The English Department at Werneth is experienced, enthusiastic and innovative. English is delivered at Werneth School by thirteen teachers including two Senior Leaders. In conjunction with English, Werneth runs a well established Media Studies department and in addition to the teaching staff, two full-time Teaching Assistants support lessons in both Key Stages and deliver a successful programme of intervention to small groups of students in addition to their English lessons.
Key stage 3
Students study English four times a week, each lesson being one hour in length. During this time, termly units of work are studied, including a wide selection of pre 19th Century texts, challenging and intriguing novels and plays. Students also can tap into their creative sides with a wide variety of captivating poems and also several Shakespeare plays.
The delivery of content, by staff, is based around the school’s Teaching and Learning emphasis of Co-operative Learning. The course for Year 9 focuses on our students beginning their GCSE preparatory studies, in readiness for the new linear examinations in Year 11. The primary focus for Key Stage 3 students is to demonstrate their abilities in reading, writing and some speaking and listening, building a portfolio of their achievements.
Year 7 and 8 students also participate in designated reading lessons through the medium of Accelerated Reader, an adaptive programme which continually monitors and records individual progress in reading. Detailed records of individual progress are kept, requiring the students to track their own progression, their strengths and targets through peer, self and formal assessment in order to build a bank of levelled evidence which serves to demonstrate individualised learning and progress made. The emphasis on reading is crucial here at Werneth and students either read a class reader or their own reading book at the beginning of each English lesson. We feel it’s essential to never let their passion for reading fade.
Key stage 4
Students in Year 11 will be the first cohort to sit the new AQA GCSE English Language and English Literature specifications. The GCSE English course has been designed to include the study of a range of prose and drama extracts in order to consolidate analytical and evaluative reading skills, one Shakespeare play, one pre-19th Century Prose novel, an anthology of modern poetry and one modern play. The course also involves the teaching of a plethora of writing skills in order to create confident, accurate and imaginative writers. Each KS4 class receives nine one hour lessons over a fortnight.
English is assessed solely through examinations which will take place at the end of Year 11; there is no coursework element.
Trips take place to local theatres to support the understanding and appreciation of texts and to also expand students’ cultural appreciation of plays in context. In addition to this, travelling theatre groups are welcomed into our own Image Theatre to perform and run workshops as well as visiting poets. Students, staff and parents alike benefit from this. Parents have found these performances particularly helpful as they are then able to support their child’s learning at home.
Each week, the Creative Writing Club runs, working on a variety of topics.
Extra curricular activities are encouraged and supported in enhancing learning by the English Department.
Each year Werneth hosts its very own Literature Festival whereby students can enjoy and experience a host of different activities, exposing them to new and creative ways of enjoying the subject. This is an opportunity too for students to take part in workshops with published authors, poets and even script writers working in some of Manchester’s top theatres.