The English department seeks to enable all students to be independent, critical, literate and curious members of society who are prepared for life beyond school. We seek to expose students to a wide variety of enriching fiction and non-fiction texts throughout their time at Warden Park. This will be achieved by helping students to: have developed independent reading and writing skills; be regular, independent readers and writers of texts outside of lesson time; be able to communicate effectively and critically in the wider world; be prepared for their next steps; be able to achieve the grades that they aspire to.
How is English delivered at Warden Park?
Students study English for 8 lessons per fortnight from Years 7-11. We begin formal study of the GCSE courses from the start of Year 10: all students will study English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE (both with AQA). We build independence through our specific approach to teaching English, as well as our fully differentiated reading lists for each unit of work and our innovative approach to assessment.
English department reading lists
At Warden Park, we value reading highly. To help encourage our students’ love of reading, we have created a series of reading lists that have been designed to accompany each of the units of work that we cover from Years 7-9.
The lists have been designed so that:
- Students can choose texts that are appropriately challenging (1 chilli books are the easiest and 3 chilli books are the most difficult)
- You can encourage your child to select a book to read at home, perhaps sharing what they have read and learned from that book.
The vast majority of these texts are available to borrow from our LRC, so our students are welcome to speak to our library staff who will be able to help them locate their chosen book.
Reading lists - Year 8
The ‘Faster Read’ project in Year 7
Part of our focus on developing students’ love of reading, as well as their literacy skills, is to dedicate regular slots in tutor time to reading. Over the past four years, we have been running the ‘Faster Read’ project at Warden Park. This project is based on research from the University of Sussex and the ‘English and Media Centre’ – the aim of the project is to increase students’ reading skills and their love of reading.
Over the course of two half terms, all Year 7 students will spend two sessions a week reading ‘Face’ by Benjamin Zephaniah in small groups and taking part in group discussions about the novel.
Here is a small taster of what ‘Face’ is all about:
Martin seems to have it all. He's cool, funny, and he's the undisputed leader of the Gang of Three. But one night, Martin accepts a ride in a stolen car, and the police give chase.
What happens next will change Martin's life and looks, and show him the true meaning of strength, courage, discrimination and friendship.