The English Department at Eastbury School is a dedicated and successful department.
We are fortunate to have a wide range of experience and skill within the English Department and this is why we have seen sustained success in our results. This summer 80% of students made expected levels of progress at GCSE – 11% above National Average, despite many students starting from below national average attainment.
Our GCSE English Literature results have continued to improve over the last few years and this year 74% of students made the expected level of progress whilst many students exceeded their minimum expectation. Our SEN students have excelled alongside their peers as 100% of students with an SEN statement have achieved a GCSE in English Language and Literature.
At Eastbury we pride ourselves on our strategic curriculum that tailors learning to students’ needs while providing stretch and challenge for all. We received the prestigious Times Education Schools Award for Literacy and English in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and were shortlisted again in 2016 in recognition of our continuing departmental success and innovative approaches to teaching.
At Key Stage 3, teaching is planned collaboratively and gives the department an opportunity to explore creative schemes of work and ways of teaching, which is proving to be very successful. As a department we are very open to new ideas and are always willing to trial new approaches. Innovative pedagogies utilised by the department include the Let’s Think in English cognitive acceleration programme, and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) Active Learning approaches. As a RSC Learning and Performance Network Hub School, we work closely with the RSC to provide our staff and students with exciting opportunities to engage with Shakespeare’s work. This extends beyond the classroom as we regularly offer students the opportunity to see live theatre performances.
Our work with outside agencies enriches the curriculum and offers students and staff the time and space to really enjoy and appreciate literature. We have been lucky enough to build strong relationships with the National Theatre and The Royal Shakespeare Company and were even selected to be a part of the national Dream 16 project in 2016. This saw number of our year 7 students perform live on stage alongside RSC actors at The Barbican as part of a national tour. We will be working with the RSC and The Barbican again on more exciting projects.
For Key Stage 4 students Literature and Language are taught as separate subjects to ensure students acquire the skills needed for each discipline and that time is sufficiently dedicated to each GCSE qualification.
Students continue to receive our Let’s Think in English, building on the KS3 program, to help prepare them for the demands of examination.
We are in the second year of delivering the new linear A Level. Last summer we achieved a 100% pass rate, 91% of students meeting or exceeding their expected grades and many students going on to top universities, including Cambridge. Key Stage 5 students across the 6th Form are offered opportunities to participate in national writing competitions facilitated by the English Department, and last year one of our Literature students had her worked performed at the National Theatre following her success in the New Views scriptwriting competition.