Skills For Life
Faculty of English
Head of Faculty
Mrs C Webber
Deputy Head of Faculty
Miss L Neave
‘Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.’ — Joyce Carol Oates
From the dynamic drama of Shakespeare to the rewarding depths of poetry, English at Walderslade Girls’ School aims to captivate students in writing that can shape their understanding of the world. In addition to this, it gives pupils the chance to express themselves imaginatively and develop a critical appreciation of the written word. Staff work hard to provide a happy, purposeful learning environment, where expectations are high and pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning. Consequently, we are a leading department within the school. This has been reflected in the school’s recent Ofsted inspection which found that ‘pupils progress well in English due to effective teaching that helps to deepen their knowledge and understanding of texts.’
Useful Online Resources
BBC GCSE Bitesize
Bitesize is a great tool to use to reinforce your understanding of plot, characters, themes and context. In addition to this, there are quizzes and videos that can be used to assess and reinforce your knowledge. GCSE Bitesize also offers example questions and guidance on the planning process. Literature aside, there are also extremely helpful pages for skills assessed in the Language papers.
Similar to BBC Bitesize, Shmoop would make a perfect resource to use to reinforce your understanding of set texts. The website breaks texts down into key themes, characters, quotes and plot summaries. The following link is an example of their guide on Orwell’s Animal Farm.
Mr Bruff’s YouTube videos
Mr Bruff covers everything and his videos provide step by step guides explaining how to approach particular exam questions. Modelled answers and exam mark schemes are used to enhance students’ understanding of what makes an effective response. In addition, it is definitely worth having a look at Mr Bruff’s quote songs and raps – an engaging way to memorise some key details!
The British Library
This is a great resource for more in-depth explorations of context. There are some brilliant articles and videos about the writers’ intentions and concerns about society. Have a look at the following example for A Christmas Carol:
Another fantastic online resource with similar features to the other websites. You can find significant quotations with explanations as well as videos that explore some of the set texts. One of the most popular tools on this website is No Fear Shakespeare. This can be extremely helpful as it translates Shakespeare’s plays into modern day English.