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The English Department
Head of Department = Mrs E Baxter-Smallwood
The English department consists of nine specialist teachers, all of whom have a passion for bringing English to life for the students at Longdendale. The department has a shared vision of creating an engaging curriculum which ensures all students achieve to the best of their ability in English.
Students in all year groups are working towards sitting both English Language and English Literature GCSEs with the Edexcel exam board. To this end, all students begin studying both subjects from the beginning of Year 7.
The curriculum is designed as a continuum; students begin studying the components they will sit for their GCSE in Year 7 and return to these skill areas throughout each year of study at Longdendale. In this way, they are able to revise and refine their skills with more complex texts, extracts and tasks as they move through the curriculum.
There is a strong focus on using English to promote complex discussion, understanding and analysis through exploring thought-provoking issues such as Crime and Punishment, the Holocaust and Cultural Identity.
In English, students are assessed each half term with an hour-long assessment in exam conditions. Assessments are completed from Year 7 through to Year 11 based on the GCSE exam papers, mark schemes and grade boundaries to ensure students have a full understanding of the final examinations they are working towards, and that teachers have a thorough understanding of their students’ attainment and progress.
Students will be expected to complete a minimum of one home learning activity per week for English.
Each Wednesday after school, students are invited to bring their creative writing skills, journalism talents and flair for photography in order to create Longdendale's new Aspire Flyer. The Aspire Flyer is a student-led newsletter which is being co-ordinated by Y11 student leaders and is being written entirely by enthusiastic writers from Y7 to Y11. This club is intended to offer an alternative opportunity to develop writing skills, as well as a place to allow students to have their voices heard and celebrate achievements at Longdendale. Students should see Miss Maiolani to get involved.
After school revision sessions are offered to Year 11 students each week on a Tuesday after school. Students should speak to their class teachers for more information on what will be covered each week, but attendance is highly recommended.
Students are offered various enrichment opportunities in English. Annually, we run a trip to London, where students get the opportunity to see a West End theatre production, a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre and a Shakespeare theatre workshop at Pineapple Dance Studios. As well as this, students experience other London attractions, such as the London Eye, a Thame river cruise and exploring Covent Garden.
This year we are offering KS3 students the opportunity to visit the world of Shakespeare, in a Stratford-Upon-Avon residential experience. Students will get visit all of his houses; take part in a practical workshop with the RSC, and then watch Twelfth Night at the theatre in the evening."
In order to enlighten our students on the paths that English can take them, we are inviting a wide variety of experts from different industries to do Q and A sessions with the students, to broaden their knowledge of potential careers for the future. Some examples of these will be: a fashion editor, a BBC director and a journalist.
In addition to this, students are given various opportunities to attend more local theatre productions including, where possible, as many of the set GCSE texts as are available.