The English Department at Isaac Newton Academy follows the requirements of the National Curriculum and aims to prepare students for the study of English at GCSE, A level and beyond. All students study English for one hour every day throughout their time at the Academy. Creativity is at the heart of teaching and learning in the English department. We aim to nurture a love of reading and writing which will help students to build their confidence and flourish in the subject. Students are taught in class sizes of 20 to 28, and are grouped by prior attainment.
Amongst the most important skills needed for success in life is the ability to communicate clearly in both speech and writing. The department provides opportunities for students to develop as effective speakers in both group and individual situations and to learn to write a range of texts, including formal letters, speeches and reports. In KS3, once a fortnight, students participate in a creative writing lesson where they are encouraged to think imaginatively and explore new ideas and vocabulary. Similarly, students are encouraged to develop a life-long love of reading by exploring a variety of challenging and engaging texts, including a range of fiction such as nineteenth century gothic fiction and crime fiction spanning three centuries. Students study at least one Shakespeare text in every year at Key Stage 3, plus a variety of poetry and non-fiction.
Through our KS4 Curriculum, students are set GSCE-style assessments to prepare them for the terminal exams in Year 11. The aim of our English teaching is not only to develop skills relevant to the exam specifications but also to encourage students to use language appropriately within the four modes of Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading. We do not believe that the skills of English can be acquired or developed in isolation. The four modes of language are by their very nature interactive and progress in English can only be made through this constant interaction. We study a rich range of plays, poems and novels and integrate relevant non-fiction texts throughout all the Language lessons. We continue to nurture the students writing skills through targeted Creative Writing Workshops which are both exciting and challenging.
The English Department organises many events across the year such as a Spelling Bee, a public speaking competition, theatre trips and Isaac’s Word- our creative writing anthology. In addition, we offer a wide range of enrichment opportunities, such as School Newspaper, Debate Club, Poetry Slam and a reading group.