English & Drama
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Redhill's English department has been approved in its success over many years: there are twelve highly experienced individuals who, together, show remarkable diversity in experience and make a great team. Our teaching staff body is built up of experienced examination markers and outstanding teachers with a wide variety of teaching experience, including: teaching abroad, leading pastorally (head of year); teachers who have worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and undergone post graduate qualifications in ‘The Teaching of Shakespeare’; teachers with twenty years’ experience in the profession; staff who qualified through the highly regarded ‘Teach First’ programme; and finally a range of trainees, whose fresh ideas and initiatives are just as important as those with more experience.
However, what is of utmost importance to our staff team is teaching and learning, which lies at the heart of everything we do. We believe that a well-structured curriculum is a successful one and here at Redhill, English is very much a faculty – in the current educational climate of change, being responsive to developments in the new curriculum has also played an important role in our development of lessons and topics right across the key stages. Within our area, we offer the traditional English Language and Literature course, as well as the option of GCSE Drama. Changes to the Ofqual requirements have meant that we can no longer realistically offer AS film studies as a means of extending students; however, Film studies GCSE is also retained as an enrichment option for some of our weaker students.
Our curriculum is designed to build and scaffold student skills right from year 7. When they begin at Redhill, students are taught how to analyse literature and film, media and non-fiction texts, as well as experiencing and developing skills in a range of dramatic conventions. In fact, in both year 7 and 8 students partake in a drama lesson once per fortnight, which has proven very popular with our current year 7. Oracy forms a vast part of our curriculum, and despite the changes to GCSE English within speaking and listening, we still value spoken communication as an essential skill for students to develop. Likewise, as a department we also value literacy, and thus reading is actively encouraged (you can see our recommended reading lists in the tabs below). We are hoping to develop more of an intrinsic reading culture across the school, with activities including author visits, reading programmes / interventions and library lessons, where students also develop independent learning skills. Students in both year 7 and 9 also have fortnightly literacy lessons, focused on building technical accuracy and other necessary writing/ reading skills. These lessons also include spelling tests, with a copy of the student booklet available in the tabs below.
At Redhill, we believe that pupils should study a broad range of challenging and engaging literature at all ages. Therefore, quite often the novels or texts we study grapple with controversial social and/or moral themes / ideas, but we believe this is incredibly important for the development of well-rounded, socially aware children. Some of the novels your child may study or read include:
KS3: Terror Kid, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time; Private Peaceful, Wonder, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; Girl Missing, Darkside, War Horse, Clockwork, Coraline, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Holes, Animal Farm, Of Mice and Men and Martyn Pig.
KS4: Christmas Carol, Inspector Calls, Macbeth, Jekyll and Hyde, Lord of the Flies; To Kill a Mockingbird; The Crucible, The Woman in Black and Wuthering Heights.
If you have any concerns, please contact the Head of English.
Finally, we value homework within the department, and every KS3 student will have a variety of ‘extended learning projects’ throughout the year, designed to develop independence, research and self-management skills in our learners.
Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural development
Spiritual development – Pupils are given opportunities to form and reflect upon their own beliefs and opinions about life through the study of literature and non -literary texts. In the English classroom they show respect for other people’s opinions, beliefs and values. Pupils enjoy developing their personal opinions based on the texts that they are studying. We use a range of creative and imaginative ways to teach and for pupils to show their understanding.
Moral development – Throughout English pupils explore social and cultural issues. They are encouraged to form their own opinions in response to the texts that they encounter. A skill nurtured throughout English is the ability to analyse and reflect upon ethical issues and also show an understanding of an opposing view to their own.
Social development – In the English classroom, pupils from different backgrounds work together. All pupils are willing to work together in the classroom and are cooperative. Through English pupils are given every opportunity to explore social and cultural changes that contribute to their own life.
Cultural development – Pupils explore multi-cultural Britain and appreciate the variety of cultures that have contributed to everyday life in Britain. Learning about the different perspectives in society allows pupils to have an appreciation of the cultural development of others and they show an interest in exploring this. Pupils are taught to show respect to people from other faiths, cultural and socio-economic backgrounds locally and globally. This is explored through the novels and texts we study.