Skills For Life
Faculty of English
Head of Faculty
Mrs C Webber
Deputy Heads of Faculty
Miss L Glover
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.’
‘When questioning is carefully constructed and sequenced, it leads to pupils deepening their understanding of the subject and complex work is mastered, as in English and history.’
Years 7 and 8
Students are given the opportunity to explore the rich diversity English has to offer as soon as they join the school. As well as embracing the enriching challenge of Shakespeare’s drama, the students are given the chance to enhance their skills in creative writing and read poignant novels that will support them in building a critical and thoughtful appreciation of literature. In addition to this, students will also dip into exciting genres of fiction and non-fiction texts including Gothic and Detective stories.
All students study GCSE English Literature and English Language from the start of Year 9. Opportunities to study 19th century prose, poetry and 20th Century Literature are given, as well as the study of creative writing and reading skills. Students enjoy many of the texts on offer and thrive in the interactive, skills-based teaching and learning environment created by staff.
All students will be sitting the AQA exam papers and the following texts will be studied for the Literature component:
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- Macbeth by William Shakespeare
- An Inspector Calls by J B Priestley
In addition to this, all students will study one cluster of poems taken from the AQA poetry anthology, Poems Past and Present. At present, students are studying the Love and Relationships cluster and exploring the rich poetry of writers such as Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Thomas Hardy, Carol Ann Duffy and Simon Armitage.
Students also explore non-fiction and transactional writing to prepare them for their AQA language papers. Pupils will learn how to write effectively by selecting and adapting tone, style and register for different forms, purposes and audiences. These skills will be developed through imaginative writing of their own as well as exploring a variety of engaging and dynamic texts.
Years 10 and 11
In Years 10 and 11, students continue their studies for the AQA English Literature and Language papers. In preparation for the GCSE examinations, the English Faculty also provide ample support outside of timetabled lessons to consolidate students’ understanding and enhance the key skills they need to excel in the exams.