10/3/23 Roundup – English (all years)

Talk the Talk

Year 10 students had an amazing opportunity last week to work with Talk the Talk. Back in Year 9, these students worked with the same company to build their individual presentation skills. This time, the focus was on group work and how to construct a formal argument, and deconstruct an opposing one! As with Y9, the trainers were impressed with many students’ rhetorical and debating skills, and as before, many of our students found their confidence increasing (even as they argued who should be thrown out of a hot air balloon). Well done to everyone involved, but particularly the students below. These were explicitly highlighted by the trainers for their engagement, enthusiasm or general awesomeness:

U1 – Oliver B, Alice M, Victoria S

H1 – Freya E, Tilly O, Matthew LB

U5 – Alfie B, Owen G

H5 – Maz H, Ryan F

U4 – Hollie-Rose B, Callum H (with also special singling out for Ellie S, Sophia C and Blake R)

H4 – Ebony F, Harley H, Max P, Roberts S, Josh W

U3 – Vlada P, Slava M

H4 – Rachel T, Aiden T, Alfie B

U2 – Heidi C, Connie C, Skye G, Zac A

H2 – Harry S, Austin S, Verity J, Chloe B


This week’s Bedrock shoutouts go to Orla B and Sarah L for showing the greatest improvement between pre- and post- learning tests. Well done!

World Book Day

We had a number of events going on in English to celebrate World Book Day. The entire school shared the story of “The Landlady” by Roald Dahl, enjoyed in four parts over lessons 1-4. Students enjoyed trying to predict what would happen, whilst teachers from all Departments enjoyed the novelty of reading a story aloud. 

Up in English, the Y10 Reading Champions created a ‘book blind date,’ where they all brought in one of their favourite books wrapped in plain paper, and held a book swap. We’ve all got something new to read in the run up to Easter, alongside the work we’re doing on Great Expectations (we’re up to Volume 2, Chapter 15, if you’re following along).

They say books are the doorways to imagination, so the English team have decorated their classroom doors. If you get chance, pop up to English and see which books we’ve chosen to celebrate – there’s a diverse range.

Remember too, the entire school can use the digital World Book Day tokens shared on Talaxy to get £1 off a book of your choice (or grab one of the £1 WBD special books if there are still stocks).

English Awards

Mrs Hunt was very excited to award the first English Awards during our World Book Day Celebrations. These are special badges awarded for contributions to English outside of the classroom, and the Year 10 Reading Champions were awarded their Bronze badges for their work on “The Honeys.”  

The more activities you are involved in, the more points you earn towards each award, as proven by Billie O who has earned their silver award for their work on Carnegie in Y9; being a Y10 Reading Champion; being involved in Latin club; and in newspaper club. Keep your eyes peeled for other opportunities to earn these very special badges.

Revision Sessions

Revision sessions take place in English, 3:15 – 4pm

Please remember to use GCSE Pod for revision.  See any of your teachers if you need help with your password.

1/3/23 Roundup – English (all years)


This week, Mrs Bell is running the postponed session on language in Romeo and Juliet. Thursday, 3:15-4:00, A15. This will be a really useful session as Y11 begin their revision of this core text.

The sessions for the rest of the month are shown below. 3:10-4:00 – in A12. Please note the changes to TUESDAY for some sessions.

Talk the Talk

On Tuesday, Year 9 have participated in an amazing 2.5 hour workshop with the renowned Talk the Talk company. They’ve been developing oracy skills, both in terms of content and presentation skills. Teachers and trainers were amazed by the improvements in confidence, which will serve students well as we prepare for their first attempts at their Spoken Language Endorsements (a formal presentation that forms part of their GCSE English Language). Well done to Year 9, who met this challenge head on. By the end of the session, almost everyone was able to get up and speak in front of the whole class with clarity and poise, and the English Department are very proud of you all.

Year 10 have their turn on Thursday – of which more next week!

Work of the Week

This week’s work was nominated by the Talk the Talk trainers. They’d like to draw attention to LOADS of students, particularly the following who were singled out for praise either because they joined in with enthusiasm and gusto, or because they faced the challenge head on and showed great resilience. Amazing work, Year 9!

Abi M

Archie C

Chelsea B

Dylan H

Grace R

Hope R

Katarzyna T

Lauren H

Leo H

Lucas C

Megan B

Nikolas K

Oli W

Paige A

Paige S

World Book Day

World Book Day is rapidly approaching: we’ll join in at school on Friday (not Thursday, due to Talk the Talk). Remember, there are no physical tokens this year – check Talaxy for your digital download. 

Remember – take a photo of yourself doing some extreme reading (or unextreme reading in an unusual place) and be in with a chance of winning a coveted English Department prize. Here’s Mrs Hunt with a very unimpressed triceratops, as an example…

Bedrock Shoutouts

The half term holidays marked the half way point in our Y9 students’ Bedrock journeys. The English Department have a number of prizes to award:

Overall points: Esmee W, George B, Maria-Grace S

Overall progress: Rhys W, Leah K, Lewis M

Each of these students will receive a special Bedrock certificate and badge.

An English Department treat is also on the way to Dylan R and Delilah O, for impressive Bedrock work in February.

March words

It being World Book Day and Talk the Talk week, words are *prominent* and  in *abundant* supply up in English, and we’re exploring *innovative* ways to work with them…  and *intercept* them before they’re forgotten! Memory is a funny thing, and our ability to remember new words *fluctuates* regularly, leaving *vacant* spaces where the new word once was. It’s a good job we have strategies like Bedrock and our words of the month to *intercede* and build our *core* vocabulary!

Rotary club writing competition

Thankyou to everyone who participated in the Rotary writing competition on the theme of Peace. Altogether we submitted 20 entries – 11 from Y9, 7 from Y11, and 2 from Y13. Good luck to all the entrants. We will share outcomes as soon as possible.

14/2/23 Roundup – English (all years)


It’s been a great week in Bedrock world, with some absolutely brilliant work. 9HL are leading the way, with over 65% of students attaining their 20 points+. Esmee W continues to lead the way on time spent and overall points, but is being rapidly chased by Delilah O and Ellie B. Although not spending the longest online, Dylan R is being ruthlessly efficient and claiming second spot for points. This half term, we have over 80 students eligible for Bedrock’s laptop draw – good luck!

Revision this week

Miss Beevor would like to spend more time looking at Paper 2, Question 4. Whether or not you were here last week for her superb session on Paper 2 Q2, this would be a really good opportunity to get your revision underway. Remember, for English Language half the battle is knowing what each question is requiring.

Mrs Hunt’s Romeo and Juliet imagery session will be postponed until next half term, to enable everyone to attend Miss Beevor’s. 

Revision tip of the week

Anything can be English Language practice… Whilst you’re watching TV, look out in particular for anyone expressing a particular viewpoint, and think about how this in influenced by their perspective. This works really well on factual or news-based programmes.

Talking the talk…

On the Tuesday and Thursday after half term, we’ll be having “Talk the Talk,” an external oracy company, in to work with our Year 9 and Year 10 students. This is a great opportunity for Year 9 students to learn how to present their ideas, and ties in really well with their work in English on their Spoken Language Endorsement. The Year 10 students will be learning how to formally debate an issue. We can’t wait!

Rotary competition / Work of the Week

This week saw the closing date for the Rotary competition (if this goes out before Wednesday, you have until 3pm on Wednesday to get your entry and your signed consent form to Mrs Hunt. We have some amazing entries in both prose and poetry categories.

Mrs Hunt wanted to single out two for “work of the week” – Evie N’s evocative story, and Oscar S’s reflective poem. Evie’s story focuses on the effect of family conflict, and how challenging it can be to find “Peace” when your family is in turmoil. Oscar’s poem explores how to define peace, using some stunning imagery. Extracts from both are below.

Evie: It’s quiet here. Sometimes too quiet. You know what would make it better? Your ridiculous piano playing. There is a piano in our new house: it’s like it was made for you. Mum cried when she first saw it, but she plays daily now. I taught her the first song you learned: I think she believes it will bring you closer, so I don’t discourage it.



It chooses when to come to us;

finds us in the quiet moments.

Peace is the first breath of a deep sleep,

respect from your elders,

the velvet caress of a blanket.

World Book Day is approaching!

The English Department are busy getting ready for World Book Day, but in a change to previous years, we are no longer distributing paper tokens. Instead, you’ll need to check your school inbox / Talaxy for your digital token, which can then be saved to your phone or tablet. These cannot be redeemed online, but you can show it in most booksellers to purchase your free book, or to redeem £1 off a different book of your choice.

Note – activities in school will be running on Friday 3rd March, due to other events.

Half term World Book Day challenge

To help get everyone in the mood for World Book Day, the English Department would love to see photos of you reading in unusual places. Can you beat Ella R, who last year sent us a photo of her reading from the top of an Alpine ski run?! Make sure you’re safe, but be as creative and inventive as you can. 

7/2/23 Roundup – English (all years)

1) Entries for the Rotary creative writing competition need to be with teachers asap – Monday 13th is our internal deadline for entries (and entry forms).  There are options for prose and poetry.  Please see any of the English team if you would like further information.

2) Revision this week is Miss Beevor, focusing on English Language comparison (Paper 2, Q2 and 4) in room A12.  Focus will be on how to use inference when you compare.

3) Monthly Bedrock words are: attention, variety, revert, assume, retain, renowned, meticulous and transient. Please try and use these words in your work this month!  For example, make sure your work has *variety* of ideas and *meticulous* use of vocabulary so you can *retain* a high grade.

4) Bedrock shout outs to Dylan R, Esmee W and Theo K, who are topping the points leaderboard for February so far. 9HL are leading the way overall, with over 50% of students exceeding their 20 point targets.

5) Work of the week this week is from Y13 English Language student Will P. His opinion piece was exemplary (writing about language issues in an entertaining but ultimately informative way as part of their exam). Will’s topic was a discussion of apostrophe confusion and was expressed really well, as you can see below:

“The most controversial and contested piece of punctuation is most certainly the apostrophe, developing quite a cult following from sycophantic prescriptivists who may not be aware of its rocky past. Apostrophes were originally created as a way to indicate syllables that people were too lazy to write (see Shakespeare’s walk’d), and as a way to signal possession. Their confusion was less of an issue when nobody apart from a few scholars could write, and so nobody would be subject to Lynne Truss’ wish for lightning to strike anyone who dared misuse them. But come the 18th century, most people needed rules to support their writing, which grammarians provided: rules forged from logic, Latin and personal preference.

Whilst those up in arms over a floating comma may be fun to ridicule, the idea of a uniform mindset is an appealing one. Psychologist Steven Pinker states that there isn’t a distinct advantage to a specific rule, apart from the ease if everyone follows the same rules. This idea of a middle ground helps us understand why some people are so attached to the whims of 300 year old monks, where others just want their dog to own a ball (its ball, not it’s ball). 

6) Revision

Since apostrophes have been a popular topic for Y13 Language students, and since good punctuation is a big part of achieving well in Section B of both GCSE Language Paper 1 and 2, it would be worth revisiting rules around apostrophes.  Please follow these links, memorise the rules and include good apostrophe use in your next pieces of work:

How to use possessive apostrophes – BBC Bitesize

How to check your apostrophes are correct – BBC Bitesize

25/1/23 Roundup – English (all years)

Year 9 – Our Day Out and Matched Guise

We’ve had a lot of positive comments from our Year 9 students about their new unit, “Our Day Out” and their introduction to linguistics in the form of the “matched guise” test. If you’re interested in learning more, or having a go for yourself, watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=956pPCaMxZg or check out Accent Bias Britain’s work (https://accentbiasbritain.org/)


Getting your adjectives and adverbs in a tangle? Keep getting stuck on “interpreting” and not yet “analysing”? Mrs Hunt is leading revision this week, focusing on language analysis and “writing a lot about a little.” Room A15, 3:10-4:00.

Words of the Month

This month’s words have been *prevalent* all over school, and they’re really beginning to show through in students’ writing. Moreover, when teachers ask for *clarity,* they’re no longer having to explain what the word means! There is one more week with these words, and we’ll start new ones in February. Remember, if you see one of our words “out in the wild,” you can still send us the evidence!

Bedrock Shoutouts

Shoutouts to Megan R (US) and Lewis M (HS) who have made the most progress in between pre- and post- learning tests. They have really challenging words, including “pernicious” and “rapturous,” which may go some way to explain their huge progress, but what amazing words to be working with!

Rotary Club Competition

Our competition for this half term is external, with a deadline of 17th February. This is being run by the Rotary Club, and offers some exciting prizes!

The competition is open to all youngsters aged 14- 18 – ages as at 31st August 2022 and the theme this year is ‘Peace’.
Competition Guidelines and Task

– To produce a written or typed story in prose entitled, ‘Peace’. The written entry could be fiction or non-fiction, prose, or a poem, as long as the piece relates to the theme. Up to maximum of 550 words for prose entries, up to a maximum of 40 lines for poetry entries. No pictures/drawings to be part of the entry.

We’re hoping to support this competition as part of our curriculum this term, but welcome students’ contributions from outside of lessons, too.

Power & Conflict Poetry Revision

Pick two quotations at random using your anthology.

If you can, find a technical term or device that is in those quotes. If you are struggling, identify either “description” or “imagery” (these are just as good as ANY other terms… it is your explanation of the meaning or emotion that they create (and why) will decide your grade.

Then write short exam style answers using these sentence stems:

The poet writes the quotation “_________________”. We can see the technique of ____ being used in the words “____”. This makes the reader think/ feel _____________________


Collect a bank of these – build this up over time.

Memorise these sentence stems for further revision.

11/1/23 Roundup – English (all year groups)

Words of the … Month?

Bedrock words are evolving. Following staff and student feedback, we’re focusing on fewer words for longer.

We’re hoping that with the same *frequent* practice, but over a longer *duration,* our writing will demonstrate more *clarity* and *ameliorate* some of downsides of having weekly words. We don’t feel this will *impede* progress, especially as the words are *prevalent* around school, so you might find yourself *inadvertently* bumping into one! The awkward one that doesn’t fit this time is *barren.*

Bedrock Shoutouts

The first shoutouts of the new year go to Illia and Hayden, who have both managed over 2 hours’ Bedrock work since 1st Jan.

Winners for the December challenge were Rhys W and Elizabeth B, who made the most progress in December. Treats on the way for both of these students.

Remember, we expect students to achieve 20 points each week on Bedrock. If you or your student are having issues, please contact Mrs Hunt at school.


If you wish to submit a late entry for our Read:Write competition, or the Words in the Wild, please see Mr Hulme or Mrs Hunt asap.

Our competition for this half term is external, with a deadline of 17th February. This is being run by the Rotary Club, and offers some exciting prizes!

The competition is open to all youngsters aged 14- 18 – ages as at 31st August 2022 and the theme this year is ‘Peace’.
Competition Guidelines and Task

– To produce a written or typed story in prose entitled, ‘Peace’. The written entry could be fiction or non-fiction, prose, or a poem, as long as the piece relates to the theme. Up to maximum of 550 words for prose entries, up to a maximum of 40 lines for poetry entries. No pictures/drawings to be part of the entry.

We’re hoping to support this competition as part of our curriculum this term, but welcome students’ contributions from outside of lessons, too.

A Level English Language students: exciting opportunity

Letters have gone out this week to A Level linguists, relating to a trip to Macclesfield to participate in the English and Media Centre’s Language conference. This is an amazing opportunity, and the first outside of London. There are some amazing speakers, including Professor Rob Drummond whose work supports a number of our topics. Previous conferences have been really inspiring, and this year’s looks set to be no different.

Find out more at https://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/conferences/english-language-a-level-conference-in-macclesfield-february-2023, and return your form to Mrs Bell, Brooks or Hunt to reserve your place asap.

Y10 Reading Champions

Mrs Hunt’s reading group are starting a new text this term: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. We *expect* it to be really interesting…As it’s out of copyright, read along at https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1400/1400-h/1400-h.htm. We’ll read the first 5 chapters this week, then 10 chapters every 2 weeks. Choose a theme, and follow along!

English on Twitter!

We’ve finally taken the leap onto social media… Find us at @TAHSEnglish, where we’ll post revision reminders, top tips, photos of what we’ve been up to, and anything we find exciting along the way.

Work of the Week

Mrs Baldwin would like to nominate Niamh T, for her amazing A Christmas Carol revision mindmaps. Well done, Niamh!