‘Writing is a question of finding a certain rhythm.’
Francoise Sagan (1935-2004) French playwright.
It is very much the aim of the English Department to ensure that students find this ‘rhythm’ during their time at King David, to become effective and powerful communicators in the exciting and competitive world that awaits them beyond the classroom. Students are taught to appreciate the inextricable link between writing and reading in the study of English, reading texts which, in turn, inform their own writing.
It is for this reason that the English Department places a significant focus on the study of literature from across the ages and across genres. The teachers in the department want nothing more than for students to share their love of reading; lunch time book clubs and timetabled reading periods aim to foster a love of literature.
The students’ oral development is also central to the study of English at King David. Students learn to verbally articulate their thoughts in a precise and clear manner, developing essential life skills in presentation and discussion.
All students are very much encouraged to see English as a ‘living and breathing’ concept, taking note of the language they use to communicate and the different forms in which it appears around them. With regular theatre trips, writer visits and creative writing competitions, students at King David experience the power of literature first hand.
In years 7, 8 and 9, students complete a unit of work on a text or topic for four lessons a week. One single lesson a week is allocated to target specific reading and writing skills.
Students study two novels in year 7; typical texts include: Coraline by Gaiman, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas by Boyne, Carrie’s War by Bawden, Point Blanc by Horowitz and The Ruby in the Smoke by Pullman.
Students also study detective fiction; develop their persuasive writing and speaking skills in our ‘Take action!’ unit; explore ballad poetry and end the year with the study of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
Students study two novels in year 8; typical texts include: Goodnight Mr Tom by Mogorian, Private Peaceful by Morpurgo, Holes by Sachar, The Foreshaowing by Sedgwick and Witch Child by Rees.
Students also study travel writing; develop their persuasive writing and speaking skills in our advertising unit; develop their skills of comparison with a range of poetry and end the year with the study of a modern drama such as Russell’s Blood Brothers or Miller’s The Crucible.
Students study two novels in year 9; typical texts include: Z for Zachariah by O’ Brien, The Pearl by Steinbeck, Stone Cold by Swindells, Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Taylor and Great Expectations by Dickens.
Students also study a selection of short stories, culminating in the creation of their own; develop their skills of writing to inform and entertain in our magazines unit (past years have seen students produce their own magazines to go on sale at school during break and lunch times); explore poetry of the First World War and end the year with the study of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in preparation for the GCSE course.
All students study both GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language. External examinations in both subjects take place in May and June of year 11.
GCSE English Literature
We follow the AQA exam board.
In year 10, students read a twentieth-century play and Shakespeare’s Macbeth. All students prepare and present a short talk at the end of the summer term to fulfil the required component on Spoken Language.
In year 11, students read a selection of poetry and a nineteenth-century text.
GCSE English Language
We follow the Eduqas exam board.
Throughout years 10 and 11 students read extracts from 20th c fiction and 19th to 21st century non-fiction texts. Reading skills in comprehension, inference, analysis, evaluation and comparison are developed over the two years. Writing skills are developed by practising specific forms such as narratives, letters and reports. There is a strong emphasis on technical accuracy in spelling, grammar and punctuation.
The English Department offers two courses at A Level: English Literature and English Language; the Edexcel specification is studied for both courses.
The study of English Literature is about exploring a range of Literature from Shakespeare and his contemporaries to the present day.
Details of the course can be found here.
We recommend a minimum grade 7 in English Literature at GCSE level to enrol in this subject.
The study of English Language is about exploring a variety of language encounters such as spoken language in everyday life; the ways in which language use is shaped by identity; how children learn to use language and how language changes over time.
Details of the English Language course can be found here.
We recommend a minimum grade 7 in English Language at GCSE level to enrol in this subject.
AQA GCSE English Literature (website) for specification and sample assessment material
Eduqas GCSE English Language (website) for specification and sample assessment material
Ms V White: Head of Dept & KS4 co-ordinator
Mrs B Silver: acting KS5 co-ordinator
Miss J Howarth: KS3 co-ordinator
Miss H Bateman
Mrs S Black
Mrs M Cook
Mrs C Hamburger
Mr S Marvin
Miss J Sanderson
Mrs G Shindler
Mr P Watson
Ms A Williamson (maternity cover)
Miss L Earner (maternity leave)
Miss J Burberry (maternity leave)