English Language

_Language is a gift of incredible significance and beauty that both enables relationships, thought society and culture, and that is also the medium for literary art and creativity.  In our use of it, we can enjoy and understand more about life and our intended place and purpose within it and about the riches of our culture.  We can experience the joy of creating a well-crafted text.

We employ language faithfully as it was intended through:

  • clear evaluation and critique of meaning that results in response;
  • insightful and profound thinking by means of our (especially written) interaction with language;
  • persuasive argument for truth;
  • sensitivity of expression to context and genre;
  • conciseness and simplification of unnecessary complexity;
  • appreciation for the aesthetics of language.

What goals do we desire for our students in their study of this subject?

a.  Develop functional and creative use of language with understanding, integrity, accuracy, and sensitivity:

  • listen thoughtfully;
  • speak clearly in order to be understood by speakers of English nationally and internationally;
  • read critically;
  • write imaginatively.

b.  Develop communication skills that clarify thought and feeling and use these skills to contribute towards building constructive relationships in community and reconciliation.

c.  Become equipped with linguistic skills that are of value for use responsibly and with integrity in the world of work.

English Literature

Literature is a creative gift to people and it is a lingual and aesthetic element that is integral to life and that can transcend cultures and generations.  It affords the opportunity to interact with great characters and interpreters of human life, and can shape our responses to life.

Through creative writing, poetry, reading aloud and to oneself we can enrich others’ and our own lives, and enjoy the beauty, wonder and vicarious adventure of literature.  Literature can represent real life and writers can be agents of reconciliation.

What goals do we desire for our students in their study of this subject?

a.  Enjoy and appreciate literature through reading and writing, and grow in awareness of the complexity and mystery of life.

b.  Discern the vision and worldview of literary works and develop insight into moral patterns of life, the moral nature of the universe and that which is noble.

c.  Have a range of literature experiences.

d.  Unfold our lingual, aesthetic and skilful potential through writing.

e.  Become critically aware of the roles (positive and negative) of literature in society and use this awareness in our own writing in service to others.

f.  Link literature with other curriculum subjects in order to develop students’ appreciation of how they are inter-connected and the part that literature has to play in our understanding of reality, whilst also enriching students’ deeper understanding of literature and these other subjects.


Literacy is developed through uniting the important skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening


Students learn to read initially by using phonics approach supplemented by a variety of further means as their skills develop. Students’ letter sound knowledge is concurrently applied so that words can quickly be built into units of meaning to support both early reading and emergent writing.  The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of reading are as follows:

  • PhonicsAcademic English - 1
  • Shared reading
  • Guided reading
  • Independent reading
  • Reading for enjoyment

The students have the opportunity to select from a wide range of good quality reading books, from a well-stocked library.  Younger students also have visits to the local Library. Opportunities are created for students to experience literature which will stimulate work in other curriculum areas.


In learning to write students are given the opportunities to write for pleasure, for communication purposes and to formalise and organise their ideas and thinking.

Students begin the writing process as readers, analysing a variety of texts and learning how authors write.  A variety of teaching methods are employed to support emergent and to challenge more capable writers.  Spellings are learnt in class and can be practised at home using the look, cover, write and check approach amongst others. Handwriting is taught using a continuous cursive script.

Speaking and Listening

Speaking and Listening opportunities are regularly provided through discussion, presenting, drama and specific listening activities in pairs, groups and as a class. Good oral work enhances students’ understanding of language in both oral and written forms. The use of correct grammar is encouraged and taught in discrete lessons


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The Bede Chronicle

Students are invited to contribute articles on specific subjects to the Bede Chronicle.  This provides opportunities to meet with adults in an interview situation to gain information, to begin to develop a journalistic style of writing, to organise time and meetings, to meet word limits and deadlines and to work more independently or sometimes as part of a small team.


Weekly sessions are held for students wishing to take lessons in Speech and Drama.  There is also an annual production which involves a rigorous audition process and rehearsal schedule leading to performance.

The Grand Spell

Every year, an annual spelling competition, ‘The Grand Spell’, is held to test students in Years 7, 8 and 9 on 100 spellings. A commemorative plate is awarded to the highest scoring student at the annual Presentation Day.

Public Speaking

All Key Stage 3 students are encouraged to prepare for and enter the annual House Public Speaking Competition, in which Year 7 students recite a poem, Year 8 students read a prose passage and Year 9 students deliver their own persuasive speech: a common theme unites these categories each year.

Short Story Competition

The Principal’s Short Story competition is held annually for all Key Stage 3 students. The aim is to inspire young writers through developing a deeper understanding of the conventions  of this genre by reading examples of short stories, learning about structure and writing their own stories.  This affords the opportunity for gifted writers to demonstrate their ability; a presentation is made on Presentation Day.

English Department Teaching Staff
Miss K Poole Head of English
Mr J Raine Primary Years Lead – English
Mr Clarkson Teacher of English
Mr A Hutchinson Teacher of English
Mrs P Hall Teacher of English
Miss E Ridley Teacher of English
Miss L Broadway Teacher of English
Miss C Butler Teacher of English
Mr D Lloyd Teacher of English
Ms A Stonebanks Teacher of English