English

Head of Department: Kate Worden

Deputy Head of Department: Liam Cannell (KS3 Coordinator)

Deputy Head of Department: Vina Vekria (KS4 Coordinator)

Members of department:

  • Rachel Armitage 
  • Jo Bailey (Assistant Headteacher) 
  • Hannah Brewer
  • Joanna Cantwell 
  • Penny Downes (Assistant Headteacher) 
  • Bella Godsil 
  • Grainne McNeill (KS5 Coordinator)
  • Jemima Reilly (Headteacher) 
  • David Savage 
  • Sam Smith (Assistant Headteacher) 
  • Paul Wiltshire 
  • Laura Worsley (Associate Headteacher)

KS3 curriculum (Years 7 and 8)

Our KS3 curriculum offers pupils the opportunity to study two novels, a Shakespeare play, and a wide range of fiction, including pre 20th Century, contemporary and seminal world literature as well as literary and media non-fiction.

We help pupils develop and hone the core skills of reading and writing, including grammar, and spoken language, with a strong emphasis on discussion skills and critical thinking. 

Independent reading is promoted and monitored through the ‘Accelerated Reader’ programme and dedicated time in all lessons.

Assessment is frequent and formative: Over the two years pupils produce a Portfolio of best work which might include creative writing, essays, poetry, spoken performances, annotated posters amongst other pieces. 

KS4 curriculum (Year 9)

We view Year 9 as a bridging year from KS3 to KS4 during which the level of challenge for all pupils is suitably increased.

Engagement, exposure to a wide-range of texts and the continued development of resilience and independence are at the heart of the curriculum. Pupils will study two significant 20th and 21st novels, explore Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ through a study of the Tragedy genre; read, perform and analyse older and contemporary poetry as well as studying and producing non-fiction texts.

KS4 Curriculum (Years 10 and 11)

The new GCSEs (2015) have meant some significant changes to the curriculum for English Literature and Language across the country, notably, both GCSE Literature and Language are assessed by 100% closed-book examination only.

At Morpeth, our GCSE exam board is Eduqas. Our set texts for GCSE are ‘Macbeth’, by Shakespeare; ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens and 20th century play ‘An Inspector Calls’ by J. B. Priestley.

Both the Literature and Language GCSEs will contain unseen texts, therefore our focus is on building and developing pupils’ independent reading and writing skills across all years, before focusing closely on examination skills in Year 11.

Our curriculum offers interesting and challenging texts across the two-year course to develop pupils’ confidence and resilience, as well as equip them with the skills they will need to be successful in Key Stage 4 studies and beyond.

As a department we use a wide range of lesson activities and teaching techniques as well as maintaining the importance of high quality speaking and listening to develop pupils’ oracy, as well as literacy.

KS5 curriculum (Years 12-13)

Students have the opportunity to study A Level English Literature (Edexcel exam board) during which they study contemporary literature alongside the classical canon.

Students study a range of poetry, drama and prose with an opportunity to select individual research areas for their coursework component.

Students are supported in developing and strengthening their academic writing to a high level. We provide enriching opportunities, such as theatre trips, regular book clubs and other relevant cultural excursions.

Enrichment

Arvon Creative Writing Residential: ‘Gifted and Talented’ pupils work with professional writers during a week-long trip to Devon.

‘Slambassadors’:  performance poetry regional competition, working with professional poets and competing with other school pupils.

‘Absolutely Write’: Pupils across the key stages work with a professional writer to produce their own piece of creative writing which is collated and published in an anthology at the end of each year.

Theatre trips: We regularly take pupils to various theatres and productions at London theatres.

The Young Shakespeare Company: Performances of set texts every year.

Author Visits: Professional authors, come to meet with pupils and read their work in the school Library.

A Level: Students are supported through Academic mentoring sessions and lunch time book clubs.