English at Buxton is taught to mixed ability classes in Year 7 and 8. In years 9, 10 and 11 pupils are taught in mixed ability groups with one top set in each year group. English is taught in a suite of specialist classrooms, and by a team of well-qualified, dedicated and professional teachers. All classrooms have an interactive whiteboard, stand alone computer and projector. The English classrooms are situated on the same corridor as the school Learning Resource Centre and an ICT classroom with thirty computers.
In addition to the class teacher, some classes, at both Key Stages 3 and 4, benefit from the use of Learning Support Assistants. The department is friendly and supportive and there are ample opportunities for professional development.
At Key Stage 4 all pupils take a double certificate course in English and English Literature with the AQA. At both key stages pupils receive four, one hour lessons of English each week. At KS3 pupils use the Learning Resource Centre for a dedicated reading period each week. The centre is well stocked with a wide range of up to date fiction and non-fiction and ten computers, all with internet access.
The department is well resourced and places great emphasis on creative team work, to produce and develop, new and existing materials. The department is innovative and forward thinking. We place creativity at the heart of our curriculum and are constantly looking for ways to engage all pupils in their learning through the use of new technologies and a wide range of texts and visual resources.
Assessment for Learning is at the heart of our approach to developing learning in our classrooms and we are currently developing our assessment practice to include Assessing Pupil Progress. We have recently reviewed our Year 7 curriculum to develop our approaches to the teaching of independent enquiry and creative thinking, in line with the new QCA curriculum. We believe all pupils have a right to access the full English curriculum and we seek to develop their basic literacy skills, their thinking skills and their speaking and listening skills through all the work we do.
We run regular reward trips for pupils; recent trips including a Year 7 trip to see ‘Coraline’ following the study of the novel in class, and. a Year 9 trip to The Globe theatre to see a performance of Romeo and Juliet. In Year 7 all pupils take part in The Shakespeare Festival as an end to their first year of English in the school.
The department runs a homework club after school and, in the run up to the GCSE examinations, after school revision classes as well as a residential study weekend and holiday study support sessions.
Informal visits to the department are welcome. Please contact the school if you wish to visit.