Judges commended the English team at Queen Katharine Academy for its multilayered approach in bringing texts to life for students, as well as the uniqueness of the curriculum and the ways in which diversity in literature is strongly embedded.
The team has gone from being a failing department to a thriving one. The November GCSE language exams saw a record-breaking pass rate of 59 per cent, which was described as a “significant achievement” given the high levels of English as an additional language and “student churn”.
Judge Angela Browne described the Queen Katharine English team’s offering as “rich and incredibly inspiring”.
She said: “It is a team clearly working hard on all fronts to provide an ambitious English curriculum as well as inspiration and the motivation to succeed for all its students.”
The team works with other departments in the promotion of literacy and reading. It has revised the curriculum – plotting content, knowledge and skills from key stage 2 to key stage 5 – and has improved the uptake of English at KS5.
Meanwhile, new leadership has brought cohesion and collaboration, creating an innovative and enthusiastic team.
“Midweek uplifts” take place for staff (which continued remotely during lockdown), providing wellbeing resources and online CPD opportunities.
Team meetings help collaborative planning and allow staff to share thoughts on important matters ,while NQTs take part in internal and external programmes of CPD.