The English Department at Accrington Academy is committed to ensuring that the needs of all our students are met. 2015’s examination results bear testimony to this where our students achieved 63% A*-C in GCSE English Language. 73% of our students met expected progress along with 34% exceeding expected progress which is better than the national average. 94% of our A Level students achieved an A*-C grade and the cohort received an ALPs grade 2 that is rated as outstanding.
We are committed to our students developing their skills in the basics of functional English, we are also keen to promote academic rigour with a love and enjoyment of the subject. The English Department offers a stimulating, diverse and creative curriculum. The study of English is broadly split into three skill areas: Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. The students will be assessed in each of these skills over the course of their studies in each year group. Our students progress from securing basic skills in reading and writing, to analysing a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, to creating their own original works. The skills developed and embedded, support all students in their progression from KS2 to KS5, maximizing their chances of success.
The Academy has adopted the Edexcel exam board following the change to the new 9-1 curriculum where the students have to study a range of fiction and non-fiction texts along with developing creative, discursive and transactional writing. At Key Stage 5, our students follow the new AQA AS and A Level in English Language and Literature. The course includes the study of a range of fiction and non-fiction texts including poetry, novels, blogs and plays. They also learn how to adapt their writing to suit a given purpose and audience with accuracy and precision.
Your Child’s Journey in English
You can download this document to view a term by term, year by year breakdown for the journey your child will have when they choose English.
At Accrington Academy we use Year 7 and 8 as the foundations for the skills needed at GCSE. We have a thematic ‘Mastery’ curriculum which utilises all the technology available in our well-resourced department.
The ‘Mastery’ curriculum requires students to have competence in a skill before moving on to the next skill. This ensures that all students build the necessary compliment of skills to ensure success at Key Stage 4. All our schemes for learning follow a research, read, model and replicate format. This enables us to study spoken language, reading and writing skills every half-term.
The themes overarch all subjects in the school and promote cross-curricular links and shared outcomes. In Year 7 we study travel writing (Making a New…), war poetry (Red Alert), survival texts (Into the Wild), Shakespeare (Under the Sea) and nineteenth century mystery narratives (What Conspiracy?).
In Year 8 we study the moon landing transcripts (Race to the Moon), ‘The Time Machine’ by H.G Wells (2056), 9/11 survivor stories (Who’s the Boss?), detective stories (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), the development of the English language (Thoughts, Paper, and Beyond) and the poetry of Simon Armitage (Superheroes).
All our schemes for learning embed the use of technology. As most students have an iPad, we share our courses and resources on iTunesU. In addition we use the online assessment tool ‘Doddle’ to baseline the students ability and check their progress. All our preparation and practice i.e. homework, is available via the ‘Show My Homework’ online platform. The students also undertake the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme that encourages reading for pleasure through quizzes and league tables of who has read the most books/words.
In Years 9 to 11 we focus on the delivery and then revision of the GCSE curriculum. Year 9 and 10 are following the new Edexcel 9-1 specification for English Language (1EN0) and English Literature (1ET0). The course follows thematic units created by the department: Man vs Man focusing on ‘Blood Brothers’ or ‘Lord of the Flies’; Monster vs Man focusing on ‘Frankenstein’ or ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ and Family vs Family focusing on ‘Romeo and Juliet’. English Language and Literature content and skills are taught within each unit along with follow up revision units devoted to each aspect of the final exams. Therefore analytical skills are developed across a range of pre-twentieth century fiction and twentieth/twenty-first century non-fiction. All creative and transactional writing styles are explored developing the students’ ability to write for all types of purpose, audience and format. The contextual requirement of the literature GCSE provides opportunity for students to develop their research and presentation skills.
Our current Year 11 are the final year group to undertake the legacy WJEC English Language GCSEs with controlled assessment and tiered entry. We also utilise the Edexcel Level1/2 Certificate, which does not require a written controlled assessment.
At the Academy we offer AQA English Language and Literature at both Year 1 (7706) and Year 2 (7707). This course provides an opportunity for students to explore the study of English Language and Literature as an integrated discipline. Students are allowed to gain greater confidence in handling both spoken and written English through the study of the spoken word, literary and non-literary texts. Essentially, students will develop their own abilities as users of English.
The variety of assessment styles used, such as re-creative writing, commentary writing, discursive essays and research- based investigative writing, allows students to develop a wide range of skills. These include the ability to read critically, analyse, evaluate and undertake independent research, which are invaluable for both further study and future employment.
Accrington Academy’s English Department gives you the chance to study in a friendly, supportive environment with teachers who personalise your learning to enable you to succeed.
Theatre visits are offered where appropriate. In addition we had planned to visit Paris (as we study an anthology containing a range of texts about Paris) – unfortunately due to the terrorist events this had to be cancelled, however we hope to offer this in the future.
Mr S. Taylor
Assistant Principal | Teacher of English
Mr L. Croniken
Subject Leader English
As the Subject Leader for English, you would hope I have a love of words and I do! I am an avid ‘Scrabble’ and ‘Countdown’ fan! My favourite text to teach is ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ as the themes of the text really provoke classroom discussion and it remains relevant to this day. I strive to make use of multi-media in my lessons through IWB and iPad use. My choice of thematic music have sparked many a comment at the start of a new topic!
Mrs A. McDonald
I love to read! Whether it’s Victorian Literature or an article online. I think the English Language is fascinating and I always wanted to find out more about it. My favourite topic to teach is poetry, as I like to show that poetry is not so difficult to understand and is full of information to analyse. I like my lessons to be full of discussion and creativity.
Mrs S. Philips
KS3 Strand Leader English
With over twenty years teaching experience, a research project completed and currently completing Masters in Education, I have a thirst for all things teaching and learning. Being fully enthusiastic about using technology to enhance learning, I regularly present at ‘Teach Meet’ events in Lancashire to share outstanding practice using technology in lessons. Literacy is another passion leading me to facilitate the English Genius Peer Mentoring Group. English is a fantastic subject to teach because it covers so many topics of life and an amazing variety of literature.
Mrs S. Mahmood
My love of English is always being reinforced through language analysis. Whilst I could happily analyse any piece of text, there is a special place in my heart for poetry. I think of poems as multi-layered riddles that need de-coding; each piece of the puzzle unlocks another yet another possibility. Poems are simply ‘the gift that keeps giving’ for students of all abilities. The new GCSE specifications value contextual knowledge, which is a superb gift for someone who initially couldn’t pick between history and English; I now have the best of both worlds!
Mrs V. Lane
KS5 Strand Leader English
I have had a passion for English for as long as I can remember! It is the subject that always came naturally to me and teaching others felt like the perfect way to pass on my knowledge and enthusiasm. I am definitely a logophile (a person who loves words) and therefore enjoy reading texts and analysing their purpose, as well as the effect they have on readers. My students joke that I could analyse anything… and I often do. I struggle to choose a favourite book, however I love teaching texts that grip my students. For example, “Blood Brothers” (which never fails to entertain), “The Lovely Bones” (that shocks you in the opening pages) or “Touching the Void” (that leaves you gripping your chair in suspense). I feel it’s important to suit the needs of my students and therefore strive to make my lessons engaging and varied- One day you could be literally building paragraphs (I’m a fan of Duplo), another quizzing each other on what you’ve learned and the next you could be enacting a play or novel… The options are endless.
Ms C. Rauf
Narrowing the Gap Lead English
English Literature has always been my first love and I am still an avid reader when I get the time! My favourite text to teach would be ‘Of Mice and Men’ by John Steinbeck because it really engages the students and leads to lots of discussion on gender and racial equality; students can really empathise with the characters in the story. I also love teaching Shakespeare especially when the students realise the relevance of the plays today. I am intrigued by the intricacies of the English Language so enjoy anything that involves playing around with words, from word games to writing poetry.
A*-C GCSE English
Results from this course are excellent!
‘I love the way English has developed my analytical skills. I now think outside the box and can read into the many meanings behind language choices. In addition to this, I’ve found that it has a number of transferrable skills that fit with my other subjects. Plus, it comes with a credibility that is desirable by both employers and universities.’Jordan Goodman