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A love of language and literature

A love of language and literature is at the very heart of Westbourne’s dynamic and exciting English department. With that love of words comes a confidence that allows our students to express themselves with clarity, originality and flair, becoming experienced at writing for a variety of audiences and purposes. The end result is that pupils are equipped with vital transferable skills that stand them in good stead for life beyond Westbourne.

Whilst the English Department at Westbourne prides itself on its excellent results and its ability to ensure every student achieves the best grades they can, we also aim to instil in them a life-long love of reading, writing and performance. With this in mind, the Department offers students a wealth of extra-curricular activities in which they can become involved. They may opt to be a student librarian, join a book club or enter one of the many creative writing competitions which we run. We take advantage of Sheffield’s excellent theatres and frequently run trips to see plays at a variety of venues. Students are often given the opportunity to become involved in creative workshops during enrichment sessions and we regularly invite guest authors into school to speak to us about their work. Please take a look at the “News” section of the website to see the exciting events which have taken place in the English Department in recent months.

What will I learn?

Key Stage 3
At Key Stage 3, pupils have four English lessons a week, studying a wide range of texts and subject matter. Texts are frequently updated so that pupils experience material that is fresh, dynamic and relevant to the world around them. The KS3 curriculum also exposes students to many of the skills required for success at GCSE. They explore and produce different types of writing and in all tasks, students are encouraged to develop a broader vocabulary which should equip them for the demands of both the KS4 syllabus and for their life as an adult.

Typically, each year, students will be exposed to a variety of literature. They will study a class novel, analyse a range of poetry, explore a modern drama text, read and analyse pre-1914 prose and study a Shakespeare play.
They will also read a variety of non-fiction texts and learn how to write for a variety of audiences and purposes.

Texts studied include:

Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo; Holes by Louis Sachar; Wonder by RJ Palacio; The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne; The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr; Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle; Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories; The Woman in Black (drama text); A View from the Bridge by Arthur Miller; Poetry of the First World War; and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


At Key Stage 4 pupils currently follow the AQA syllabus and study for 4 terminal exams, two for English Language and two for English Literature.
The English department seeks to choose texts that are both challenging and exciting so that pupils are not only able to write confidently and enthusiastically about them under exam conditions, but also to derive enjoyment from them and are inspired to read further.

Currently, KS4 pupils study:
✔ A Shakespeare play (Macbeth)
✔ A 19th Century Novel (Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, A Christmas Carol)
✔ A piece of modern prose or drama (An Inspector Calls, Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, DNA)
✔ Love and Relationships or Power and Conflict Poetry from the AQA Anthology; a variety of Unseen Poetry

Your choice. Their future.

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