The English department at Bridgewater is comprised of four subject specialists with a passion for their subject and is characterised by a strong sense of collaboration and student-centred approach.
In the first half-term of Year 7, students complete a transitional autobiographical writing unit, based around passages from Roald Dahl’s Boy. In this unit Year 7 students have the opportunity to explore their feelings about starting Senior School and share key memories from their past.
Throughout Key Stage 3 the department takes an integrated approach to the study of English Literature and English Language. In Years 7 and 8, schemes of work are built around literary texts such as Skellig, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Holes, Tulip Touch, Private Peaceful and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, which combine the teaching of reading skills and literary analysis with a range of writing tasks. Creative, speaking and listening, and drama-based activities are also promoted through projects where students can work individually or in groups to explore and present on aspects of the novels that particularly piqued their interest. In Year 8, students also follow a popular ‘WWI’ themed unit of work which covers WWI poetry, descriptive writing, film analysis of War Horse and persuasion and propaganda.
In Year 9, students prepare for their transition to GCSEs through studying challenging GCSE-level textx such as John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. They build a range of skills required for GCSE in studying thematic units on ‘Monsters’ and ‘Place’. These units explore 19th, 20th and 21st century fiction and non-fiction extracts, poetry from other cultures, a range of transactional and narrative writing tasks, as well as help to further develop speaking and listening skills.
At GCSE, English Language and English Literature GCSEs (Eduqas) are offered. Texts studied at English Literature are Macbeth, An Inspector Calls and A Christmas Carol. In Addition to these texts, students also cover the Eduqas GCSE English Literature poetry anthology, which explores a range of 18 poems from the Romantic poets to the present day. Within the department, we have experienced Eduqas examiners for both English Language and Literature, whose knowledge and expertise of the assessment process is hugely beneficial for our students preparing for their external examinations.
For further information on the GCSE course curriculum visit www.eduqas.co.uk
Beyond the classroom
As well as being committed to students’ academic progress, the department prides itself in developing communication and empathetic skills, with English lessons being a safe space to discuss, challenge and question. At Key Stage 3, the team dedicate time to private reading, where staff work closely with students to recommend books which will foster a love of reading and widen their literary tastes. In Year 7 students are invited to follow the Salford Book Award, reading the shortlisted novels and attending the awards ceremony at Salford University. The department also provides a range of extra-curricular clubs such as Debating, Creative Writing and Literary Film Adaptation Club. We aim to cultivate an appreciation of live theatre by offering regular theatre trips to performances in the North West, as well as further afield in Stratford and London, visiting both the RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe.