Our aim is for all out students to become confident, competent and critical users of language. We want our students to consider different perspectives and engage with a range of challenging literary and non-literary texts which encourage them to explore their heritage and broaden their cultural awareness.
Students will insightfully question what they read or hear, and develop their communication skills to become independent, resilient thinkers. We will nurture their enthusiasm for and appreciation of the beauty of language.
Our school has been awarded Champion Reader status.
Log-in to Renaisance here.
Reading in English
Support for students with Special Needs and Disability in English
Provision for Able, Gifted and Talented students in English
At the Burgate School and Sixth Form, English and literacy are at the heart of the curriculum.
English skills support and reinforce students' learning in all subjects and provide essential life skills but English is also a popular and dynamic subject in its own right. Students enjoy experience of reading, writing and analysing a variety of texts from traditional literary works like Shakespeare’s plays through to websites and spontaneous speech.
There are many opportunities for creative responses and we encourage and develop students’ Speaking and Listening communication. We aim to offer every pupil and student at least one experience of live theatre. English lessons take place in a suite of rooms and are very well resourced.
Our aim is to encourage:
An enthusiasm for learning
An ability to respond and engage
Knowledge and understanding
Cultural, moral, social and historical awareness
We run Accelerated Reading (AR) lessons with all students in years 7 and 8 using the school library as a base, closely monitored by specialist English teachers. Students aim to meet the standard of 20 minutes reading per day and there are termly competitions for the students who achieve the highest amount of reading minutes in each year group. Using AR has promoted the love of reading in the lower years and, as a result of this, we have seen library usage triple.
The Burgate School is a reading school and AR has enabled us to develop our students' independent reading skills, giving staff a clear picture of how to help our readers to develop whilst retaining a love of literature.
The English department works closely with the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) department to ensure that all students can access the work and make progress. The SENCO is also an English teacher and teaches the full range of abilities in Years 7-11. He also advises the rest of the English department in how to best support students with a range of learning difficulties. All students are screened on arrival in Year 7 to determine their strengths and difficulties with literacy. This involves reading, writing and spelling assessments coordinated by the SENCO and the English department. The results of these are used to decide how to best support students in terms of sets and interventions. The SEND department runs reading groups for students in Years 7-9 who may need an extra boost. We also have a specialist dyslexia teacher in the SEND team who can provide 1:1 support sessions, but who also works closely with English teachers and supports students in lessons. A team of Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) work closely with English teachers to support students with the most need. The SENCO also organises exam access arrangements to ensure that students who may need extra time, readers, scribes or access to a laptop to record their work are not disadvantaged.
Providing challenge and inspiration to the most able of our students is what we strive for in the English department. Provision is made both inside and outside of the classroom to ensure that students have opportunities to stretch and challenge themselves.
Inside the classroom:
Through the use of sets we are able to provide the correct level of challenge for all students. For A,G&T students the impact of this is that they will be introduced to texts that will stretch them in their writing and reading skills.
Outside of the classroom:
The English department has created an A,G&T group (The English All-Pro Team) for all Key Stages. This group have been selected by their teachers as those who show a real passion and flair for the subject. This group will meet every half term to explore new avenues of English that will expand their knowledge, creativity and appetite for all things English. Students will also receive master classes from experts inside and outside school to provide them with a wider English experience, focused on areas such as: blogging, journalism, satire, script writing, Shakespeare, creative writing and many others.
English Curriculum Guide
Year 7 & 8
The English department offers a wealth of exciting learning opportunities that aim to enrich, inspire and develop a passion for language and literature that will stay with students for life. Within years 7 and 8 our aim is to nurture students’ ability in order that they:-
Can question what they read.
Are confident in refining their individual, distinctive writing styles.
Are fluent in communicating their own beliefs as well as exploring and reflecting on others.
Shakespeare Day – Activities Week
For one whole day in Activities Week the Year 7s get to explore the wonderful world of Shakespeare. Each student will have a chance to research, rehearse and perform one of the plays to the rest of the year group. It is chance to them to be creative and have fun whilst becoming experts in the Bard!
English is a core subject at GCSE and all students are entered for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.
Throughout the course our aim is to enable all students to gain competence and confidence both as writers and critics. We seek to develop expertise and enjoyment in Reading and Writing. Our lessons give the opportunity for students to appreciate a wide range of texts and explore the issues, ideas and values expressed in such texts. There are also many opportunities for students to create their own texts.
The GCSE courses are assessed through formal examinations which all take place at the end of the course.
There are no grade levels or grade limits as there are no tiers of entry in either subject. There is also an accredited Spoken Language result which is not part of the marks for GCSE but the result of which appears on the GCSE certificate for English Language.
In the Burgate English Department, English Language and English Literature are taught as an integrated course with the skills learned in Reading and Writing complementing and supporting each other.
Specification: AQA English Language and AQA English Literature
In the Sixth Form we offer two English A Level courses: English Language and English Literature. The teaching team is experienced and enthusiastic and we are very proud of the results our students achieve as well as the numbers who go on to continue their English Education at University. Communication skills which are fostered during an A Level English course are vital components in many other courses too.
English is taught in new purpose built rooms which allow us to make use of a range of virtual and interactive resources as well as the more traditional text books. Lessons in the Sixth Form are often discussion based and the students are encouraged to develop their interpersonal skills alongside their written and analytical skills. There is a strong and friendly ethos in the department which is fostered by trips to theatre productions and academic conferences.
A Level English Language
The AQA English Language course enables students to study the mechanics of spoken and written language; how we use words to create meaning and how our social context affects our language use. Students learn how we acquire language as children and how language changes both over time and according to context. Students have plenty of opportunities to create their own pieces of original writing, modelled on real-life examples, and to undertake a “university-style” investigation project. We help our students embrace independent learning through guided research sessions, whilst building a supportive environment where students can comment constructively on their peers’ work.
Specification: AQA English Language
A Level English Literature
The AQA English Literature course allows students to discover how central narrative is to the way literary texts work and they are introduced to the different aspects of genre.
The course at AS is based on a range of texts with a common theme of Love through the Ages.
Encouraging wide and independent reading, the course also considers different types of critical models and how they can develop our understanding. Students will have opportunities to study a wide range of writers, including Shakespeare, Keats, F Scott Fitzgerald and Angela Carter. We aim for students to experience texts from as many times, genres and writers as possible, to prepare them fully for further study.
Specification: AQA English Literature A