The Cooper School

The Cooper School
The English Department
The English Department at Cooper School
This is a very exciting time to join the English Department at The Cooper School. We have a
strong team of specialist English teachers, led since 2009 by Ben McCarey. In recent years,
the Department has gone from strength to strength with year on year increases in examination
results across the board which comes as a result of our dynamic and innovative approach to
learning. During the school’s recent Outstanding OFSTED inspection, one inspector was
heard to remark that he wished his own kids were taught English like this!
The Department plays a leading role in development of teaching and learning strategies across
the whole school and, in line with our continuing ambition to provide Outstanding learning
experience for all students, every day, we are constantly developing and extending our
curriculum to ensure that every student is able to maximise their potential as an independent,
twenty-first century learner. The Department is a vibrant one where risk taking and
innovation (both by teachers and students) are actively encouraged. As a member of this
Department, you will be joining a team with a strong ethos of collaboration and a studentcentred approach to learning.
The Department benefits from a recent refurbishment and has transformed the learning spaces
at our disposal to support students’ creativity and independence. We have moved away from a
learning environment predicated on a Victorian model towards one which allows our students
to flourish as learners fit for life in the third millennium. Not only this, but the advent of the
new Cooper School Sixth Form (which opened in September 2011) means that a suitable
candidate will be able to play a key role in developing and delivering an outstanding
curriculum in both English Literature and Lang/Lit at KS5.
The existing team is an exceptionally strong one. The success of the Department is evidenced
by the range of responsibilities held by its members, both within and outside the department.
We are also in the process of expanding our curriculum offer to include Media at GCSE (and
potentially, AS-Level) from September 2012 and we maintain strong links with the Drama
and Learning to Learn Departments. The opportunities for career development we are able to
provide are excellent and this post would therefore suit a candidate with an interest in
progressing their career over the next two-three years.
Departmental Key Facts
English is taught in ability-banded groups at KS3 and KS4
At KS4, students study the OCR specifications for GCSE in both English language
and English Literature
Results at GCSE (A*- C) were 79% in English Language and 91% in English
Literature in 2011 with close to 40% of students achieving A or A* in Literature
At KS5, students study the AQA B syllabus for both English Literature and English
Language and Literature. Currently, both courses are very healthily subscribed with
around 65 students enrolled in an English course in Year 12
The Department runs regular extra curricular trips and support days in order to
enhance the learning experience of our students
The Department is committed to innovation through technology, both to aid and
facilitate students’ learning and independence. All department members operate blogs
to allow students to access work online from home and we have a growing selection
of video lessons recorded by both teachers and students which can be viewed on our
youtube channel: (for which we have received national
acclaim from a number of bodies including DfE and NAACE)
Departmental Ethos
The English Department at The Cooper School is a forward looking and creative Department.
Our teachers have exceptionally high expectations of students and, as a result of this, the
overwhelming majority of learners make good progress and achieve excellent results. We
believe that success in English hinges on a creative, enquiring mind, combined with good
attention to detail and a critical awareness of the world around us.
Our students are actively encouraged to become independent thinkers and learners and, to this
end, lessons are engaging and fun but also focus on the critical and functional skills which
students will need to achieve exam success. We, as a Department, aim to celebrate and learn
about language in all its forms and wherever it may be used. To this end, we are a
technologically advanced department who embrace modern media whilst also maintaining a
clear grounding in the texts which make up our diverse literary heritage.
Departmental Aims
To provide a challenging and dynamic learning environment where students develop
reading, writing and speaking skills equally
To encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning, to evaluate the
progress they are making and set real targets for improvement
To encourage all students to realise the potential within them and aspire to succeed
To encourage staff to share good practice and to undertake relevant INSET as part of
their own and departmental CPD.
January 2012