Faculty Team

Mrs Sarah Forster, Faculty Leader
Mr Adam Usher, Progress Leader
Mrs Amanda Dunlop, Teacher of Communications
Miss Christine Ferry,Teacher of Communications
Miss Jessica Hammonds, Teach First
Mr Jonathan Heath, Deputy Headteacher and Teacher of Communications
Miss Jessica Jackson, Teacher of Communications
Miss Stephanie Murphy, Teacher of Communications
Mrs Kirby Squires, Teacher of Communications
Mr Robert Williams, Teach First


Because English is so much more than words on a page…

Our vision in the Communications Faculty is for all students to enjoy and achieve; we aim to inspire young people, create imaginative minds and produce independent learners with lifelong learning skills.

The skills students acquire in Communications (reading, writing, speaking and listening) are transferable to every other subject and we endeavor to help raise standards across the curriculum.

In order to accomplish this, we enrich our students through the study of a wide range of texts, including: a range of novels; poetry; Shakespeare, media and non-fiction.  Through the study of texts, students learn about the world in which they live and are given the opportunity to sample others’ lives – allowing them to empathize and to explore other cultures and traditions.

Key Stage 3

In Years 7, 8 and 9, learners follow a unit based learning program, in line with the National Curriculum, with the ultimate aim of creating learning experiences that engage and challenge our students to achieve their potential.

The curriculum in Key Stage 3 is varied and covers a range of topics including: Poetry; Shakespeare; Short stories from other cultures, the 19th Century novel, travel writing study and a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts all under our topic based approach.

In the Communications Faculty, we pride ourselves on developing students’ ability to evaluate the writing of others and to develop reading skills.  They are also given opportunities to write in a range of styles and for a range of purposes.

In Key Stage 3, students complete APP (Assessing Pupil Progress) units, which are designed to assess Reading, Writing or Speaking and Listening skills.  These units, alongside class work, help inform the assessment level students are awarded each term, and allow teachers and students alike to review their progress and set targets accordingly.

Key Stage 4

In years 10 and 11 our students will follow two GCSE courses: GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature or iGCSE/GCSE Literature.

The weighting of exam and controlled assessments in these two subjects is:

  • GCSE/iGCSE English Language – exam 60%, controlled assessment 40%
  • GCSE English Literature – exam 75%, controlled assessment 25%

Controlled assessments take place at intervals throughout years 10 and 11; these are set in formal conditions allowing students to use a set of notes to structure their response.

Topics delivered in Key Stage 4 are varied and include: Shakespeare; Spoken Language; poetry from ‘The Moon on the Tides’ Anthology; Creative Writing and various fiction texts and non-fiction as this features heavily in the language exam.

For GSCE English Language/iGCSE, students must also complete Speaking and Listening tasks.  There are three tasks to be undertaken: an individual extended contribution; a group discussion; and a drama focused activity.

The analytical and critical thinking skills acquired during Key Stage four prepare young people for Further Education and Employment.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Creative Writing Club Creative Writing Club is a fun, exciting and competitive group with over 30 members from years 7-9.  The aim of the group is to enrich, enthuse and excite our students whilst also develop their creativity and writing skills.

Many of the students have succeeded in getting their work published in a plethora of poetry and short story books which are all to be found in the Learning Hub.  This club is open to everyone and runs at lunchtimes in the Learning Hub.

Reading Group Reading group meets monthly to discuss a hot new text which students are given a period of time to read.

Quiz Club Quiz Club runs weekly in the Learning Hub with the aim of developing the general knowledge of our students, whilst pitting their wits against other groups… and the teachers, too!

Film/Games Club Film/Games Club is a joint collaboration where students interested in gaming or film come each week to learn and have fun!

Additional Information

Literacy Across the Curriculum

At High Tunstall College of Science all staff are committed to developing the Literacy skills of every student.  Literacy skills enable access to learning in every subject area and raise both standards and attainment across the curriculum.

All teachers are teachers of literacy.  Every teacher will strive to ensure students are given the opportunities to develop and improve standards of literacy through a consistent and systematic approach across the curriculum.

High Tunstall College of Science adopts a whole college approach and gives a high profile to literacy.  All teachers contribute in the development of students’ literacy skills across all subjects.  High Tunstall College of Science will strive to facilitate the development of students’ abilities to use language effectively as readers, writers, speakers and listeners.

Click here to be directed to our downloads page where you can access leaflets on supporting your child with reading from Year 7 through to Year 11.

Useful Links

AQA Examination Board Website
Andrew Moore’s Resource Site
BBC Bitesize GCSE
BBC Bitesize Key Stage 3
Chickionary Educational Game
Study Guides