Welcome to English

Richard McNicholas Assistant Principal
Lisa Burkinshaw                     Assistant Head of English
Brittany Ellis  KS4 Lead for English
Ryan Byrne KS3 Lead for English
Sally Milner  
Alicia Taylor  
Lucy Woods  
Sarah Godfrey  


The English Team - Our Vision:

‘To deliver a curriculum that challenges, excites and enlightens our students. We aim to provide a curriculum that provides opportunities for all students and inspires them to be ambitious and make the best choices in life so all students achieve the best possible future.’ 

This vision is what drives and motivates our team – as we continue to build on successes, year upon year, we strive to send our students out in the world with skills and behaviours that will lead them on to many successes. We love working with our students and we are committed to continually improving, so that they can experience the highest quality of teaching and learning possible.


The English Curriculum at Barnsley Academy:

How will your child learn?

  • The KS3 curriculum has been designed to develop and embed a range of subject specific and transferrable skills that will enable students to thrive in and beyond the classroom. The curriculum model explores aspects of both GCSE language and literature as we want students to be confident, familiar with the GCSE examination process and to have the skills to make accelerated progress. In KS3 students read a range of texts, both modern and pre-twentieth century texts as we think it is important that students experience a variety of texts.
  • KS4 is the second phase of learning that builds on and strengthens the skills set and knowledge that students have developed in KS3. Students study GCSE English Language alongside GCSE English Literature. As part of the literature qualification our students study: Romeo and Juliet, A Christmas Carol, Blood Brothers and Anthology Poetry.
  • All sequences of learning are underpinned by differentiation, challenge and a range of assessment opportunities that actively involve students so that they know how to close the gaps in their learning.

How will my child be assessed?

  • Throughout their time at the academy your child will be assessed informally in class through a range of learning checks and peer and self-assessment activities.
  • On a half termly basis in KS3, all students complete assessments that mirror the GCSE examinations they will take in Y11.
  • In KS4, students complete regular GCSE mock examinations - both in English Language and English Literature.

What kind of homework task will my child complete?

All students work from a homework menu that is differentiated to suit a range of learning needs to ensure homework is both accessible and challenging. Tasks include: research, planning, essay responses, developing approaches to revision - as well as a number of other tasks, depending on your child’s learning needs.

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

1) Reading – the number one barrier to accessing GCSE examinations is a student’s ability to read and comprehend the questions, texts and extracts they are given. Encouraging them to read and reading with them helps to develop their vocabulary and builds confidence when they are discussing what they have understood and inferred. These are the best ways to help your child to access the content of the English GCSE curriculum.

2) English Games and Apps – There are so many free apps that students can download to help them develop their spelling, grammar and comprehension. For example, the Dictionary.com app, which sends out a new word every day and serves as a portable dictionary for your child to use at home.

3) Actively support them with their homework – An easy win: Your guidance, support and encouragement is key – helping your child to see the value in completing homework can be the difference in succeeding and failing at GCSE.

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