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Cheney School

Cheney School

English

Departmental Staff

Ms J Choudhury - Key Stage 5 Leader
Ms K Griffiths - Teacher
Mr S Gunter - Teacher
Ms R Hawes - Key Stage 4 Leader
Mr B Knott - Teacher
Ms L Marsh - Deputy Head
Ms P Mortimer - Key Stage 3 Leader
Dr G Snapper - Teacher
Ms L Taylor - Teacher
Ms P Tope - Teacher
Miss K Greenbank - Teacher
Mrs C Brown - Head of Faculty
Mrs E Poynton - Teacher
Miss E Kavanagh - Teacher

The Department

We aim to make the exploration of English enjoyable, engaging and accessible for ALL students. We study language in all its forms to ensure that students can make critical judgements on any text-type and write for a variety of purposes and audiences. We aim to provide as many outlets as possible for students to explore their own creativity in order to become confident writers and speakers. We believe that the study of English should be an imaginative exercise, one that draws on this country’s rich literary heritage as well as the best of other cultures. We also recognise that, in an increasingly media-dominated world, students need to be equipped to understand and decipher a wide range of modern, multimedia texts.

Key Stage 3

Classes in Key Stage 3 are all mixed ability, ensuring equality of provision for all students and ensuring everyone is given an equal chance to progress and thrive. Over the three years, we look at a range of different types of English, both in terms of the English that they read and the English that they write for themselves. These include:
• Shared reading
• Shakespeare
• Writing to argue, persuade, entertain, inform and describe
• Pre- and post-1914 poetry
• Media — print and moving image
• Plays
• Speaking and listening
• Non-fiction writing
• Myths and legends
• Writing from other cultures

In lessons we recognise the importance of differentiation and aim to ensure that every lesson is accessible and engaging for every student - as well as stretching and challenging the most able. Students who are struggling with English will be supported by Teaching Assistants wherever possible and through a range of in-class and out-of-class infrastructures. We are also committed to following the National Literacy Strategy to improve students’ general reading and writing skills.

Key Stage 4

Current Key Stage 4 students are following the new GCSE curriculum, and the awarding body is AQA. This is an entirely exam-based curriculum: there is no coursework and students are assessed entirely on a series of written exams at the end of Year 11. There are two qualifications: English Language and English Literature. English Language is compulsory but nearly all students will also take the English Literature qualification as well, meaning they will get two GCSEs at the end of Year 11. The exams for English Literature are closed book (students won’t have a copy of the text they studied in front of them) so it is essential that students know these texts extremely well. For this reason, students have to buy their own copy of the texts, so that they can annotate them, mark pages, etc. Last year we saw huge successes in our GCSE results with 80% achieving a 4+ in Language or Literature.

Key Stage 5 

A Level English Literature - English Literature is a highly popular A Level subject, that has experienced exceptional results over a number of years. The awarding body is Edexcel. Student enjoyment of the subject has always been high and many students go on to study English at university.
A Level Media Studies - Students follow the OCR course in Media Studies, which is a creative, hands-on curriculum. Topics covered include advertising, film and broadcast fiction, documentary, representation, genre and international media institutions. There is a strong practical element, with students creating short films, movie trailers, advertising campaigns and more. Again, results for this course have always been consistently above national averages.

Independent Learning

We aim to promote a culture of independent learning in the department, and feel that this is particularly important at KS5. We ask that the students take responsibility for their learning and find interest in their studies.
We support students towards this through:
• regular assessment that outlines routes for improvement
• the use of exemplar material
• equipping students with a close working knowledge of the assessment criteria
• regular exam practice
• student feedback so that we can improve and adapt our courses to suit them