English Literature & Language
Overview of the English Department
The English Department at HACA comprises a passionate and well-qualified team of professionals that has expertise in a number of specialist areas of study and a broad range of interests. We are dedicated to the study of English Language and Literature, believing that our classrooms can empower students as they secure the skills needed to thrive in society as well-rounded, responsible and productive individuals.
Meet the English teachers
|H. Squire||Curriculum Director||Ms Squire joined the department 3 years ago after a long career serving London schools. She studied at the University of Liverpool and UCL Institute of Education. She is passionate about Victorian and Elizabethan Literature - in particular the changing roles of women over time.|
|A. Webb||Second in charge of English||Ms Webb joined the Academy in September and is passionate about the poetry of the Romantics and the Victorian novel.|
|E. Blanchard||Teacher and Head of Year||Ms Blanchard has been at Crayford for 3 years. She studied English Language and Sociolinguistics at Lancaster University, and is passionate about the use of language to engage and promote learning. Ms Blanchard is also the Head of Year 7.|
|D. Mistry||Teacher of English||Mrs Mistry joined the Academy two years ago. She is passionate about travelling, learning different languages and seeing young people thrive in education. She has previously taught: Media, Drama, EPQ and Functional Skills.|
|A. Adeyemi||Teacher of English||The longest serving member of the team, Ms Adeyemi is an experienced teacher of English Language and Literature who particularly enjoys supporting students with their oracy and debating skills.|
|E. Orotayo||Teacher of English||Ms Orotayo joined HACA in 2019 via the highly regarded TeachFirst programme for exceptional graduates. She enjoys the variety of themes and texts studied in English - especially those that enable discussions about characters and society. She is keen on ensuring students have plenty of opportunities to develop their oracy skills.|
|C. Amechi||Teacher of English||Mr Amechi believes in the transformative power of education. He joined us in 2019 and enjoys teaching a diverse range of texts and, with a degree specialism in creative writing, is keen to ensure that students develop their own creative voices.|
|C. Craig||Teacher of English and Drama||Ms Craig joined HACA this year and is a Drama and English specialist with a passion for performing. She loves to sing and dance and thrives by learning new things. She trained at Edgehill University where she gained a Musical Theatre degree and then went onto train at Goldsmiths where she gained her PGCE in teaching secondary Drama and English.|
The English curriculum at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Crayford Academy is designed to inspire a love of literature and learning. These ideals are underpinned by the acknowledgement that all our students deserve to develop the very real written skills and cultural capital needed to be able to thrive in the wider world. Our texts are chosen carefully to build a pathway to GCSE and beyond that engages students with writers’ ‘big ideas’ about the society we live in today and in the past.
Our units of work are designed around the principles of Direct Instruction meaning that learning is interleaved and revisited to secure understanding. We use quizzes and assessments to test understanding and revisit key themes and ideas so that knowledge is built upon solid foundations. We also model responses so that students are well aware of ‘what a good one looks like’. For example, students first explore Victorian England through Charles Dickens’s ‘Oliver Twist’ in Year 7 before exploring different aspects of it in Year 8 through ‘Sherlock Holmes’ and finally Charlotte Bronte’s ‘Jane Eyre’ in Year 9. This builds a secure foundation for the study of ‘A Christmas Carol’ and the more complex aspects of contextual understating that are demanded at GCSE and A Level.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 students follow a Mastery Curriculum which is divided into two broad areas. One is the English Literary Heritage and the other is Mastery Writing. The former is designed to enable students to develop their understanding and analysis of how writers create engaging characters, themes and plots across a range of canonical texts. The latter is a writing programme designed to build high levels of grammatical accuracy in writing. Both complement each other as students use increasingly sustained and developed essay writing skills to explore the literary texts they have analysed in class. We also offer the opportunity for creative writing through discrete units of work that focus on the skills needed to produce different forms of narrative and transactional writing. In order to ensure that students are able to access a diverse range of texts we have Reading for Pleasure lessons every two weeks in the library where students are encouraged to read widely for enjoyment.
Key Stage 4
The curriculum at Key Stage 4 is designed to meet the criteria of AQA’s GCSE English Literature and Language specifications. The students will still experience the two distinct pathways to learning that they have followed in Key Stage 3 with Mastery Writing Curriculum evolving into the broader study of English Language. The literary texts studied at GCSE build on the students’ prior knowledge of Dickens, Shakespeare and poetry whilst also introducing the study of a modern, post-war play. Students will also have the opportunity to develop their speaking and listening skills as they also complete a non-examined assessment which requires them to deliver a formal presentation to an audience.
Key Stage 5
For those who wish to pursue English Literature to A Level, we offer a popular and engaging sixth form course. Students are invited to explore the speculative science fiction writing of Mary Shelley and Margaret Atwood, together with a range of Victorian and contemporary poetry. There is also the opportunity to continue with the study of Shakespeare and modern drama texts. For those who are passionate about literature, this course also affords the opportunity for students to devise their own coursework assignments based on their own reading and literary interests.
Underpinning all English study is the understanding of ideas, methods and context, from KS3 through to A Level. We have been keen to ensure that the curriculum and assessment cycle leads to progression, with students gaining knowledge and honing skills through the progression of texts and concepts in each year. We are confident our provision ensures students cultivate their understanding of key concepts and build the skills required for not only future English study, but also across all subjects.
What qualifications can be gained?
Students who take English at Key Stage 4 will gain two GCSE qualifications: English Language and English Literature.
Students who take English Literature at Key Stage 5 will gain an A-Level qualification.
How does English prepare students for the next stage of their education or employment?
English is a core skill and a fundamental part of all we learn at school. Our aim is to ensure that Crayford students are literate and articulate when taking their place in the wider world. We want them to be able to express themselves with clarity and confidence so that all doors are open to them. Our curriculum provides students with a wide range of skills useful for either their next stage of education or future employment. These skills include being to read a number of challenging texts and also being able to write in a range of forms accurately. Students are also able to build confidence through demonstrating that they can present their ideas clearly to an audience.
English can be a pathway into many careers such as:
Politics and Local Government
Journalism and the media
Advertising, Public Relations and Marketing