English and Literacy

Faculty Leader: Miss S Neat
Subject Leader: Mrs A Yates

Aims of the department

The English Department at Madeley School are passionate about Language and Literature. We want our students to be as passionate as we are. We believe that reading is fundamental for students to be able to excel in English as it opens their minds and imagination as well as helping to develop their vocabulary and grasp of grammar. Our aim is to develop the skills of our learners so that they become great communicators whilst also developing an appreciation of the writing of others. 

Literature allows us to introduce students to a range of social, political and cultural issues.  Texts are carefully selected and students will study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts across each of the key stages as they develop their analytical skills. Through the exploration of the writing of others, we promote the importance of being able to have a voice of your own.  Both oral and written communication is valued highly and students are taught these distinct skills.  Emphasis is placed on the accuracy of written communication and time is dedicated to ensuring that students secure the key skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar.

During each key stage, we ensure that the building blocks are put in place for students to succeed and to prepare them for the next stage of their learning journey.

Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)

What will students study?

Our aim is to develop each student’s confidence and ability as a language user. This means that we are looking to achieve a balance between speaking and listening, reading and writing.  Most lessons will include an element of each, and homework will similarly involve reading and research as well as more conventional writing assignments. 

Students will have opportunities to draft their writing taking their work through several stages of planning and shaping ideas before they commit themselves to a final product. Developing accuracy is important, we also recognise the crucial role of imagination, interesting opinions and thoughtful material, which are the essence of successful writing.

We want our students to be independent readers and we encourage them to bring into the classroom their own choice of books and general reading as a starting point for sharing and discussion. Parents may feel that they can play a part here in supporting the reading done by the students at home.  We have successfully launched the Accelerated Reader scheme, where students are able to take quizzes on the books they read, testing their comprehension and understanding of an increasingly varied vocabulary. Teachers, parents and students themselves will be able to track progress and see reading ages accelerate as the programme develops. We also aim to ensure that the children benefit from a wide diet of literature by contemporary and established authors including poetry and drama as well as novels and short stories that are embedded into varied schemes of learning. Language and literature are at the heart of our teaching and we want students to value them as a way of exploring personal experience and social and moral issues.

Speaking and learning go together in the classroom.  Students are given the chance to join in discussion on their work as it progresses both with the teacher and within working groups.  Presentation, role play and reporting to the class as a whole are also valuable in building the students’ confidence.  Most importantly students are encouraged to share their own ideas and opinions, and to bring their own view and experiences into the classroom.  We intend to make the learning relevant, stimulating as well as enjoyable!

All students will follow a literacy course which is designed to improve skills and knowledge in English.  This will allow students the opportunity to read and interpret written English, write more accurately, express themselves with confidence and develop creative expression. 

How will students be assessed?

Assessment in English is ongoing through observation of the students at work, through review of completed writing, and through discussion between individual students and the teacher.  Students’ work is completed in class books; it is marked regularly, with verbal feedback given every lesson to enable swift progress. Assessment criteria follows the Whole School Assessment Policy, and students work with staff to set themselves individual targets.

Key Stage 4 (Years 9,10 and 11)

What course do students follow?
Specification code: 8700

Specification code: 8702
What will students study?
The majority of pupils will study English Language and English Literature; two separate and distinctive GCSE subjects which are taught in combination across the two year course.

GCSE English Language aims to equip you with the reading and writing skills essential for your future lives.  The course has been designed to inspire and motivate pupils, providing stretch and challenge whilst ensuring that a range of fiction and non-fiction texts are accessible to all.  The course will enable pupils to develop the skills they need to read, understand and analyse a range of texts covering the 19th, 20th and 21st Century time periods as well as to write clearly, coherently and accurately using a range of vocabulary and sentence structures.

GCSE English Literature takes a skills based approach to the study of English Literature that is consistent across a range of genres and texts over time. Again, the texts chosen are inspiring and challenging with assessment through close analysis of whole texts and then through extract analysis.  19th, 20th and 21st Century texts will be covered and include Shakespeare, poetry, plays and novels; texts are selected to ensure all abilities can meet their potential.

Details of Assessment
Both GCSE English Language and English Literature are assessed through un-tiered, closed book terminal examination.  In addition to this pupils will receive a separate endorsement for their spoken language skills.

English Language

Paper 1: Examination (50%)

Explorations in creative reading and writing.

Paper 2: Examination (50%)

Writers’ viewpoints and perspectives.

Non Examination Assessment:

Spoken Language

English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century novel (40%)

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry (60%)

Where can I find more information?

More information about the courses can be found using the links below. 



Assessment resources
Specimen paper questions can be found using the links below.



Careers Information
Useful careers information can be found using the links below.