The English department is an academically exciting place to work, offering A Levels in English Language, Literature

 

The Crypt School English Department

The Crypt School English Department is an academically exciting place to work, offering A levels in English Language, English Literature.  Our GCSE classes are in five sets from a five form intake, so average class size is about 25 students.  All students take Eduqas English Language and AQA English Literature.  The Key Stage 3 classes are taught in mixed ability tutor groups in Year 7, Y8 and Y9.  The students follow a spiral curriculum that introduces GCSE and A level skills from the outset of Y7 and progressively revisits them.  Throughout KS3 we have a policy of reading at the start of each lesson to guarantee that time is set aside for this vital life skill.   KS3 is supported by one-to-one intervention.

Creativity and risk taking are encouraged and we like to show students that we can do as well as teach, to provide models for a critically and creatively engaged life beyond school.  As a team, we enjoy robust discussion about our teaching strategies, as well as about texts and interpretations.  We thrive on real teaching and we get plenty of it!

 

Resources:

The Department's teaching is based in neighbouring rooms on the first floor and close to the Library, the English stockroom and Departmental Office. Our KS3 schemes of work are fully shared and resourced, which team members keep on their laptops; these are also available via the school intranet for students who miss lessons.  Most students in KS3 have their own laptops via the school’s e-learning programme and much assessment and sharing of resources with students takes place via email. All of the classrooms have their own digital projector, interactive whiteboard, amplifier and speakers.

The new Library has around 16,000 items on its shelves on the network, including books, DVDs, CDs and e-books.  There are 22 computer workstations for students and many charging points for laptop users.  The new building won a design award and the environment is fresh and exciting to work in.

Academic Standards:

The academic standards of the Department reflect closely the care, sensitivity and meticulous planning which have been the hallmarks of English teaching in the school. 90% of students join the school with level 5 in their KS2 SATs.  We regularly achieve 95+% A*-C at GCSE and continue to inspire students to aim for the top grades.  At KS5 we offer English Language and English Literature, achieving Grade 2 ALPs (Outstanding) for English Language Summer 2016 and Grade 4 ALPs (Very Good) for English Literature Summer 2016.  Students really enjoy studying English here and want to study it at a higher level.

The Staff:

Mr. Oliver Sandell (Head of English)

Mrs. Eleanor Gasan (Assistant Head of English, AQA Baccalaureate Co-ordinator)

Mr. Chris Cobb

Miss. A Collard

Ms. Dionne Meade – p/t

Mrs. Amanda Whiles – p/t

Dr. James Bridges – p/t

 

Our results show that we make outstanding provision for Gifted and Talented students.  The English team are gifted and talented in their own right and have expertise and enthusiasm for stretching and challenging, both by training and by inclination.

We spend around 20 hours per week outside of school marking students’ work and we believe in the value of this.  We think that the personalised guidance that students receive in class, through marking and through extra-curricular mentoring is one of the main reasons for the happiness of the students within the department, as well as for their academic success.

Extra-curricular activities:

Our students give their time to widen their experience of English by:

Taking part in the World Book Day challenge;

Acting as mentors for younger G+T students;

Taking part in or running the Y7 G+T book club;

Writing, rehearsing and performing school pantomimes with the Drama Department;

Taking part in the local and regional heats of the Times Spelling Bee;

Having their poems published in Talkin’ about My Generation;

Entering the Minisagas short story competition;

Writing and publishing poetry within the school community via Poem of the Month;

Representing themselves and the department to parents by reading their work at the Words and Music evenings with the Music Department;

Visiting Woodchester Mansion during Arts Week and writing creative responses;

Taking part in our internal Public Speaking Honour competition, modelling skills to the Y9 audience;

Representing themselves and the school in the Three Counties Debating competition.

 

The Crypt School English Department KS3 Assessment

Writing

Pupils at Grade 9 will…

 

‘convincing and compelling; complex and mature; fluent and cohesive’

 

 

 

The content of your writing will: Communicate convincingly and compellingly throughout with a unique tone and style to convincingly manipulate purpose, audience and form; extensive and mature vocabulary will be well-placed throughout with sustained and inventive use of complex linguistic devices.

The organisation of your writing will: Contain a range of complex and mature ideas; paragraphing will be used fluently and cohesively throughout with seamless and inventive use of structural features such as connectives within and between paragraphs. 

Pupils at Grade 8 will…

 

‘effective; well-considered; extensive and precise; developed and engaging’

 

 

The content of your writing will: Communicate convincingly and effectively throughout with well-considered choice of tone to convincingly match purpose, audience and form; extensive, precise vocabulary will be used throughout with sustained use of complex linguistic devices.

The organisation of your writing will: Contain a range of developed and engaging ideas; paragraphing will be used fluently and cohesively throughout with effective use of structural features such as connectives within and between paragraphs. 

Pupils at Grade 7 will…

 

‘appropriate choice; ambitious; developed; accurate’

 

 

The content of your writing will: Communicate convincingly and effectively with appropriate choice of tone to match purpose, audience and form; vocabulary will be ambitious throughout with a range of complex devices.

The organisation of your writing will: Contain a range of developed ideas; paragraphing be used accurately throughout with use of structural features such as connectives within and between paragraphs. 

Pupils at Grade 6 will…

 

‘clear and effective; increasingly ambitious; linked; mostly accurate’

 

 

The content of your writing will: Communicate clearly and effectively throughout with appropriate choice of tone to match purpose, audience and form; vocabulary will be increasingly ambitious throughout with a range of more complex devices such as extended metaphor, personification, oxymoron.

The organisation of your writing will: Contain five relevant ideas, which are linked; paragraphing will be mostly accurate with some accurate use of structural features such as connectives. 

Pupils at Grade 5 will…

 

‘clear; thoughtful; variation; relevant and engaging; mainly accurate’

 

The content of your writing will: Communicate clearly with usually appropriate choice of tone to match purpose, audience and form; vocabulary will be thoughtful throughout with a successful variation of crafted devices such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, repetition or list of three.

The organisation of your writing will: Contain at least five connected relevant and engaging ideas; paragraphing will be mainly accurate with range of structural features such as connectives. 

Pupils at Grade 4 will…

 

‘attempt to match; thoughtful; relevant; mostly accurate’

 

The content of your writing will: Communicate with awareness and sustained attempt to match purpose, audience and form; vocabulary will be thoughtful at times with attempt to vary devices such as simile, metaphor, alliteration, repetition or list of three (however, some cliché may be used).

The organisation of your writing will: Contain five relevant ideas, which are linked; paragraphing will be mostly accurate with some accurate use of structural features such as connectives. 

Pupils at Grade 3 will…

 

‘some awareness; begin to vary; simple; some success’

 

 

The content of your writing will: Communicate with some awareness and attempt to match purpose, audience and form; begin to vary vocabulary with some regular use of simple devices such as simile, alliteration, repetition, or list of three.

The organisation of your writing will: Contain three to four relevant ideas, some of which are likely to be linked; paragraphing will be attempted with some success and with some use of structural features such as connectives (although may not always be used accurately). 

Pupils at Grade 2 will…

 

‘simple; some use…’

 

 

The content of your writing will: Usually communicate simple ideas with simple awareness of purpose, audience and form; simple vocabulary with the occasional use of simple devices such as alliteration, repetition or list of three.

The organisation of your writing will: Contain one or two simply linked ideas; may have some use of paragraphing and/or structural features such as connectives 

Pupils at Grade 1 will…

 

‘some sense; unlinked; no use of….’

 

The content of your writing will: Make some sense linked to purpose, audience and/or form with some use of simple vocabulary.

The organisation of your writing will: Contain one or two unlinked ideas; contain no use of paragraphs or other structural features such as connectives.

Pupils at Grade 0 will…

Nothing to reward

 

Please Note: Pupils should also be ranked either ‘High’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’ within each grade by their teacher, depending on the amount of criteria achieved for each grade description.

 

The Crypt School English Department KS3 Assessment

Technical Accuracy

Pupils at Grade 9 will

 

‘impressive; large range; impressively varied; flawless’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will: be impressive.  There will a large range of punctuation types including colons and/or semi-colons.  They will be used for an intended impact.  The accuracy of punctuation will be flawless.

 

The use of your sentences will: be impressively varied and used consistently for an intended impact.  The accuracy of these sentences will be flawless and impressively integrated. 

 

The use of your language will: be impressive.  Word choices will be imaginative and demonstrate clear maturity. 

Pupils at Grade 8 will

 

‘vast range; accurate throughout; full range; intended effect; secure control’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will: demonstrate a vast range throughout and might include semi-colons/colons.  Punctuation will be used accurately throughout and will have been used for an intended overall effect.

 

The use of your sentences will: demonstrate a full range, with an intended effect consistently achieved and consistently seamless.  There will be secure control of grammatical structures.

 

The use of your language will: always be ambitiousSpelling of all words will be accurate. 

Pupils at Grade 7 will

 

‘varied; overall effect; full range; increasing control; ambitious; very few errors’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will: be varied through all of the response.  You are likely to often achieve an intended overall effect.  

 

The use of your sentences will: demonstrate a full range, with an intended effect frequently achieved and seamlessly integrated.  Grammatical structures will show increasing control.

 

The use of your language will: often be ambitious.  There will be very few errors with spelling. 

Pupils at Grade 6 will

 

‘few errors; intended overall effect; range of sentence types; tense and verb agreement; almost always accurate’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will: be varied through most of the response.  There is likely to be evidence of full stops, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, speech marks/quotation marks, apostrophes, brackets and hyphens.  There will be few errors made with these types of punctuation and they are likely to usually have been used for an intended overall effect.

 

The use of your sentences will: have a range of sentence types that are purposefully varied and used for effect.  They will be increasingly seamless. Standard English will be consistently accurate.  Tense and subject verbs will always agree

 

The use of your language will: be often ambitious, these ambitious words will almost always show accurate spelling. 

Pupils at Grade 5 will

 

‘attempt to vary; few errors made; accurate spelling; increasingly complex use of language’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will show an attempt to vary punctuation.  There is likely to be evidence of full stops, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, speech marks/quotation marks and/or apostrophes and there will be few errors made with these types of punctuation.

 

The use of your sentences will: be purposefully varied (for example a short sentence might be used to build tension).  Standard English will be consistent.  Tense and subject verbs will agree.   The spelling will be accurate throughout however, there might not be enough ambitious words used to demonstrate higher level spelling.

 

The use of your language will: be increasingly complex and will almost always be suitable and show accurate spelling.     

Pupils at Grade 4 will

 

‘sentence demarcation mostly accurate; mechanical; tense and verb almost always agree; suitable and accurate; some errors’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will: demonstrate sentence demarcation and is mostly accurate.  There is likely to be evidence of full stops, commas, question marks, exclamation marks, speech marks/quotation marks and/or apostrophes although some of the use might be inaccurate.

 

The use of your sentences will: show evidence of simple, complex and compound sentences, although they might be used mechanically.  You will use standard English throughout. Tense and subject verbs will almost always agree.

 

The use of your language will: always be suitable and some accurate application of more complex words.  The spelling of basic and more complex words will often be accurate. 

Pupils at Grade 3 will

 

‘not always accurate; some range; mostly suitable; basic’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will: demonstrate sentence demarcation although might not always be accurate.  There is likely to be evidence of full stops, commas, question marks and/or exclamation marks.

 

The use of your sentences will: show some range.  You will mostly use standard English. Tense and subject verbs are likely to agree.

 

The use of your language will: be mostly suitable and there may be a few more difficult words used appropriately.  Basic spelling will be accurate whereas more complex vocabulary might contain some errors 

Pupils at Grade 2 will

 

‘inaccurate; simple range; some errors with agreement; simplistic language’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will: occasionally use sentence demarcation.  There is likely to be evidence of full stops and commas although inaccuracy might be regular.

 

The use of your sentences will: be straightforward but occasionally show some simple range.  You will usually use standard English.  There may be some errors with agreement (e.g. we was instead of we were).

 

The use of your language will: be mostly simplistic but mainly accurate throughout.  The occasional, more complex use of vocabulary might show error. Basic spelling is likely to be accurate but any more complex vocabulary will often have errors 

Pupils at Grade 1 will

 

‘likely to be inaccurate; meaning obscured; simple; regular errors’

 

 

The use of your punctuation will: occasionally use sentence demarcation but is likely to be inaccurate.  Meaning might be regularly obscured.

 

The use of your sentences will: be simple and unlikely to show range.  You might be able to use standard English on occasions and there is likely to be regular errors with agreement (e.g. we was instead of we were).  Meaning might be regularly obscured.

 

The use of your language will: be extremely simplistic throughout and might sometimes be inaccurate.  Spelling of these basic words will show some errors although will not always hinder meaning. 

Pupils at Grade 0 will

 

 

The accuracy of your writing will be poor and not allow your reader to understand the meaning of your response.

 

Please Note: Pupils should also be ranked either ‘High’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’ within each grade by their teacher, depending on the amount of criteria achieved for each grade description.

 

The Crypt School English Department KS3 Assessment

Response to Literature / Reading

Pupils at Grade 9 will

 

‘critical; judicious; perceptive; effective; specific detailed links’

 

 

Offer a critical and exploratory response to the task, referring to the whole text.

Make use of judicious, precise references, which are embedded, to support their perceptive evaluation of specific aspects of language/structure/form, with consistently effective use of accurate subject terminology, used judiciously (e.g. collective pronoun; pathetic fallacy; foreshadowing; asyndetic listing; syndetic listing; conceit).

Detailed evaluation of the precise effects of writer’s methods on the reader.

Thoughtful exploration of the writer’s implicit ideas/different perspectives, shown by an examination of specific, detailed links between context/text/task. 

Pupils at Grade 8 will

 

‘thoughtful and developed; apt; detailed; accurate; analysis’

 

 

Offer a thoughtful and developed response to the task, referring to the whole text.

Make use of apt references, which are embedded, to support their detailed explanation of language/structure/form, with consistently effective use of accurate subject terminology (e.g. collective pronoun; pathetic fallacy; foreshadowing; asyndetic listing; syndetic listing; conceit)

Detailed examination/analysis of the precise effects of writer’s methods on the reader.

Thoughtful consideration of writer’s implicit ideas/different perspectives, shown by an examination of detailed links between context/text/task. 

Pupils at Grade 7 will

 

‘developed; apt; relevant; examine/analyse; detailed understanding’

 

 

Offer a developed response to the task, referring to the whole text.

Make use of apt references to support their detailed explanation of language/structure/form, with consistently accurate use of relevant subject terminology (e.g. lexical set, imagery, imperative, dramatic irony, juxtaposition etc.)

Examine/analyse effects of writer’s methods on the reader.

Detailed understanding of writer’s implicit ideas shown by detailed links between context/text/task.

Pupils at Grade 6 will

 

‘clear; explained; effective; relevant; effects on the reader; specific links’

 

 

Offer a clear, explained response to the task, referring to the whole text.

Make use of effective references to support their explanation of language/structure/form, with appropriate use of relevant subject terminology (e.g. lexical set, imagery, imperative, dramatic irony, juxtaposition etc.)

Understand effects of writer’s methods on the reader.

Clearly understand writer’s ideas shown by specific links between context/text/task (e.g. ‘Because Dickens was writing in the Victorian period…’) 

Pupils at Grade 5 will

 

‘references to support; mostly relevant; some understanding; some basic links’

 

Offer an explained response to the task, referring to key sections of the whole text.

Make use of references to support their explanation of language/structure/form, with use of mostly relevant subject terminology (e.g. lexical set, imagery, imperative, dramatic irony, juxtaposition etc.)

Show some understanding of the effects of writer’s methods on the reader.

Understand writer’s ideas with some basic links between context/text/task.

Pupils at Grade 4 will

 

‘some key ideas; most; range of relevant comments; effects; implicit ideas’

 

 

Explain some key ideas presented by writers, not always clearly, referring to most of the text studied.

Make reference to a range of relevant comments about language/structure/form, with some relevant use of subject terminology (e.g. lexical set, imagery, imperative, irony etc.)

Identify effects of writer’s methods on the reader.

Understand some of the writer’s implicit ideas and make links between context/text/task.

Pupils at Grade 3 will

 

‘quotations throughout; some comments; implicit ideas; more developed in relation to context’

Offer quotations throughout that support the response to task/text studied, with some comments made about the quotations included.

Identify methods used by writers, making some reference to terminology.

Some awareness of implicit ideas.

Comments more developed in relation to context.

Pupils at Grade 2 will

 

‘relevant to task; basic awareness; explicit ideas; simple comments’

 

Make comments which are relevant to the task and text with reference to relevant details/quotations.

Basic awareness of how the writer has made deliberate text choices with basic terminology used.

Some awareness of explicit ideas.

Simple comments linked to context/text/task.

Pupils at Grade 1 will

 

‘not always relevant; some awareness; possible use of basic terminology’

Make simple comments not always relevant to task and text with some reference to details/quotations. 

Some awareness of how the writer has made deliberate choices.  Possible use of some basic terminology.

 

Pupils at Grade 0 will

Write nothing worthy of credit.

Please Note: Pupils should also be ranked either ‘High’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’ within each grade by their teacher, depending on the amount of criteria achieved for each grade description.

The Crypt School English Department KS3 Assessment

Speaking and Listening

 

Pupils working at Distinction level will

 

‘sophisticates; effective; achieve purpose; perceptive; elaborating’

 

 

  • express sophisticated ideas / information / feelings using a sophisticated repertoire of vocabulary
  • organise and structure his presentation using an effective range of strategies to engage the audience
  • achieve the purpose of his presentation
  • listen to questions / feedback, responding perceptively and if appropriate elaborating with further ideas and information.

Pupils working at Merit level will

 

‘challenging; clear and appropriate; achieve; respond formally; detail’

 

 

  • express challenging ideas / information / feelings using a range of vocabulary
  • organise and structure his presentation clearly and appropriately to meet the needs of the audience
  • achieve the purpose of his presentation
  • listen to questions / feedback responding formally and in some detail 

Pupils working at Pass level will

 

‘straightforward; attempt; listen; feedback appropriately’

 

  • express straightforward ideas / information / feelings 
  • make an attempt to organise and structure his presentation 
  • make an attempt to meet the needs of the audience 
  • listen to questions / feedback and provides an appropriate response in a straight forward manner 

 

Please Note: Pupils should also be ranked either ‘High’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Low’ within each grade by their teacher, depending on the amount of criteria achieved for each grade description.

 

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