As a subject, English promotes excellent communication skills as well as the ability to think, analyse and challenge different opinions whether these are expressed in writing or orally. We are fully committed to encouraging students to read and write for enjoyment, to develop their skills in readiness to achieve successfully in public examinations and to mature into self-confident, self-respecting and successful young adults ready to avail of opportunities in the future in our increasingly complex and diverse society.
Students are taught in mixed-ability classes, apart from those who require additional support with literacy skills. These students are taught in a smaller class so that they can work at a pace to address their particular weaknesses. They will follow the schemes of learning taught in the other classes but in a way that their teachers deem suitable for them to progress.
Key Stage 3
We have designed the Key Stage Three course to reflect the rigours and demands of the new Key Stage Four syllabus, in order to develop and enhance the skills students need in order to be successful at the end of year 11. The students will: engage with 19th century texts that will challenge their understanding and comprehension; read and analyse non-fiction texts whilst also getting the opportunity to be creative and write their own non-fiction materials; study plays and poems from across the ages. We aim to introduce our students to a range of materials that will inspire their love of the subject.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 the aspiration is that all students study for GCSEs in English Language and English Literature. Since 2015 we have studied for the reformed GCSE specifications offered by AQA. Typical texts studied include Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Macbeth, An Inspector Calls and a poetry anthology produced by AQA titled Power and Conflict. In line with government reforms the GCSE results for these subjects will be reported in numbers from 1-9 with 9 being considered a higher achievement level than the old A* result. It is expected that Vyners students will continue to rise above national trends and exceed in both subjects. The course is much more interesting and rigorous than its predecessors and prepares students well for the demands of the A-Level.
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 students study the linear two year reformed A level English Literature specification offered by OCR. This highly respected specification offers a wide spread of texts through time and genre to consolidate on skills established at GCSE but also to prepare students, who choose to continue this subject to degree level, to cope with the demands of independent study. We are very proud of our track record in this subject. We teach such texts as writing by Chaucer, Shakespeare, 17th century drama, poetry, American literature from 1860 to 1940 and modern British writing since 2,000. Fortunately, this specification also offers a coursework unit that earns students 20% of their final marks. Overall, this specification allows the students to benefit from the discipline of sitting final examination papers whilst offering the opportunity to develop their thinking and writing free of the timed conditions of the examination hall. We stress the importance of enrichment opportunities and encourage students to participate fully in activities on offer.
Subject Leader: Neill Cahill