KEY STAGE 3
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Students study the origins of language: morphology/etymology (grammar and spelling rules) They read extracts from Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales. Their reading encourages the development of insight and literary critique. In addition to any set texts, students are immersed in a range of extracts from journals, newspapers, novels, circulars and other printed material. Students are presented with opportunities to take abstract concepts in English and use them in written forms of argument, persuasion and debate. The skills, developed from their study of poetry from the 19th and 20th Century, are used to support their writing, which will range from poetry based on myths and folklore to analysis of the impact of context on poets and their material. Students also study A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare and have the opportunity to compare Shakespeare’s works with contemporary and classic authors, through a rigorous new scheme of learning.
Students study Animal Farm by George Orwell and understand how authors like Orwell, through the written word, has shaped modern thinking and practice. They read poetry by Blake, Hardy Duffy and Plath (Pre 20th Century and 20th Century.) Students study a robust literacy programme that is integrated into their scheme of learning to develop their verbal and written communication. They explore fundamental features of descriptive writing, understanding the genre specific features that will allow them to produce their own specific forms of writing. Reading and writing units are taught with topical foci such as gender and ethnicity and class. They consider authorial intention and the process of characterisation and thematic development and extenuating influences on literature.
Students read A Woman In Black by Susan Hill and complete creative writing tasks that are influenced by the gothic and mystery genre. Students read a range of plays including The Crucible, Blood Brothers and other plays of a similar calibre, which will help to prepare them for the modern drama that they will read for GCSE. The study of each play encourages depth of analysis and breadth in constructing responses that include an awareness of the understanding and expectations of contemporary and current audiences.
KEY STAGE 4
English Language and Literature
Qualification: GCSE English Language
Examination Board: AQA
You will read a range of literary texts and learn to write in a range of styles for different purposes and audiences. In addition, you are given frequent opportunities to develop greater confidence in your spoken communication skills.
Emphasis is placed upon the importance of accuracy in spelling, punctuation and grammar; the development of vocabulary and the ability to organise and communicate ideas clearly.
ENGLISH LANGUAGE (Exam only) – no Higher or Foundation tiers
There are two equally balanced papers with reading sources related creative writing and non-fiction texts. The reading sources act as stimulus for writing tasks, providing you with a clear route through each paper.
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (Written Examination worth 50%) in Year 11
Section A – Reading: You will look at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers.
Section B – Writing: You will write a creative piece either using describing or narrating techniques.
Paper 2: Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives (Written Examination worth 50%) in Year 11
Section A – Reading: You will look at how writers use narrative and descriptive techniques to engage the interest of readers. The sources will be from the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century texts. There is a strong emphasis on nineteenth century texts.
Section B – Writing: You will write a non-fiction piece expressing a viewpoint, such as an argument or using persuasion.
Speaking and Listening Skills: The preparation and assessment of Spoken Language is a compulsory requirement of the course of study. It will appear on your certificates as a separately reported grade alongside the overall grade issued (Pass, Merit and Distinction).
Qualification: GCSE English Literature
Examination Board: AQA
The courses provide opportunities for you to develop your personal response to a range of literary and non-fiction texts. You will also learn to write in a range of styles for different purposes and audiences. Emphasis is placed upon the importance of accuracy in spelling, punctuation and grammar, the development of vocabulary and the ability to organise and communicate ideas clearly, as these skills are fundamental to success in all subject areas.
ENGLISH LITERATURE (Exam only) - no Higher or Foundation tiers
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th Century Novel (Written Examination worth 40%) in Year 11
Section A: You will answer one question on the Shakespeare play you have studied. You 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: You will also write one question on the novel you have studied. You 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 (Written Examination worth 60%) in Year 11
Section A - Modern texts: You will answer one essay question from a choice of two on the modern prose or drama text you have studied.
Section B – Poetry: You will answer one comparative question on one named poem printed on the paper and one other poem from the anthology cluster you have studied.
Section C - Unseen poetry: You will answer one question on one unseen poem and one question comparing this poem with a second unseen poem.