The English Department at Rivers Academy



Subject Coordinator: Ms E Hughes

Deputy Coordinator: Mrs A Cokeham

Lead Practitioners: Miss A Witcher and Ms P Patel

Director of Literacy:  Mrs Z  Hodges


Below are four homework menus for our current Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students. Students are expected to complete their homework menu before the end of Term 1. They can choose which homework they want to complete each week but must ensure the work completed is their personal best.


Homework Menu - 'Much Ado About Nothing' year 7

Homework Menu - 'Blood Brothers' year 8

Homework Menu - 'Of Mice and Men' year 9

Homework Menu - 'A Christmas Carol' year 10


The English Department

The English Department is a large and vibrant department with nearly 20 members of staff teaching across all year groups.  Our department is well resourced with an extensive range class texts and a wealth of digital resources.  Alongside this our Media and Film Department has 4 digital HD movie cameras, microphones, tripods and an Apple Mac editing suite.

Teachers in this Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ department deliver well planned, engaging lessons designed to engage students and ensure progression.  Marking is exemplary and students regularly receive personalised and progressive targets to support their journey.  Our exam results reflect how successful we are in ensuring all our students achieve their potential.  We are rated amongst the top 18% of English Departments nationally and last year 69% of students achieved grades A*-C in English Language.

All of our teachers have a passion for English and literature which is truly inspiring and we thrive on passing this on to all of our students.


Key Stage 3

Following the removal of the National Curriculum the English Department at Rivers have been able to plan, prepare and begin delivering a challenging and highly engaging programme of study for our youngest students.  We believe that we should begin equipping students with the vital study and exam skills needed in years 10 and 11 from the beginning of their secondary schooling.  Our focus on key skills such as essay responses, quote selection and language analysis starts in year 7.  We cover texts such as Willy Russell’s ‘Blood Brothers’, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ and Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado about Nothing’.

Classes are set in ability groups and pupils can move amongst these if they have proven that they have gained key skills and display continued progress in their work.


Key Stage 4

All students follow the English Language and English Literature GCSE two year course from year 10 to the end of year 11. They are encouraged to achieve their potential through rigorous fortnightly assessments, mock examinations, diagnostic marking and target setting. Students are taught a range of texts, from Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ to J. B. Priestley’s ‘An Inspector Calls’ and Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’.

Key Stage 5

English Literature is a popular subject in the sixth form here at Rivers Academy.  Students are able to use skills that they have gained at GCSE level, such as close textual analysis and the understanding of how the historical setting of a text impacts its themes, characters and narrative.  The levels of analysis and examination of obviously much higher at key stage 5 and students thoroughly enjoy the opportunities to scrutinise and dissect language and construction.  They study a variety of texts, from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ to Arthur Miller’s gripping ‘The Crucible’.  Student are assessed through essays, mock examinations and homework tasks.


Film and Media Studies

These are two of the additional subjects we deliver within the English Department at Rivers.  These are exciting and extremely popular subjects running at BTEC, GCSE and ‘A’ Level.  In these subjects students are given opportunities to study, explore and question many aspects of film and media production and its huge and ever-growing impact.  On each of these courses, students devise, plan and create their own media production.  Whether a website, film extract, short film, screenplay or promotional campaign, students are given apple opportunity to learn new skills and engage with the film and media industries on a more personal level.  The results in these subjects are consistently strong.  In 2015, 100% of our AS and A2 students passed, with 76% achieving grades A*-C and 64% of students studying at GCSE achieving grades A*-C.