Welcome to the English Department. The main aim of the Department is to promote literacy and an understanding and enjoyment of literature, throughout the school; its achievements are indicated by consistently high examination results from a non-selective intake.
English is taught in the attractive Mary Ward building, which consists of five classrooms and a studio.
The Department engages in many extra-curricular activities. There is a ‘Magazine Club’, which produces a school magazine each term and debating is popular, with girls involved in competitions within and outside the school. Each year, in collaboration with the Librarian, with whom we work closely, we have a ‘Reading Week’ for Years 7, 8 and 9 with visits from writers and a chance to take part in a sponsored ‘Readathon’, which usually raises over £2000 for charity. Reading has a very strong profile in the school, with groups shadowing major awards and a ‘Book for Loreto’ initiative is usually in progress. The lower school classes are involved in the school’s Drama Festival every July. We organise many outings to theatres and lectures.
Key Stage 3
The English course in Years 7, 8 & 9 offers a varied and engaging way for students to develop their Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening skills. Speaking and Listening involves individual talks and group and paired work as well as drama-focused activities There are units on creating stories, non-fiction, Gothic literature, autobiographies, diaries, media, and Shakespeare, as well as the study of texts such as Private Peaceful and Of Mice and Men. There is emphasis on different types of writing for various purposes, and every Year 7 student completes a ‘Finding Out’ project. We have developed our Key Stage Three Curriculum to provide specific preparation for the new GCSE courses.
Every year ends with the Drama Festival, in which each form scripts and produces a play, according to a set theme. This is a competitive event with the best entries shown to parents.
In Years 7 and 8 we set 30 minutes homework twice a week. In Year 9 we set 45 minutes homework twice a week. In addition to this, pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure, to share their enjoyment of books with others and to keep a journal of private reading as well as studying shared texts and poems. We also offer Key Stage 3 pupils the chance to meet authors and experience visiting theatre companies performing set texts.
The following website should provide your daughter with some support:
Key Stage Three Bitesize. http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z3kw2hv
Key Stage 4
All pupils take GCSE exams in both English Language and English Literature. We use AQA specifications 8700 and 8702. The students will be assessed by terminal examinations at the end of Year 11. There is a separate Speaking and Listening assessment, noted on the certificate. Literature includes examination questions on modern drama, a 19th century text, a Shakespeare play and prepared and unseen poetry. In English Language, students will develop the skills needed to explore unseen fiction and non-fiction extracts, and they will also use descriptive and persuasive writing styles.
Throughout the course, students are taught and encouraged to use standard English in speech and writing, to discuss and share ideas and interpretations, to write fluently and accurately and to read with understanding and enjoyment and as widely as possible.
Students can expect to spend two to three hours every week on homework. We look for every possible opportunity to take pupils to see texts in performance and we invite theatre groups to perform for the students.
The following websites will provide some useful support:
- BBC Bitesize
- Sam Learning
- I Am Learning
Online newspapers or magazines:
- The Guardian
- The Times
- The Independent
- The BBC
GCSE Specification http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/english
BBC bitesize http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zr9d7ty
SAM learning https://www.samlearning.com/
I Am Learning https://www.iamlearning.co.uk/
The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/uk
The Times http://www.thetimes.co.uk/
The Independent https://www.independent.co.uk/us
GCSE Exam Preparation:
Key Stage 5 English Literature
Students study A-level English Literature OCR specification H472.
This course involves the close study of texts with a view to developing critical skills, and includes poetry, prose and drama. Students study at least one play by Shakespeare, as well as works by important classic and modern authors. These might include writers such as Chaucer, Tennessee Williams and Mary Shelley. The course will involve two pieces of coursework, which will be worth 20% of the final grade. They will have two examinations at the end of Year 13, which will require students to demonstrate the skills and understanding they have developed over the two years. Students are expected to show understanding of the contexts in which the texts were written. They should also be able to show knowledge of and be able to respond to critical thinking. Students can expect to spend at least six hours every week on homework, including reading time. We offer students the chance to take part in theatre visits and attend lectures on the texts they are studying.
English and Media Centre magazine (please see your English teacher or Mrs Moran for the login information): https://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/e-magazine/
English opportunities beyond Loreto
Students who take English Literature at A-Level often choose to study English, Law, History and other Humanities subjects at university. Career opportunities could include journalism, law, teaching, work in media and professional writing. For further guidance, please see Mrs Moran in the English department.
Page updated Sept 2016