Key Stage 3
To build on and develop the pupils’ achievements at Primary School.
To build confidence in the use of English.
To provide stimulus and guidance in improving the range of language skills.
To help children enjoy reading, writing, listening and speaking.
To promote self-understanding, a sense of responsibility and co-operation between pupils of different backgrounds and abilities.
Areas of Study
The work can be divided into three overlapping areas:
Pupils will be presented with a wide variety of reading material, including stories and poetry as well as more factual material from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, and will be expected to respond to their reading in numerous ways. They will be introduced to the school Library and encouraged to read widely for enjoyment outside school. All Year 7 pupils will take part in the Reading Award Scheme to allow them to develop the range of their personal reading.
Pupils will have the opportunity to write about a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, exploring how texts are written and their effect upon the reader. Half-termly written assessments will take place with a clear move towards encouraging more independent, detailed and accurate writing.
Speaking and Listening
Effective speaking pre-supposes good listening. A significant amount of English time is given over to discussion, using a variety of approaches including group work, prepared debate and discussion work.
Opportunities Outside the Classroom
Pupils have the opportunity to take part in a number of writing competitions and the annual Mastermind competition. Where possible, author visits and theatre trips are also included in the curriculum.
For more detailed information about what is studied each term in Years 7 to 9, please see the Parents’ Curriculum Guides in the Learning/Curriculum section of the school website.
Key Stage 4
What will I learn?
In September 2017 Year 10 pupils will embark upon two GCSEs in English Language and Literature. The course is divided up as follows:
How will I be assessed?
English Language GCSE
All of the GCSE will be assessed at the end of Year 11 via two exam papers.
Paper 1: Explorations in Creative Reading and Writing (50%)
To test their reading ability pupils will be given an unseen extract from a novel. They will then answer a series of questions on how it is written, considering the writer's use of language and structure and effect. To test their writing ability pupils will be given a photograph to describe or asked to write a piece of narrative writing to test their creative skills.
Paper 2: Writers' viewpoints and perspectives (50%)
Pupils will be given two unseen texts, one non-fiction and one literary non-fiction. They will answer a series of questions to test their reading ability, considering how language is used for effect and how the two texts compare and contrast in terms of writers' attitudes. To test their writing ability pupils will be asked to write in a particular form, presenting a particular point of view, such as an article for a newspaper.
Spoken Language (not assessed as part of GCSE)
Throughout the two year course pupils will also be assessed in a number of speaking and listening activities, where they will take part in presentations and consider their responses to questions and feedback.These will lead to a final Spoken Language assessed presentation.
English Literature GCSE
All of the GCSE will be assessed by two exam papers at the end of Year 11.
Paper 1: Shakespeare and the 19th century novel (40%)
This paper will assess pupils' knowledge and understanding of two set texts, a play by William Shakespeare and a novel published in the 19th century. They will be required to write in detail about an extract from the play and then to write about the play as a whole. They will also be required to write in detail about an extract from the novel and then to write about the novel as a whole. Pupils will not be allowed to take their set texts into the exam with them.
Paper 2: Modern texts and poetry (60%)
Pupils will study a modern novel or play and fifteen poems from an anthology studied in class and they will answer one essay question on each of them. They will also respond to and compare two unseen poems. Pupils will not be allowed to take their set texts into the exam with them.
How will I be taught?
English Language and English Literature are treated as a combined course in which pupils will experience a wide range of teaching methods designed to encourage participation, independence, enjoyment and success.
These subjects both lead directly to AS/A Level English Language and English Literature courses. A good pass grade in English is also a requirement for some other subjects at AS Level. Employers value the subject as it focuses on success in the core life skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.