Faculty Team

Mrs Sarah Forster, Faculty Leader
Mrs Kirby Squires, Progress Leader
Miss Kristy Holdsworth, KS3 Programme Leader
Miss Stephanie Murphy, KS4 Programme Leader
Mrs Jan Burton, Faculty Inclusion Assistant
Mr David Cairns, Teacher of Communications
Miss Jane Dickinson, Teacher of Communications
Mrs Amanda Dunlop, Teacher of Communications
Miss Christine Ferry,Teacher of Communications
Mr Jonathan Heath, Deputy Headteacher and Teacher of Communications
Miss Jessica Jackson, Teacher of Communications
Mr Peter Murray, Teacher of Communications
Mr Stephen Percival, Teacher of Communications
Ms Ruth Tommey, Higher Level Teaching Assistant in Communications


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 and 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; 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 topic 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; Spoken Language 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 analyse the writing of others and to develop their 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, along with 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 the majority of our students will follow two GCSE courses: GCSE English Language and GCSE English Literature.

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

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


Controlled assessments will take place at intervals throughout years 10 and 11; these will be 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 such as Pride and Prejudice, as well as non fiction as this features heavily in the language exam.

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

The analytical and critical thinking skills acquired during Key Stage 4 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 40 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 Da Vinci Centre.  This club is open to everyone and runs at lunchtimes in the Da Vinci Centre.

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.

Useful Links

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