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Mr. O. McVeigh

Director of Learning

We are passionate and committed, as a team, to help our students to achieve their full potential at Ferndown Upper School.

Our Mission Statement

Welcome to English at Ferndown Upper School.

We are a team of literary advocates who are passionate about the power of reading and the education of young people. It is our firm belief that words have power and this is reflected in our engaging, broad and diverse curriculum, something which is echoed through the words of Margaret Atwood “A word after a word after a word is power”.

The team encompasses experts from a wide range of disciplines, experiences and backgrounds, which in turn enables students of English at Ferndown Upper School to explore English through a variety of lenses. Through varied and independent tasks, students carve their own way to become experts in the field of English. 

Miss. M.

Deputy Head
of English

Mrs. D. Kenchington

Teacher of

Miss. K. McDermott

Head of Key Stage 5 English

Mrs. K.

Teacher of

Ms. S.

Teacher of

Mrs. F.

Teacher of

Mrs. S.

Teacher of

Mr. R.

Teacher of

Miss. R.

Teacher of

Mr. M.

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Mrs. E.

Teacher of

Mr. R.

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Key Stage Three English

At Ferndown Upper School, we believe students should be given opportunities to build and develop essential English skills to ensure a safe and easy transition into their GCSE years. Within our Key Stage Three provision, we provide students with opportunities to explore a range of genres written by different authors from a range of contexts over time. In Key Stage Three English at Ferndown Upper School students study the following topics:
  • Autumn One: Ghost Stories and Creative Writing
  • Autumn Two: Crime and Punishment and Detective Fiction
  • Spring One: Animal Farm
  • Spring Two: Diversity of Voices
  • Summer One: War Poetry
  • Summer Two: An Inspector Calls

Our wide range of texts encourage our students to explore linguistic devices through a range of literary perspectives, understand contextual significance and develop their own voice within both critical and creative writing.

Key Stage Four English

English at Key Stage Four is the start of our student’s GCSE years. Our two year Key Stage Four builds upon skills assessed and acquired within our Key Stage Three, applying these to our GCSE texts. Students will be developing knowledge for both GCSE English Literature and GCSE English Language. We teach students AQA English Literature and OCR English Language (In Year 11) and AQA English Literature and AQA English Language (In Year 10).

AQA English Literature Texts:
  • 19thCentury Novel – Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
  • Shakespeare – The Merchant of Venice
  • Modern Play – An Inspector Calls
  • Poetry – Power and Conflict Poetry & Unseen Poetry

Our choice of literary texts enable us to develop and strengthen our students social, emotional and cultural understanding covering a wide range of contextual issues that still have relevance within today’s society. OCR English Language Exams:
  • Paper One – Non-Fiction Text analysis and writing
  • Paper Two – Fiction Text analysis and creative writing

AQA English Language Exams:
  • Paper One: Explorations in Creative Writing and Reading – Single Text Analysis and Writing
  • Paper Two: Writer’s viewpoints and perspectives – Text comparison and writing

Throughout this course, students develop comprehension and analytical skills as well as developing a strong writing style for a range of audiences and contexts. We cover both unseen fiction and non-fiction texts from 19th century and modern day contexts. Students also complete a Speaking and Listening presentation which they are then given as an additional qualification on their GCSE English certificates. This speaking presentation functions to build confidence in our students and develop transferable skills that are attractive to employers.

What do we offer?

Aside from our wealth of experience, our department offer students a range of extra-curricular activities to help enhance their English experience at Ferndown Upper School. Students are given the opportunity to attend live performances of our drama texts as well as attending Poetry Live where they are able to meet and listen to the poets our GCSE students study.

Our students have also entered numerous national and local competitions to further enhance their academic skills. We have won a national writing competition and many of our students have been published in the Young Writer’s Stranger Sagas writing competition. We have also had recent success in the Dorset Poetry Slam with one of our student’s winning overall, gaining the chance to meet and perform in front of Sir Ian McKellan.

We also support our students throughout their GCSE with an extensive revision and intervention programme. We understand that, for many students, their GCSE years maybe stressful and therefore we provide students with a multi-faceted approach to develop and enhance their study. 

We have offered students weekly revision sessions in Year 11 after school as well as ‘Pass with Pizza’ revision evenings, Revision breakfasts and whole year group Teacher-led mocks. This is in addition to morning intervention sessions to help support students in the run up to mock examinations.

Study Forensic Linguistics at FUS to take your linguistic skills and true crime intrigue to the next level. Do you want to contribute towards the delivery of justice one day? We invite you to examine exciting case studies, forensic contexts, and learn how linguists critically engage with the language of law and provide linguistic evidence.

• Week 1 – Forensic and comparative text analysis
• Week 2 – Language in the courtroom
• Week 3 – Spoken interaction – police interviews
• Week 4 – Forensic speech signs
• Week 5 – Linguistic profiling

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

From September 2020, students can be invited to be part of a small group working to achieve their Edexcel Level 1 Foundation Project (ZPJ10) qualification. The enormously exciting thing about this qualification is that it harnesses those passions and interests that really drive a student’s enthusiasm. A coursework-only qualification, students are designated a specialist teacher to help them to create a presentation on a topic of their choice.

We’re exploring everything from skiing to modern Gothic literature! A year’s-worth of research, organisation, collation and careful presentation goes into each student’s exciting, unique and impressive final project. Students are encouraged to embrace different learning methods, and hone their ability to work independently for a goal that they themselves set. With the addition of a series of guest-speakers – including representatives from prestigious publications – to help inspire students, we can honestly say that this sensational opportunity is not to be missed

English, as a subject, provides students with a wide array of transferable skills that enable many occupational doors to be opened. Through the development of both written and spoken skills, students can demonstrate to future employers their ability to construct arguments, create presentations and write academically.

English supports many other subjects and highlights your ability to write for a range of audiences and purposes

There are many careers that English can help to prepare students for. Such careers include:

  • Journalism
  • Teaching
  • Creative Writing
  • Law
  • Marketing
  • Speech and language Therapy
  • Criminology
  • Civil Service
  • Public Relations
  • Counselling

My Learning Future:

It is really useful to look at the labour market when considering a career related to English. Many sectors use skills established within English lessons as transferable qualities needed to perform tasks within that profession. English is a subject that is reflected throughout many different professions. You can have a look at the link below for more information.

The LMI for All portal provides high quality, reliable LMI information – see link below:

Potential Pathways: