"We know what we are, but know not what we may be."
Shakespeare - Hamlet
Welcome to the English Faculty at Langley! The subject of English is multi layered, offering everyone myriad opportunities to experience new things and to explore new thoughts. We very much see the learning of English as a journey through the history of Literature and across continents and cultures.
At Langley, students experience a broad and enriching curriculum where creativity is valued along with confidence and mastery in language.
Across the Key Stages students develop their competencies in reading, writing, speaking and learning. We strive to foster a culture of independence; to create enthusiastic and confident communicators with a passion for language and above all, we want every one of our students to leave us having attained their full potential empowered to embrace the world around them with confidence.
Please CLICK HERE to view our Curriculum Overview
Students experience a diverse and enriching curriculum, underpinned by a rigorous approach to technical accuracy and grammar for reading and writing.
Students at Langley read a broad range of texts throughout KS3, ranging from whole novels to plays, collections of poetry to non-fiction. We aim to provide a balanced diet of pre and post 20th texts, aware of the demands of KS4 whilst ensuring students have the chance to explore modern texts which are relevant to their lives. Indeed, where possible and practical, we aim to offer students the chance to meet writers, inviting local writers into school for workshops to give our young people the opportunity to gain an insight into the writing process. In a world where young people are exposed to numerous messages through the media, it seems increasingly necessary to teach students to become resistant readers, aware of the writer at work and conscious of their intentions.
Through the study of Literature, we develop students to be competent, powerful masters of the language. We ask students to write in a variety of forms and for a range of purposes. Where possible, we give students real contexts to write in, in order to motivate them to write with feeling and imagination.
Whilst we encourage creativity at every opportunity, we are also mindful of the need for students to develop their understanding of grammar, in order to best exploit its conventions to achieve effects on their reader.
The importance of speaking and listening is never under estimated in English at Langley. Students experience a varied curriculum and we build in active opportunities for our pupils to use drama to explore characters’ thoughts and feelings; we prepare students for the challenges of public speaking and we run an extra-curricular debating society where students get the chance to debate topics with peers from across the school such as overseas aid and modern day slavery.
We arrange regular trips and visits for all year groups to encourage a wide and deeper understanding of the subject. Trips in the past have included visits to the Harry Potter Experience at the Warner Brothers Studio as well as theatre trips to the RSC. There is a weekly Writers’ Workshop which invites students from across the key stages to participate in creative writing for pleasure.
Whilst at KS4 curriculum is largely built around the demands of the final GCSE examinations, we also want students to love our subject and enjoy the opportunity to learn more about language and literature. It is always a pleasure to see our Year 11 students choosing to take English Language or Literature at A Level, revealing their passion for the subject.
At Langley we follow the AQA exam board and all students study GCSE Language and Literature at the start of Year 10.
All parts of the courses are examined at the end of Year 11 in a series of terminal examinations. The specification for these examinations is linked to this page for information. Students for their examinations through utter immersion within the Literature we study: critical reading is taught explicitly to ensure that students are able to adapt their understanding of different writers’ methods and to approach analysis with tenacity and confidence.
All Key Stage 4 students are offered the opportunity to experience live performance and to participate in public speaking competitions.
Above all, the English department at Langley is passionate about creating a culture where everyone learns, all achieve and no one is left behind.
English Literature Specification
We are extremely proud of our library of Langley which has at times been described at the heart of the school. It is a haven where quiet, comfortable spaces offer students the opportunity to travel across galaxies, cultures and centuries without leaving the comfort of their seats.
Students are welcome to visit the library before and after school to use books and computers to help with homework and they also have the opportunity to make regular library visits during English lessons. Students in years 7 and 8 have a fortnightly library lesson on their timetable.
The culture of reading is strongly promoted across the school and we very much empathise the importance of everyone reading for pleasure, as well as to develop literacy skills and knowledge.
Year 9 students are invited to become Literacy Ambassadors whose role is to promote reading across the school. The students support their younger peers to make positive book choices during form time as well as taking part in our ‘Paired Reading’ programme where our older students support their younger peers who are struggling with reading. They also play a vital role in supporting the school librarian during break and lunchtime.
We celebrate and promote a love of reading across the school in many different ways. On World Book Day, the whole school participates in a shared reading of a short story that is enjoyed by both staff and students as each lesson brings a new instalment. We also celebrate National Poetry Day where we remind ourselves of our love of poetry and even participate in workshops producing poetry collaboratively. We believe that reading is a foundation upon which students learn new things, develop their literacy skills and open their minds.
Our Key Stage specific Enrichment Reading List provides a guide with suggestions for texts that support each unit of work across the curriculum.
Please CLICK HERE for a link to the Literacy page