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The English Faculty

The study of English at Humphry Davy School empowers all of our students to communicate effectively in the wider world via their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

An exciting and motivating curriculum is provided from year seven, which allows students to participate in a range of learning experiences, often using the study of film, music and drama to develop an understanding of the use of language in the mass media and in their own environment.

The curriculum for Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 includes theatre, gallery and cinema trips, in addition to workshops with visiting writers, further engaging students in their learning experience. We aim to broaden every student’s experience of English wherever possible.

The level of challenge is high in English and students identified as requiring additional challenge are mentored to attain the highest level and as part of our ‘Aspire’ curriculum are offered opportunities to take their studies further.

A range of interventions exist in English to secure the progress of students who find the subject demanding. Intervention at Key Stage 3 includes One-to-One, small group and 'Read, Write, Inc' to help students develop their basic levels of language skills. We offer ‘Sound Training’ to students who we feel need to boost their reading age, allowing for better access to the curriculum in all subject areas. At Key Stage 4, we track students on an individual basis and offer after school skills workshops to make sure that students do not underachieve. Our 'Accelerate' groups offer smaller class sizes, more ICT access and regular home/school communication to boost their levels.

From Year 9, students study the AQA GCSE syllabus for the combined GCSE which includes English Language and English Literature. The courses are personalised to allow students to explore their creative writing skills, engage with our greatest writers and to study 21st century methods of communication which have changed how we view our language heritage.

Regular assessment and monitoring via examination, interviews with students and student voice, enables the English Department to tailor study to the individual’s learning needs.

We offer a range of revision texts, available from Parentmail. Alternatively, speak to your English teacher or Mrs Popp who will guide you towards the appropriate texts.

Mr Smith – Head of English Faculty


At KS3 we set a range of homework, including ‘English Homework Grids’ which offer students the opportunity to select a number of tasks and to apply the skills covered in lessons in a creative manner. This is in response to student voice, which highlighted for us the challenges students face in managing a variable homework load. With the grids, a final deadline is set, but students can manage their time as they see fit, as long as appropriate work is completed and handed in by the deadline. Reading is a core part of our homework, as is creative interpretation of our classwork.

At KS4 we do still use ‘English Homework Grids’, but it is also essential that we set formal, timed assessments for the students as well. Particularly in Years 10 and 11, revision will form a considerable part of every students’ work and home. This should be completed independently, but can be shared with the class teacher to prove it is being done and that it is appropriate and purposeful.