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English at St Mark’s is exciting, engaging and imaginative!

In the English and Media department at St Mark’s we aim to encourage students to become independent, creative learners who use their imaginations and express their own opinions with confidence.  We think that these skills are vital and will support them no matter what they decide to do, both in school and beyond. We also hope to foster in our students a love of reading and of the spoken and written word.

In year 7 students at St. Mark’s will study a broad programme of reading, writing, and speaking and listening. Each topic from Gothic literature to non-fiction writing is carefully planned to equip students with the skills needed for success at GCSE level, but also to be enjoyable, exciting and culturally enriching. We have regular visits from theatre groups, trips to hear famous authors and poets perform and in the last few years we’ve taken all of year 7 to see a Shakespeare play at ‘The Globe’!

At KS3 students have a separate ‘Literacy lesson’ every week. This ensures that students are equipped with the knowledge and skills in SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) that are so vital to success at GCSE and beyond. Our intervention programme ensures that students who are struggling are offered tailored support; this is a combination of in-class intervention, withdrawal groups or referral to one of our many after school enrichment clubs. This year these after school clubs include: a book-group, drama club and a ‘Challenge Me’ English club for students who are gifted and talented in the subject.

Students are set a wide range of homework projects both during term time and holidays to support them to become independent learners and readers. The best projects are rewarded with prizes – books of course! Year 7 classes are taken on half-termly trips to the library to choose a reading book, which they are expected to swap regularly. In the summer term our ‘Readathon’ competition allows our most avid readers to keep track of how many books they’ve read and to raise money for charity by doing so.

At KS4, the English and Media department offer the opportunity for students to study English Language, English Literature and Film Studies to GCSE level. These GCSEs will test the independence and creativity that students have developed through years 7 and 8. Students will be assessed through a combination of regular timed assessments within class and examinations at the end of year 11. The GCSE programme of study is designed and tailored by our English specialists to meet the needs of all of our students.  We believe that students should feel excited about English and that our varied curriculum will allow all students to achieve their potential.

“Year 10 English students explored the relationship of Curley’s wife to other characters in the novel Of Mice and Men with good knowledge and understanding.”

Ofsted October 2012

“There is a strong focus on developing students’ literacy skills across the academy.

Ofsted October 2012

“There was one instance, in a good English lesson, where students undertook roles in their groups well. The added responsibility  increased their level of engagement”

March 2012

“Oh! Is English over already? It always goes so quickly in here!”

Alex, year 10

Trips, visits and other information

Recently our year 9 students attended a talk about gang violence in London, linked to the novel Pigeon English which they have been studying.

Some of our year 8 and 9 gifted and talented students also attended poetry performances at Wimbledon Book fest.

Our students take part in national writing competitions at different points throughout the year and have previously won or been shortlisted for national writing competitions.
Later this year, the whole of year 10 are going on a theatre trip to see A Christmas Carol.


GCSE English
AS English
A2 English

English Staff  
Mr Sam Foster Head of English 
Anna Elgar  English Across the Curriculum Lead  
Paddy Leonard  KS5 English and Film Studies Lead 
Eva Kingcome  Literacy Coordinator 
Simon Hunt  Teacher of English 
Allicia Wignal  Teacher of English  
Beth lanham  Teacher of English 
Muniza Khan  SENCO