The overriding aim of the English curriculum is to foster a love of language and literature and specifically to: – develop to the full pupils’ ability to use and understand English.
Our more specific aims are:-
To enable pupils to reach their potential in English and achieve the highest possible grades in external examinations.
To develop the ability of all pupils to communicate effectively in writing and orally in a wide range of contexts and situations.
To enable pupils to use accurate Standard English with confidence and fluency.
To develop an interest in the richness of the English language in its various forms (including dialect and accent) and its historical development.
To give pupils experience of a wide range of literature and encourage them to become independent readers with enthusiasm for and curiosity about books.
To develop knowledge and experience of our literary heritage and to motivate pupils to tackle new challenging texts.
To encourage pupils to develop an interest in extending the range of their language in terms of style, vocabulary, structure and form.
Through shared experience of reading, media studies, discussion and drama to provoke and stimulate a sense of personal and social awareness and an ability to empathise with others.
To encourage pupils both self-critical and aware of their own achievements; to enable them to develop strategies to bring about improvements in their work.
To make pupils aware that skills developed in English lessons have a vital contribution to make their work across the whole curriculum and to life outside school, including the workplace.
KS3 (years 7, 8 and 9)
At Key Stage three, pupils will learn to write accurately, effectively and creatively in a range of styles and genres, for a range of purposes and media. Pupils of every year will also have the opportunity to examine a variety of texts by different authors, and are encouraged to criticise and analyse the writer’s craft and the social contexts of texts, including the spoken word. Pupils will also learn the skills needed to become an effective speaker, be it in a group situation or as an individual. We also encourage pupils to be active listeners who respect and respond to other pupils’ ideas and perspectives insha allah. Our lessons are engaging and interactive and a place where individual expression and lively debate is welcome.
English and Drama
Drama is taught as a separate subject at Abu Bakr Girls School. Many of the English staff teach Drama as a second subject at Key Stage 3. There are good links between the subjects, particularly on text choices and curriculum development. Drama provides the opportunity for pupils to develop many key skills required in English.
All pupils study both English Language and English Literature GCSE, and will receive two GCSEs at the end of year 11. The current examination board is AQA. Pupils are taught in three sets and study English Language/Literature for five lessons per week in year 10 and English in Year 11.
We hope that pupils will enjoy exploring a range of different texts and genres, including Shakespeare, poetry, drama and texts from different cultures. As well as becoming proficient and empowered writers, pupils will learn and develop vital reading skills such as: analysing the writer’s choice of presentation, image and language; responding critically to texts; analysing how language, structure and form affect meaning; and relating texts to their social and historical backgrounds. Pupils also study spoken language in order to analyse commonly occurring features of the characteristics of spoken language as well as to understand the importance of context, such as regional and cultural variation, age groups, situation, place and time. Speaking and Listening is also a key area, for which pupils’ performance is assessed across Years 10 and 11.
In the last few years the department has run several trips, usually to support the KS3 and KS4 Curriculum, such as a theatre trip to watch set texts. We also provide an in school poet seminar for KS3 and KS4 pupils, which is run by a professional poet.
For both KS3 and KS4 we have set up a number of after school clubs such as Reading club and Debating club.
To enhance pupils’ interest in reading and writing we run world book day activities and encourage pupils to enter external competitions, such as The Muslim Writers Awards.