The English Department at Lady Margaret School is dynamic, innovative and creative. As teachers, we have a passion for teaching our subject: We wish to foster in the girls an enthusiasm for reading and a love of literature, while ensuring that we equip them for the rigorous demands of external examinations and the challenges of life beyond school.
The Department has high academic standards. We promote the articulate use of both spoken and written English. Our schemes of work are designed to give students the cultural capital needed to succeed in later life, whatever their background. We believe in the power of language to promote social mobility and develop individual thinking. We also believe that English lessons should be a space for exploring and challenging new ideas and ways of thinking. Our passion for our subject runs through everything we do and we strive to pass this on to the girls we teach.
The Department aims to give each girl at LMS the same consistently high standard of English education. As such, all girls will study the same unit of work at the same time within their year group and are taught in mixed ability classes throughout their time at the school.
Key Stage 3
Our KS3 curriculum has a focus on drama, poetry and prose from the classical canon which will equip pupils with the vocabulary and confidence to tackle the new GCSEs and further academic study. We encourage students to engage in debate and discussion and have designed schemes of work on language that target argumentative as well as descriptive skills. Drama is taught as a separate subject at KS3 and 4 but English and Drama work closely together in promoting articulacy and creativity in spoken language.
Overview of Schemes of Work (may be taught in a different order)
|Year 7||Year 8||Year 9|
|Creative writing||Creative writing inspired by short stories and throughout the year.
Travel writing about London.
|Creative writing inspired by pictures and short stories throughout the year.
Argument writing inspired by Animal Farm.
|Introduction to Gothic Fiction (Writing the opening of a gothic short story).
Argument writing based on Feminist non-fiction.
|Classic Novel||Little Women by Louisa May Alcott||A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens||Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte|
|Shakespeare||Twelfth Night||Romeo and Juliet||The Tempest|
|Non-Fiction||London from 1600 to the present day||Travel Writing||Feminist Non-Fiction from 1700 to the present day|
|Modern Text||Animal Farm by George Orwell||An Inspector Calls by J.B. Priestley|
(All poetry units are based on Departmental anthologies of poems from 1600 to the present day).
|Poetry based on characters and animals||Poetry based on landscape and place||Love sonnets|
Wider Reading at KS3
Girls are encouraged and supported in their wider reading by reading schemes and rewards as well as regular reading lessons. Students are issued with reading lists for each year group and are challenged to read as widely as possible.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar at KS3
SPAG skills are explicitly taught at KS3 and are fully integrated into our schemes of work. In addition, the Department uses school policies on proofreading and literacy marking of work.
Key Stage 4
At GCSE we follow the AQA course in Language and Literature. Both courses are now well established in the Department. Our results are excellent at GCSE: In 2019, 91% of girls passed English Language with a grade 5 or above and 49% achieved a 7 or above. In Literature, 95% of girls achieved a 5+ and 59% achieved a 7+.
In Year 10, for Literature, students study Lord of the Flies, the AQA Power & Conflict Poetry Anthology. For Language they will study both Paper 1 (Analysis of Fiction and Creative Writing) and Paper 2 (Reading Non-Fiction and Argument writing).
In Year 11, girls study Pride and Prejudice and Macbeth for literature as well as continuing to work on Language skills and revising both Papers.
|English Language GCSE (2 papers)||English Literature GCSE (2 papers)|
|Paper 1 – Explorations in Creative Reading (50%)
Reading: Analysis of an unseen extract from a work of fiction
Writing: Creative writing (narrative or descriptive)
|Paper 1 – Shakespeare and the 19th century novel (40%)
– One essay on Macbeth (extract and whole text question)
– One essay on Pride and Prejudice (extract and whole text question)
|Paper 2 – Writer’s Viewpoints and Perspectives (50%)
Reading: Analysis and comparison of two unseen non-fiction extracts (one 19th century and one 20th century)
Writing: Argument writing
|Paper 2 – Modern Texts and Poetry (60%)
– One essay on Lord of the Flies
– One essay comparing two poems from a collection: Power and Conflict
– One essay on an unseen poem
– One short response comparing two unseen poems
Lady Margaret School English Department Alphabet
A is appreciation, artistry, accuracy, analysis, acumen, authors (and all sorts of things that lead to grade A).
B is brainwork, and relaxing with a good book.
C is creativity and communication.
D is discussion, the heart of our subject, and dialects, from Standard English to Nation Language.
E is essays: we believe that pupils learn through writing.
F is flair: stylishness is our aim.
G is grammatically correct; the word ‘grammar’ comes from ‘glamour’, by the way.
H is the History of our language, in constant change.
I is imagination and independent thinking and response, not spoon-feeding.
J is journalistic style and for making informed judgements.
K is knowledge: it’s not all inspiration!
L is for listening, and for the languages that have influenced English; if you know others you might understand English better.
M is meaning: we aim to communicate things that really matter.
N is nuance, a word from French meaning shades of meaning: say just what you mean.
O is all Greek: orthography… and onomatopoeia – the root of so many of our words.
P of course, is poetry, but don’t forget prose.
Q is quotations that have changed the world.
R is a good read, from romance to ripping yarns to recipes.
S is spells and spelling; it would take a magician to explain English spelling.
T is teamwork and talk – focused and purposeful.
U is University: every subject wants good English.
V is variety: it’s not all English, let alone Shakespeare.
W is the craft of writing and word building.
X is for xylopyrography, of course: writing with fire, it burns into your memory.
Y is a big YES! A can-do attitude and openness to ideas.
Z is… zeugma, a figure of speech meaning ‘yoking things together’, because making interesting connections is what this subject is about.