Croesyceiliog School Learning, Respect, Ambition



The English department at Croesyceiliog is characterised by a strong sense of collaboration and enthusiasm for our subject and our pupils. The department’s main aim is to achieve the highest possible standards for all our pupils. We hope that pupils will enjoy their work in English and we strive to ensure that our curriculum offers a rich and diverse range of learning experiences which will enable all pupils to improve their communication skills of speaking and listening, reading and writing. ICT is used extensively throughout lessons and the department is very well resourced with four class sets of laptops to add variety to the curriculum and to promote independent learning.

In Year 7, children are taught in mixed ability form groups and have 6 hour long English lessons (including one library lesson), per fortnight, plus one Literacy lesson. Pupils study a range of literary texts such as extracts from Shakespeare’s plays, “The Diary of A Wimpy Kid”, “Holes” and “Skellig”. They also undertake a variety of writing tasks such as writing autobiographies, formal letters and a survival guide for new Year 7 pupils. Booster groups enable pupils to develop necessary literacy skills. These groups are based on reading and spelling age tests completed at the start of the year. KS2 data, AWRT and teacher observation and assessment are also used to identify pupils in need of interventions. Our One to One Catch Up Literacy programme operates for those pupils who do not have a functional reading age. This provides more focused attention and specific training in order for them to access the curriculum. In our library reading groups, which take place in registration, Year 7 pupils are paired with a trained year 12 pupil.

In Year 8, children are taught in sets and cover a range of tasks from descriptive writing to writing newspaper articles and reviews. They also study a variety of texts such as the very popular “Saga of Darren Shan” series, “Stormbreaker”, “The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas” and Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales”. Year 8 reading intervention groups support pupils in the library where they read from a selection of specially chosen texts.

In Year 9, pupils follow a curriculum designed to prepare them for GCSE English Language and English Literature. This includes modules on comparing disaster poetry, the 2012 London Olympics, narrative writing, travel writing and charity advertisements. Literary texts studied include “Private Peaceful”, “Our Day Out” and “Stone Cold”. Year 9 reading intervention pupils receive support in the library during registration, which is group reading time.

At KS4, the majority of pupils are entered for GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature (WJEC). This includes studying texts such as “Of Mice and Men”, “Romeo and Juliet”, a range of poetry from WJEC GCSE anthology, “Heroes” and “An Inspector Calls”. The department provides pupils with many opportunities to maximise their potential through re-sitting controlled assessments, resitting modular examinations, withdrawing C/D borderline pupils from non-examination subjects for extra focused examination practice and after school revision sessions. Year 10 and 11 reading intervention pupils read in the library during registration and can choose from a range of activities including: newspapers, magazines and computers.

At KS5, the AS/A level English Literature course is designed to improve students’ ability to read and judge texts critically, building upon skills of exploration, analysis and appreciation developed at GCSE. The course aims to stimulate or develop a love of reading for pleasure through introducing students to the great literary heritage of the English language, from the Middle Ages to twentieth century America, in all its rich diversity. Some examples of “core” texts which may be studied include the poetry of Carol Ann Duffy, “Kindertransport” by Diane Samuels, “Emma” by Jane Austen, “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Chaucer’s “The Wife of Bath’s Prologue and Tale”, Shakespeare’s “King Lear” , “The Prelude Books 1 and 2 (1805)” by William Wordsworth, “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens. Some examples of “partner” texts which may be studied are Sheenagh Pugh’s “Selected Poems”, “The Catcher in the Rye”, “The Outcast” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

As well as preparing pupils thoroughly for examinations, we also offer a number of opportunities to extend students’ knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject through a range of extra-curricular activities including public speaking, poetry and short story writing competitions, theatre visits, entry into “The Times Spelling Bee” competition, master classes for GCSE and A level students from external consultants, film club, World Book Day activities and video conferences with Year 6 pupils from our feeder schools.

Don’t just take our word for it…this is what our pupils think!:

I like English because it is always interesting and something different every lesson. We do speaking and listening activities, writing and computer work. I always learn something every lesson and always leave the class happy.
English is enjoyable and interesting at the same time. This term we have learnt about Shakespeare and have completed lots of activities to make it more fun!
The extra English help I have received has given me more confidence to go into the exam as I feel really prepared.
I love studying poetry, it’s been really insightful and interesting.
Studying English at A Level has made me so more open minded and able to understand different views and interpretations.
Mrs S Wilkie Head of Department
Ms P Adair Assistant Team Leader i/c KS4

Mrs K Chandler

KS3 Coordinator and teacher i/c Media Studies
Mrs S Dickinson  
Mrs R Kent Head of Year 10
Mrs S Mahoney  
Mrs L O’Beirne  
Mr M Pollentine  
Mrs L Taylor Assistant Head