In English, pupils are encouraged to experiment with language, texts and performance/art to foster a love of the subject and facilitate their progress. Assessment for Learning is central to the faculty’s ethos. Frequent opportunities for peer- and self-assessment are built into the Faculty’s schemes of learning so that pupils take ownership of their progress. Teachers use performance data to inform their planning and track pupil progress to ensure all pupils achieve or exceed their potential.
Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3 we introduce pupils to a wide range of literature, such as novels, autobiography, poetry and Shakespeare, and media texts such as advertisements, leaflets and newspaper articles. Through these we aim to teach two things. The first is a love of the written word which will inspire our young people to become committed and fluent readers, a facility which underpins educational achievement. The second is the ability to analyse how language is being used upon them as a marketing or political tool and to enable them to form reasoned opinions and make informed choices and decisions. Clearly this is not a task to be taken lightly. We aim to foster in pupils inquisitiveness, compassion and an awareness of the world around them – beyond the boundary of their everyday lives.
Our results at KS3 are exceptional – 92% of our pupils achieve the expected level at the end of Year 9.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 the Faculty follows the WJEC English Language and English Literature courses.
The GCSE English Language course aims to inspire, move and challenge pupils. During the course, they will develop their ability to use English as active and informed citizens and be able to speak, listen, read and write fluently, appropriately, effectively and critically – for a wide range of personal, functional and social purposes. Pupils are expected to respond to a wide range of written texts, including challenging and dynamic texts. The Faculty underpins the WJEC’s aims with schemes of learning that interest and engage pupils such as: Extreme Sports, and Crime and Punishment. Pupils complete two oracy controlled assessments: Individual Researched Presentation and Interacting and Responding (group discussion). As well as working in class, pupils are expected to conduct independent research and preparation for these assessments.
Texts studied for GCSE English Literature are: Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, Heroes and An Inspector Calls. The course aims to extend pupils’ interest in, and enthusiasm for, literature as they develop an understanding of the ways in which literature is rich and influential. They are encouraged to be sensitive and curious readers who consider the significance and influence of a text’s cultural, historical, political and social context.
Results, again, are outstanding – 72% A* to C grades.
Key Stage 5
The study of GCE English Literature at St Martin’s School is a fantastic opportunity to further enhance the range of skills acquired at GCSE level. If pupils enjoy reading, discussing ideas, researching context and writing critical essays, they will find this a stimulating and challenging course. They will be encouraged to develop interest in and enjoyment of literature through reading widely, critically and analytically, across centuries. There is significant scope for independent study and the emphasis of the course will be on pupils’ development as an informed reader of literary texts covering the main genres of poetry, drama and prose.
Pupils are expected to have achieved a B grade in both English Literature and Language at GCSE.
Some texts are: A Streetcar Named Desire, Jane Eyre, the poetry of Heaney and Sheers and The Tempest. For the Unit 5 students can choose their own texts.