English at Ysgol Bryn Elian

Introduction to Department

Dedicated, experienced and talented teachers make up the English Department. We will gladly tell you how rewarding and exciting it is to work with students at Ysgol Bryn Elian. We read, talk and think about the world around us and enjoy exploring our place in it. The English team work collaboratively to share ideas, contemporary material and dynamic teaching methods. Our department will strive to support pupils to find their voice, express their views and listen to those of the others. We care deeply about our subject and enjoy making it interesting and relevant for all, combining challenging text, film and video. In truth, we’re a bunch of reading nerds who make ourselves laugh at rotten English jokes and are really keen to share our passion for the subject with all pupils we teach. Our favourite books are: ‘Wuthering Heights’, ‘Anne Of Green Gables’, ‘A Fine Balance’, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, ‘The Ginger Tree’, ‘House of Fame’.

So what is English?

The development of your literacy skills is a significant portion of the English curriculum; however, we aim to promote and expand:

An appreciation and understanding of the English Language

A love of literature (poetry, plays, novels)

Communication skills (both speaking and listening)

Technical accuracy (spelling, grammar and punctuation)

Writing Skills (creative, formal)

Reading skills

Staffing & Responsibilities

Staff Member
Departmental Responsibility
Additional Responsibility
Ms. L. Coburn
Ms. P. Sheridan
Second in Charge
Teacher of English
Mrs E. Davies
Teacher of English
Mrs E. Williams
Teacher of English
Miss S. Gorman
Teacher of English
Mrs L. Hastings
Teacher of English
Deputy Head
Ms. S. Paul
Teacher of English
Mr. W. Punshon
Teacher of English
Teacher of Media Studies
Head of Sixth Form
Ms. E. Walduck
Teacher of English
Welsh Baccalaureate Co-Ordinator

About KS3

Key Stage Three is the key to success in English.

Year 7

The first year of English is exciting, enjoyable and varied. Pupils are taught English during four lessons a week. They will study a number of different units throughout the year, all of which help to build on and develop skills already acquired in relation to reading, writing and speaking and listening. A class novel is taught in one lesson a week to promote reading for pleasure. Units are varied, covering both literature and language skills such as: Cyberbullying, Twisted Tales and Beowulf.

Year 8

This year builds on the progress made in Year 7 and is taught over five lessons per week. One of these is given over to developing skills related to writing, critical thinking and debating. Both literature and language are taught and there is a focus on written accuracy, proof reading and editing. Units range from exploring and writing about the effects of violent video games to reading short stories with a twist in their tail.

Year 9

Students will now develop and expand upon their skills in preparation for GCSE. They will be taught the requisite skills for success at G.C.S.E. English Language as well as exploring part of the English Literature G.C.S.E. with a focus on a Shakespeare play. This isn’t, however, another year of exam teaching. It is an opportunity for pupils to read, write, speak and listen, to explore, debate, question, take risks, make mistakes and learn from them. Units range from writing a persuasive piece related to Everest to reading fiction and non-fiction which explores the future.

About KS4

Years 10 and 11 focus on completing the English Language G.C.S.E. and the English Literature GCSE. We follow the WJEC specification for each subject.

By the end of the two years, all students will have completed a G.C.S.E. in both subjects. This allows us to provide a balanced and broad coverage, rich in literature, but also, to teach the skills needed for a smooth transition into further study or the world of work. We aim to have our students ready to be able to communicate and thrive in the ever-changing world around us.

About KS5

We offer a range of courses at Key Stage Five. For English, although we have the expertise to run all 3 English courses at A Level, we will only run 2 based on student uptake for that year.

English Literature

The WJEC English Literature A Level ensures that students read and analyse a range of literature. In Year 12 students study a major novel, a selection of poetry from a linked pair of poets and a major drama text. In addition to traditional analysis of language and theme, students also need to apply a knowledge of the social, historical and cultural context of the texts, and the opinions of literary critics, to enhance their understanding. Year 13 includes a coursework element where students can select texts of interest. The subject suits students who enjoy reading, and those who enjoy exploring how meaning is created in a text.

English Language

We follow the WJEC A level English Language course. The entry requirement for the course is GCSE grade C or above in English Language and/or Literature, however you will find the transition to A level English easier if you have GCSE grade B. English Language A Level is nothing like the course studied at GCSE - some students have likened it to learning a brand new language! You will learn how to analyse texts from the whole text down to the last phoneme, and you will learn lots of new language terms along the way. Analysis is a major part of the course and you will encounter a wide variety of texts from a wide range of genres and subjects – and not only written data either. During the course, you will explore how and why we adapt the language we use on a day-to-day basis, and whether men and women still speak differently in 2019. You will learn about this history of the English Language, and how it is constantly evolving. You will learn to write creatively, intentionally, and critically. English Language is interesting, stimulating and allows you a chance to actively engage with everyday language and understand how it works. The AS course will be achieved through 2 modules – Exploring Language, and Language Issues and Original and Critical Writing. A2 is achieved through the completion of a further 3 modules – Language Over Time, Spoken Texts and Creative Re-Casting, and the non-examination unit, Language and Identity. Each unit is worth 20% of the final A level grade. The AS course is designed to take one year and the A2 will take a further year. English Language study enables applications to university for courses linked to English Language, Linguistics, English Literature, Sociology, Psychology, and Anthropology, to name but a few!

English Language and Literature

This course is designed to promote the integrated study of English language and English literature. It enables pupils to develop intellectual maturity through exploring a range of literary and non-literary texts, including the WJEC English Language and Literature Poetry Pre-1914 Anthology. Through their reading, pupils are able to develop the skills required to interrogate texts, be critically reflective, consider other viewpoints, be independent, make connections across a range of texts and to understand and evaluate the effects of a variety of contexts. This course also gives pupils opportunities to deepen their enjoyment of English language and literature both through reading and through creating their own texts. In Year 12, pupils will explore poetry and drama, creative writing and non-fiction texts. In Year 13, they move to Shakespeare, prose and genre studies and creative writing. This course suits students who have a keen analytical interest in language and reading and those who enjoy creating both fiction and non-fiction texts.

Media Studies

The media play a central role in contemporary culture, society and politics. They shape our perceptions of the world through the representations, ideas and points of view they offer. The media industries employ large numbers of people worldwide and generate significant global profit. The course offers pupils the opportunity to develop a thorough and in depth understanding of these key issues, using key concepts and a variety of critical perspectives to support critical exploration and reflection, analysis and debate. The study of a wide range of rich and stimulating media products is central to the both years of the course, offering opportunities for detailed analysis of how the media communicate meanings in a variety of forms.

This course suits students who have a keen analytical interest in the media, like to debate contemporary issues and who are creatively minded and able to make their own media products.

A Little Bit About Careers Involving this Subject

The List is Endless

Success in English, both Literature and Language, and Media Studies show an enquiring mind, the ability to think and express yourself both logically and creatively and a plethora of other transferable skills. Careers range from journalist, to Social Worker, to diplomat, to teacher, to PR officer or film maker and beyond!

Useful Websites

There’s a myriad of resources online out there to help, support and stretch your English skills – Google and ye shall find. Alternatively, find your English teacher and they’ll help.

Other Information

We’re a friendly bunch, some of us offer lunch time clubs and we’re always available during break, lunch and after school for a chat or a query.