented in texts.  A good English student can fully appreciate the experience of others, understand that people perceive things differently, and can respect the opinions of others.

A good English student is creative and is able to construct a different world through the careful selection of words.  Finally, a good English student is someone who is motivated, hardworking and never stops asking questions.