English Department

In the English department we pride ourselves on providing a rewarding and enriching experience for all students. The department are committed to teaching lessons of the highest standard which engage and inspire a love of English. 

We provide a broad and balanced curriculum which caters for a range of learning styles and student interest. 

The positive environment created by English allows students to thrive and succeed as demonstrated by our results in 2016. Our most recent Ofsted stated that “Progress in English for most groups of pupils, including disadvantaged pupils, is improving rapidly due to effective subject leadership, teaching and assessment.”  Our aims include: 
  • Promoting Literacy skills and improve students’ ability to access the whole curriculum, 
  • Raising standards in English by enhancing and constantly improving the quality of teaching,
  • Providing enjoyable and creative learning opportunities for all learners and
  • Providing a safe, caring environment where all learners and staff are committed to make our best better; all day, every day.
As we look to the future and the 9-1 curriculum changes, we are committed to preparing students for examination whilst still fostering a love of English and preparing our students for their journey through school life and beyond.


Overview of the Key Stage 3 Curriculum

In Years 7 and 8, students are given a creative and varied diet of Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening. They are taught key written styles such as: writing to persuade/argue/advise, writing to inform/explain/describe and important reading skills and strategies. 

In Years 7 and 8 students are also given an extra hour of English to promote a wide vocabulary and a love of reading that impacts on all their learning. Support is always available within English for any students with additional reading needs.

Overview of the Key Stage 4 Curriculum

In Years 9, 10 and 11 students begin their KS4 course with Year 9 providing a bridging year between KS3 and GCSE. This year will focus on ensuring English Language skills are built on and developed to ensure success at GCSE.

Year 10 will focus on the writing and reading analysis skills ready for their GCSE exam in English Literature. Year 11 will focus on the English language side of the course. 

Students at the end of the three years will leave Swallow Hill Community College with a GCSE in English Language and further GCSE in English Literature. 


Parent Support for Learning

You do not need to be an expert in any particular subject or indeed have any qualifications to support your child's learning. Every parent can find opportunities to encourage their child's natural inquisitiveness and ability to learn more about the world. After all, it was you who taught them to walk, talk and interact with others. Just as we teach young toddlers how to feed themselves and encourage them to repeat words as they learn to speak, you can encourage an interest in the wider world and support your children to develop their own views about the arts, science and global issues.

Supporting learning in English:
  • Age 16+ Boom - Mark Haddon. A laugh out loud farce from the author who brought you “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time” 
  • Age 12+“Demon Dentist” - David Walliams “Diamond”- Jacqueline Wilson
  • Age 14+“The Geography of You and Me”- Jennifer E Smith See Heather Umpleby’s -Year 13- review on Guardian.co.uk
  • Age 16+ The Fault in Our Stars- John Green - A touching portrayal of two teenagers and their experiences with cancer.