Welcome to the English Department!

​Welcome to the NUSA English Department.

We are a team of dedicated English teachers who teach across the Key Stages. As a department, we are fully committed to helping all pupils to make maximum progress through creative approaches to learning.

We aim to engage pupils with a wide range of texts and experiences and give all pupils opportunities to learn outside of the context of the classroom. We intend that all pupils will leave us with the key communication skills and levels of literacy required for life. We are always looking for opportunities outside the classroom to bring English to life!

The Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to build pupils’ skills in preparation for GCSE study. Literacy skills of spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught within each project.

Autumn Term Spring Term Summer Term
Year 7
Descriptive Writing

Poetry Anthology –
Animals and Nature
Novel Study
Students look at themes of racism and tolerance as shown throughout the novel, My Sister Lives On The Mantelpiece.
Non Fiction:
Stories of Survival
Shakespeare Extracts
Media Study –
Harry Potter
Year 8 Descriptive Writing

Poetry Anthology –
People and Places
Shakespeare
Students study one of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays, Romeo and Juliet, teaching them the initial skills and understanding needed for when studying Shakespeare in their GCSE
Non Fiction:
Travel Writing

Room 101

Each KS3 class also receives one reading lesson a week, where pupils are given time to select and read their choice of book and the opportunity to strengthen their reading skills. Some classes will also access the Accelerated Reader scheme for more targeted reading intervention, as well as having access to the Lexia programme, which focuses on spelling, punctuation and grammar. In addition, each KS3 class also has a Communications lesson, which focuses on verbal communication, building up the speaking and listening skills required for their Spoken Language qualification at GCSE.

Key Stage 4

English Literature

NUSA follows the AQA exam board for English Literature. The qualification consists of two written exams. The first paper focuses on a Shakespeare texts and a nineteenth century novel. The second paper focuses on modern drama or prose and poetry. Pupils begin studying these texts from Year 9 and will sit their exams in their final year.

The texts studied are from the following:

  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare
  • Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Blood Brothers by Willy Russell
  • An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestly
  • Poetry Anthology (various) as set by the exam board

English Language

NUSA follows the AQA exam board for English Language. The qualification consists of two written exams. The first paper focuses on fiction texts and descriptive or narrative writing. The second paper focuses on non-fiction texts and informative or persuasive writing. Pupils will be learning the skills needed for these papers from Year 7 and will continue to build upon them until their final exams.

Extra-curricular opportunities

During KS4 pupils will have the opportunity to attend trips that will not only further their understanding of GCSE texts studied, but also give pupils the chance to have new experiences. Our last KS4 cohort took the opportunity to visit the theatre for productions of Blood Brothers and An Inspector Calls, as well as participating in workshops at the theatre. The whole of Year 11 were also invited to attend Poetry Live, where they heard from the poets themselves, as well as listening to advice from speakers from the AQA exam board.

The English department also runs Media at NUSA, allowing for both Film Club and NUSA radio to be run after school. Film Club is run, through the Into Film Company, every Tuesday after school and provides students the opportunity to see a range of films and write reviews each week.

September 2017

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