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Oak Wood School


Department Overview

The over-riding aim of the English department is to ensure that each student, whatever their ability, should reach their full potential and aim to make significant progress at Oak Wood. Developing students’ English and Literacy skills is, of course, fundamental to unlocking their potential across the academic curriculum and beyond into the world of work. The English Department strives to foster a positive attitude towards English by presenting it as an interesting, creative, challenging and useful subject. We also organise a variety of enrichment activities throughout the year including events for World Book Day, author visits and theatre trips

Key Stage 3

KS3 English revisits and builds on the skills developed at KS2. We read and study a variety of different text including Shakespeare, poetry, contemporary literature and modern drama. We develop the skills to analyse the techniques the writer’s use, the contexts in which texts were written and the impact they have on readers and audiences.

We also develop our ability to use written language creatively and persuasively by the use of a range of a range of language and structural techniques, and broaden our vocabulary and knowledge of tier 2 words.

The benefits of reading fiction are widely documented, and pupils are encourage to read for pleasure. Classes have regular lessons in the library and use Accelerated Reader to track and challenge pupils reading.

Year 7 pupils have the opportunity to take part in The Hillingdon Secondary Book of the Year challenge in the Spring Term.

Key Stage 4

All pupils study the AQA specifications for English Language and English Literature. Both subjects are 100% examination and graded from 1-9.

English Language

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing 1h45

Pupils will answer a series of questions analysing the language and structure of an extract from a fiction text. They will also have to write creatively: either a description based on an image or a narrative based on a given title or topic.

Paper 2: Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives 1h45

Pupils will answer a series of questions analysing and comparing the language used and point of view presented in two extracts – one from the 19th century and one from the 20t/21st century.

They will also write to present a specific viewpoint.

English Literature

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel. 1h45

Pupils will answer one essay style question based on an extract and their knowledge of the text as a whole. Texts studied are Macbeth by William Shakespeare and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

Paper 2: Modern Texts and Poetry 2h15

Pupils answer essay style questions analysing and comparing a variety of prepared and unseen texts.

Pupils will study either An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley or Animal Farm by George Orwell, an anthology of power based on the theme of power and conflict, and a variety of poetry in preparation for an unseen poem.