English

The English department boasts a dedicated team of specialist staff who have pupil progress at the heart of everything we do. It is also our aim to instill in our students the love for literature and passion for language that we all have. Through a broad and challenging curriculum, we allow students to observe, analyse and create for themselves seminal pieces of literature as well as hone their skills in reading, writing and speaking. We embrace the school policy of ‘putting the learner first’ and have a wide range of support in place to help students from all abilities and backgrounds to access, and excel, in English. Not only that, we have a high retention rate at KS5, with large numbers of students opting to take one (or both) of our two available A levels. Extra curricular learning is important to us, and we offer students to opportunity to see live theatrical performances from national companies, take part in the Carnegie Shadowing scheme and be part of a creative writing club, to name but a few.

KS3

Overview

At KS3 students are taught in ability groups from the start of year 7. These groups are formed from two halves of the cohort, providing a range of abilities in each group. Students are involved in a variety of creative learning opportunities to encourage progress and provide challenges in their reading and writing . A number of students also benefit from additional English support through intervention and tuition programmes.

Year 7

Year 7 students in English develop a range of reading and writing skills in interpreting, discussing and responding to a range of fictional and non-fictional texts and stimuli, in a variety of forms – letters, poems, dialogues, reports and narratives. Oral communication skills are practised through role-play, individual performance, pair and group discussion. Students are taught to employ learning strategies through study skills techniques and to take responsibility for the organisation of their learning materials.

Year 8

Year 8 pupils develop skills in reading , writing and oracy, which build on the Year 7 foundation and anticipate KS4 programmes of study. The course involves the study of novels, plays, poetry, films and other visual and audio sources, which cover the full range of written materials and embraces both formal and informal discussion. The demands of the course require that a number of texts are studied, which cover fiction and non-fiction genres from pre-twentieth century to modern authors.

KS4

Overview

AQA GCSE English Language & AQA GCSE English Literature

All students follow a GCSE AQA course in English Language and English Literature. At the end of the course, students will receive two qualifications. Both GCSEs are taught simultaneously and are assessed in four exams (two for each GCSE) which are taken at the end of year 11.

For English Language, there is also a non-examination assessment in Spoken Language, which will be assessed by the class teacher. Our aim is to inspire and motivate students, providing appropriate stretch and challenge whilst ensuring that the assessment and texts are, as far as possible, accessible to all students.

Assessment
AQA GCSE English Language

All texts in the examination will be unseen.

Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing

What's assessed:

  • Section A: Reading - one literature fiction text
  • Section B: Writing - descriptive or narrative writing

Assessed by a written exam:

  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Questions:

Reading (40 marks) (25%) – one single text

  • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)
  • 2 longer form questions (2 x 8 marks)
  • 1 extended question (1 x 20 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

  • 1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

Paper 2: Writers' Viewpoints and Perspectives

What's assessed:

  • Section A: Reading - one non-fiction text and one literary non-fiction text
  • Section B: Writing - writing to present a viewpoint

Assessed by a written exam:

  • 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 80 marks
  • 50% of GCSE

Questions:

Reading (40 marks) (25%) – two linked texts

  • 1 short form question (1 x 4 marks)
  • 2 longer form questions (1 x 8, 1 x 12 marks)
  • 1 extended question (1 x 16 marks)

Writing (40 marks) (25%)

  • 1 extended writing question (24 marks for content, 16 marks for technical accuracy)

Non-examination Assessment: Spoken Language

What's assessed:

  • Presenting
  • Responding to questions and feedback
  • Use of Standard English

Assessed by:

  • Set and marked by teacher.
  • Separate endorsement (0% weighting of GCSE)
AQA GCSE English Literature

All assessments are closed book: any stimulus materials required will be provided as part of the assessment.

All assessments are compulsory.

Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th-century novel

What's assessed:

  • Shakespeare plays
  • The 19th-century novel

How it's assessed:

  • written exam: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • 64 marks
  • 40% of GCSE

Questions:

  • Section A Shakespeare: students will answer one question on their play of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole.
  • Section B The 19th-century novel: students will answer one question on their novel of choice. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole.

Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry

What's assessed:

  • Modern prose or drama texts
  • The poetry anthology
  • Unseen poetry

How it's assessed:

  • written exam: 2 hour 15 minutes
  • 96 marks
  • 60% of GCSE

Questions:

  • Section A Modern texts: students will answer one essay question from a choice of two on their studied modern prose or drama text.
  • Section B Poetry: students will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from their chosen anthology cluster.
  • Section C Unseen poetry: Students will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.

Year 9

Year 9 is a skills-based year of study, in which students develop the skills required for GCSE English Language and Literature. This includes responding to reading of fiction text and non-fiction/media texts, as well as developing functional English skills.

Year 10

In Year 10 the courses include studies of prose and drama texts from different periods, non-fiction and media texts, poetry, spoken language and Shakespeare. In addition, students are taught how to adapt their writing for a specific audience, purpose and format. Students are introduced to their GCSE set texts which enables them to build upon the context and genre studied in KS3.

Year 11

In Year 11 students continue to build on the work from Years 7-10, revising their set texts and becoming ‘examination ready’. Students will have formal mock exams in the Spring term, as well as regular opportunities to tackle the examinations question by question. Alongside the classroom curriculum, there is an extensive revision programme running after school, and a significant number of students attend regularly.

KS5

Overview

English Language (AQA)

In 2015, we introduced exciting new courses for AS and A Level English Language.

This course encourages students to develop their interest in and appreciation of English, through learning about its structures and its functions, its developments and its variations. It allows students to develop their ability to express themselves in speech and writing, producing texts for different audiences, purposes and in different genres.

Entry requirements:

A Grade 6 or above in English Literature and/or English Language would firmly indicate suitability. Students who enjoy research and communicating ideas, and work well individually as well as in small groups, would enjoy the course.

English Literature (AQA B)

In 2015, we introduced exciting new courses for AS and A level English Literature.

This course is designed to develop your interest and enjoyment in literary study. You will be encouraged to read widely and critically from a range of authors, genres and contexts.

Entry Requirements:

GCSE Grade 6 or above in English Language and English Literature would indicate suitability. Students with a genuine love of literature and a willingness to read widely, who are prepared to join in group discussions and share ideas, will find the course inspiring and enjoyable.

Year 12

English Language AS Level

The AS course will enable you to explore textual variations and representations. You will also study language diversity and language discourses.

The first examination unit, ‘Language and the Individual’, focuses on individual contexts for
language, whilst the second examination, ‘Language Varieties’, considers larger-scale public discourses about variety. Examination tasks may include close studies of individual texts, comparisons of texts, as well as discursive essays and directed writing tasks.

For the AS course, you will study and explore:

  • A range of texts from a range of genres, authors and modes
  • How language is shaped by audience, purpose, genre, mode and context
  • How to write discursively about language
English Literature AS Level

The AS course will enable you to explore literary genres, including comedy or tragedy. You will study drama texts, including Shakespeare, as well as poetry and prose texts from a range of historical and literary contexts.

The AS course is assessed through two examinations and will include close studies of specific passages, as well as essay-based questions on whole texts.

Examples of set texts that may be covered in the course include:

  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • King Lear by William Shakespeare
  • Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
  • The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  • Poetry collection by Thomas Hardy

Year 13

English Language A Level

For the A level course, you will also study child language development (0-11 years) and this will form part of the first examination, along with textual variations and representations. In the second examination, you will also study language change, as well as language diversity and variety.

Unlike the AS course, there is also a nonexamination assessment for the A level course. This includes a language investigation, as well as a piece of original writing and commentary.

For the A level course, you will study and explore:

  • A range of texts, from 1600 to the present day, from a range of genres, authors and modes
  • How language is shaped by audience, purpose, genre, mode and context
  • Theories and research about language
  • How to write discursively about language and how to write analytically about texts.
English Literature A Level

For the A level course, you will follow a similar programme of study to the AS level during your first year. In the second year, you will also study either elements of crime writing or elements of political writing. There are two examination papers for the A level course.

Unlike the AS course, there is also a non examination assessment for the A level course, which encourages independent reading and research into literary theories. There is the possibility of writing a re-creative piece, accompanied by a commentary, for one of the two coursework style assignments.

Examples of set texts that may be covered in the A level course include:

  • The Laboratory and My Last Duchess by Robert Browning
  • Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
  • Harvest by Jim Crace
  • Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini