‘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 the WJEC specification for English GCSE.
Higher sets take both English Literature and English Language (2 GCSEs)
Lower sets take English GCSE which combines both literature and language elements.
We offer two courses at A Level: English Literature, English Language.
We study the WJEC specification for both English A Level courses.
English Literature Entry Requirements:
A in English Literature at GCSE
A in English Language at GCSE
(Students with an A in English Literature and a B in English Language will still be considered but entry will be at the discretion of the English department)
English Language Entry Requirements:
B in English Literature at GCSE
A in English Language at GCSE
Years 7 – 8:
WJEC website (specification & past papers)
Sparknotes (useful revision notes for GCSE texts)
BBC Bitesize (revision tool)
Mrs.R.Silver – Head of English
Mr S. Marvin – Head of KS4 English
Miss J. Burberry
Mrs M. Cohen
Mrs M. Cook – intervention and support
Mrs L. Henshaw
Miss M. Winson
Mrs. Hamburger - intervention and support