English class


Only the educated are free – Epictetus

The English department at Fairwater High School is committed to engaging pupils in learning key skills that will prove essential both now and in their future beyond school. We are a successful department with GCSE results going up by 17% in the last year alone.

Writing well means never having to say, ‘I guess you had to be there’ - Jef Mallet

Our aim is to challenge pupils to engage with a variety of texts; to write in a number of different styles and to open up to enjoyable experiences with Shakespeare, poetry, and writing. Pupils are encouraged to express themselves and their ideas through paired work, small group work and independent study. The skills that pupils learn in English are life-long skills that will benefit them in all subjects and in whatever path they wish to follow once they leave school.

A room without books is like a body without a soul – Cicero (106 BC – 43 BC)

Our success relies on a dynamic mix of interesting teaching strategies, a variety of learning opportunities and the focus of our intervention programme when it is needed. During Key Stage 3, pupils study a range of novels, plays and poetry. They will also learn effective writing techniques and begin to develop their skills and opinions in relation to what they learn. They have plenty of opportunities to build up their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills through a broad and interesting curriculum.

The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man that can’t read them – Mark Twain

The learning that takes place in years 7, 8 and 9 is a great foundation for dealing with both GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature, and for A-Levels in English or Media Studies, should pupils choose that option. At GCSE, pupils study different types of writing, novels such as Of Mice and Men, plays like An Inspector Calls, and develop their confidence through presentations and group discussions.

I find television very educating. Every time someone turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. – Groucho Marx

The English department offer a range of ways to enrich pupils’ learning with extra-curricular activities, which, this year, include theatre trips; a tour of the Harry Potter studios; Film Club; and participation in competitions, such as the BBC School’s News and The Power of Poetry national competition, in which we had almost forty pupils’ poems selected for publication.

KS3 Overview

GCSE – English Language Overview

GCSE – English Literature Overview

Books to read before you are 14

GCSE Revision Booklet


T (01633) 643950 head.fairwatercomp@torfaen.gov.uk
Fairwater High School
Ty-Gwyn Way
NP44 4YZ